Winnipeggers invited to open doors into city's history

Winnipeg's history is an open book this weekend, as Doors Open Winnipeg lives up to its moniker.

80 heritage buildings open to the public this weekend

The Bank of Montreal, completed in 1913, is an "outstanding example of neo-classical architecture," according to Heritage Winnipeg's website. The monument commemorates bank employees killed during the First World War. (CBC)

Winnipeg's history is an open book this weekend, as Doors Open Winnipeg lives up to its moniker. 

It's the eleventh year for the event, which swings open the doors to 80 heritage buildings in the city Saturday and Sunday. 

Government House was built in 1883 for $23,995, according to Doors Open Winnipeg's website. It was sold to the province for $1 'as residence for the Lieutenant Governor, and for no other purpose,' the website says. (CBC)
Event organizers said since 2004, there have been more than a quarter of a million visits to the sites that show off the city's "unique spaces, architecture and history." 

Cindy Tugwell, executive director of Heritage Winnipeg, said the free, public event is a great way to appreciate what most of us take for granted.

Heritage Winnipeg's Jordan Van Sewell said the owners of Winnipeg's heritage buildings deserve to be recognized for playing a vital role in keeping the city's history alive. (CBC)
​"It is a big open house for the city of Winnipeg," she said. "It's an opportunity to see architectural treasures, historically significant buildings, and buildings that tell stories ... [It's] a great way for the public to come out and learn about the social history and the beautiful buildings that we see every day."

Jordan Van Sewell, president of Heritage Winnipeg, said some of the owners of the buildings on the tour will be recognized for their efforts to keep the city's history alive.

"I think the owners of each of these buildings is really a steward and they're celebrating our heritage, our built heritage," he said. "So to recognize them and offer them, even if it's a token of our appreciation, because a lot of these owners have a vested interest in their buildings and it's wonderful to see them celebrating it."