home > legislature

History of Legislature

Heritage Buildings
Heritage Resources

Legislature was part of the City of Winnipeg when it amalgamated with the surrounding municipalities to form the City of Winnipeg which came into legal existence on January 1, 1972.

This neighbourhood is comprised of many of Manitoba's finest provincial buildings, including the Land Titles Office (earliest building of the provincial complex, built 1903), Provincial Law Courts, Government House, Provincial Gaol and, of course, the Manitoba Legislative Building (completed in 1920). The south end of Memorial Boulevard, the wide, north-south thoroughfare that leads to the Legislative Building, is also found here.

The west end of the neighbourhood features some residential development, including single-family dwellings and apartment blocks and commercial/office space along Osborne Street. Osborne Street was named after Lieutenant-Colonel William Osborne Smith (1831-1887), who came to Winnipeg in 1872. In 1879 Military District #10 was created with Osborne in charge. In 1880, the Fort Osborne Barracks were built on the site of the present Legislative Building. Osborne was also the founding President of the Manitoba Club and a founding member of the Manitoba Historical Society. He resigned his post in 1881. [1]

On the west side of Osborne Street south of Broadway were two famous structures, Osborne Stadium, the City's main sporting venue with seating for over 7,500 fans and Shea's (Labatt's) Brewery, opened in 1873 and operated as Shea's from 1887 until its sale in the 1950s to the John Labatt Brewing Company. [2] The Stadium was demolished in the mid-1950s to make way for the Great-West Life Building; the brewery came down in 1979.

[1] "William Osborne Smith," in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. XI (1881-1890), Online Edition, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2000.

[2] M. Peterson, "662 Main Street, Bell Hotel," report for the Historical Buildings Committee, April 2007, pp. 5-6.