Manitoba

Winnipeg's Met gets $1.5M from province

The future of Winnipeg's historic Metropolitan Theatre looked a bit brighter Wednesday as the province chipped in $1.5 million for restoration.

The future of Winnipeg's historic Metropolitan Theatre looked a bit brighter Wednesday as the province chipped in $1.5 million for restoration.

The 92-year-old heritage building, vacant since 1987, was purchased five years ago by the Canad Inns hotel chain, which planned to turn it into an entertainment venue, including a Manitoba rock and roll Hall of Fame.

But the building has been unoccupied with little work done to it since then.

Earlier this month, the City of Winnipeg approved a $1.5-million grant to Canad Inns to get the ball rolling. If the city isn't satisfied with Canad Inns' progress it can take back the building.

Canad Inns president Leo Ledohowski promises to restore the building to its former glory, saying it will become a food and beverage emporium of the highest calibre and is expected to open next year.

"We just came off a record year and we'll take our chances," he said, adding the company is also building a $40 million hotel near the Health Sciences Centre. "These are well within the range and possibilities and the capacities of this corporation."

Canad Inns is contributing $12 million toward the restoration of the downtown theatre building.

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