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Frequently Asked Questions: History of Winnipeg houses

Winnipeg has numerous old houses which have fascinating stories. Unfortunately, only a small fraction have had that story told. In 1978, Lillian Gibbons, a long-time reporter for the Winnipeg Tribune newspaper, published a book entitled Stories Houses Tell in which she related the stories of some 300 houses around the city. Copies of her book are still available through antiquarian bookstores and in local libraries.

If you would like to learn more about your Winnipeg home, including when it was built and who lived in it in the past, here are a few leads:

1. The City of Winnipeg Archives contains records on building tax assessments, blueprints, and building permits for numerous structures around the city, going back to the 1870s. The documents for your home may be among their holdings.

2. The Henderson's Directory contains listings, by street address, of the primary householder and their occupation. The directory was updated annually, and copies going back to the 1880s are available at the Legislative Library of Manitoba. By tracing your address' listing in each directory, it may be possible to reconstruct the history of occupation of your home.

3. A list of homes of prominent Winnipeggers is being developed by the MHS.

Page revised: 30 June 2009

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