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History of Armstrong Point

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Armstrong Point 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.

The 22-hectare parcel of land known as Armstrong's Point was originally granted by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1848 to Captain Joseph Hill. Hill returned to England in 1853, leaving the wooded land in the care of his former batsman, Corporal James Armstrong. [1] The land was well known to Red River Settlement residents who took many picnics and excursions to the area. In July 1873 Armstrong, who had not heard from Hill in some time, sold the property to F.E. Cornish, soon to become Winnipeg's first mayor. A year later, Armstrong was dead but rumours swirled that Hill was still living in London, England. Two Winnipeg businessmen travelled overseas to locate him and buy his land. They succeeded in finding Hill, but he refused to sell. He instead returned to Winnipeg in 1880, then a year later transferred his holding for $28,000 to a local syndicate which quickly subdivided the land.

It was not long before Armstrong's Point was home to several important families - Eden, Stobart, Kaye, Sutherland, Tupper, Waghorn, Ruttan and Blair, among other businessmen, professionals, politicians and wealthy investors.

One of the first palatial houses to be built on the Point was that of A.G.B. Bannatyne, pioneer merchant. His Tyndall stone and red sandstone mansion was commonly known as Bannatyne's Castle with construction starting ca.1883. In the following decades, many of Winnipeg's finest mansions were built on The Point, home to some of the country's leading businessmen, legal experts, doctors and politicians.

[1] S. Carter, "Armstrong's Point: Victorian Suburb in the Heart of Winnipeg," Report for the City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, n.d., pp. 1-2.