The Manitoba Historical Society invites Members and Non-Members for a Sunday Morning bring your own vehicle road trip to Tolstoi!
We begin with a 10:30 AM presentation on “living history” at Elsies’ Hotel (1929) in Tolstoi followed by brunch, then our walking tour of the Tolstoi Ukrainian Orthodox Church-1927, Tolstoi Ukrainian National Home (hall)-1924, Tolstoi Heritage Center-1929, Tolstoi Barbershop-1932, Bailly’s B/A garage (being restored).
*Brunch at Elsies’ is $20.00 taxes included. From Winnipeg, Tolstoi is directly south on Hwy. 59 through Niverville, St. Pierre Joly, St. Malo, and Roseau River.
No prepayment is required; however, pre-registration is requested to plan for brunch at Elsies Hotel. Please register online at the orange button below if you'd like to have brunch prepared for you.
About Elsie’s Hotel:
The hamlet of Tolstoi is becoming a destination for many people who either seek to reconnect with childhood friends or are looking for a Ukrainian experience in rural Manitoba. The re-opening of Elsie’s Hotel Tolstoi brings back the “Home away from home” atmosphere that was established by previous owner Elsie Kolodzinski. Elsie and her husband Walter purchased the hotel and ran the business for 68 years. Elsie’s was featured in a book by Pierre Berton marking Canada’s 100th anniversary. Elsies’ was closed in 2008 however, has been revitalized and re-opened in 2023 by Ben Holodryga who remembers Elsie fondly.
“Elsie was a sweet lady,” Holodryga says. “Everybody liked her, everybody knew of her.” He recalls the way Elsie welcomed everyone into the hotel, as though she was inviting friends into her home. Holodryga says he wants to keep that feeling alive, in honour of a woman who meant so much to the community. Having grown up in the area, he says there are many fond memories for him, and he loves meeting up with each guest and hearing stories.
An Optional Side Trip?
Not on the Tolstoi Tour, but for those interested, 20 miles west at Emerson (Hwy. 75) is a “building of interest” and one of the MHS’s Top-10 Endangered Structures for 2023. Built of logs, the 1870 Emerson Customs Building is where it is alleged that Louis Riel stopped for the night when he was leaving Manitoba in 1870. (It was known as the “Outport of North Pembina” when, in 1871, it became the first customs office for the newly established Province of Manitoba.)