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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Government House (10 Kennedy Street, Winnipeg)

Link to:
Photos & Coordinates | Sources

Government House, situated at 10 Kennedy Street in Winnipeg adjacent to the Legislative Building, is the official residence of the Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba. Its construction, by local builder J. E. Gelley under the supervision of David Smith, began in September 1882 and was completed in under a year. James Cox Aikins was the first Lieutenant-Governor to take up residence, in September 1883. It was transferred to Manitoba’s jurisdiction in 1885, symbolizing the completion of Manitoba’s parliamentary political structure.

The building has undergone extensive renovations through the years, with additions added in the early years successively replaced by a ballroom where public receptions are held, a dining room for public dinners, and a greenhouse. It is one of only three Government Houses across Canada that has been used continuously as a residence since its construction (the other two being in Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island).

The first building known as Government House was occupied by Louis Riel as President of the Provisional Government of Red River in 1869-1870. In 1870, Manitoba’s first Lieutenant-Governor, Adams G. Archibald, chose as Government House the residence of the last Governor of Rupert’s Land, owned by the Hudson’s Bay Company and located in Upper Fort Garry. The Fort Garry residence remained Government House until it was replaced by the present structure.

In 2002, Government House received a Conservation Award from Heritage Winnipeg.

A plaque beside Government House commemorates the planting of a sugar maple tree on 4 September 2012 at a ceremony attended by Premier Greg Selinger, the Right Honourable James Hamilton (Lord Selkirk of Douglas), and descendants of the Selkirk Settlers. It was planted for the bicentenary of the arrival of the Selkirk Settlers in the area that would become Manitoba.

Photos & Coordinates

Government Houe

Government House (circa 1887)
Source: Robertson’s Political Manual of Manitoba and N. W. Territories, 1887.

Sketch of Government House

Sketch of Government House (circa 1889)
Source: Souvenir of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Toronto News Company, 1889.

Government House

Government House (2008)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Interior of Government House

Interior of Government House (May 2017)
Source: George Penner

Commemorative plaque and maple tree for the Selkirk Bicentenary

Commemorative plaque and maple tree for the Selkirk Bicentenary (September 2020)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.88396, W97.14510
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Manitoba’s Government House by Frances Bowles
MHS Transactions, Series 3, Number 25, 1968-69 Season (Special Supplement)

Government House at 125
Manitoba History, Number 58, June 2008

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba Legislative Building (450 Broadway, Winnipeg)

Memorable Manitobans: Lieutenant-Governors of Manitoba

Sources:

We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 9 September 2020

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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