Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'Awesome memories' up in smoke: ex-resident

  • Print
Leo Mol with one of his sculptures in front of 1021 Wellington Cres., in a Sifton family photo.

SUPPLIED PHOTO Enlarge Image

Leo Mol with one of his sculptures in front of 1021 Wellington Cres., in a Sifton family photo.

FOR Jason Halter, the sprawling, historic mansion at 1021 Wellington Cres. is so much more than just a place he called home for a quarter-century.

It was also the real estate for his childhood years and what he says were "millions of awesome memories."

Halter, now a Toronto-based architect and designer, contacted the Free Press after learning a major fire had torn through the place he once fondly called home.

"Our house was always filled with laughter and music as long as I remember it," he said. "And those memories persist despite the super-sad devastation that this fire has brought to the old home."

Halter lived there with his family from 1966 to 1991, long before the Dornetshubers plucked it off the market.

"Tons of friends who I grew up with played in the yard, partied in the basement and swam in the pool," said Halter. The basement, he remembered, was a "pretty amazing" place to hang out.

His arts-loving parents, Aubrey and Nola, often hosted talented classical musicians who'd fill the house with their gifts, he said.

"I recall hearing Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Vladimir Horowitz, David Oistrakh and Vladamir Ashkenazy," Halter said.

"As a young kid I knew something quite special was going on, often hearing the music from my bedroom door."

The musical attachments 1021 Wellington held for him didn't break after his family moved out.

He wound up back inside its walls in 2005, when the Asper family hosted what Halter called "an epic party" during the Juno Awards in Winnipeg. Halter's design studio designed T-shirts given to performers and participants at the awards.

Arriving at the party, he looked around his old home to see none other than Randy Bachman of the Guess Who fame sporting one of his company's T-shirts. That coincidence led to a funny introduction and "brief but fun" design collaboration, Halter said.

" 'Randy, it's a huge honour to meet you, and especially wonderful because you're in my dining room and you're wearing one of my shirts,' " Halter recalled saying.

He said his heart goes out to the family who now has to deal with the aftermath of the fire.

"So sorry for the family who have lost their treasure," Halter said.

The house was once owned by Graeme Sifton, the great-grandson of Clifford Sifton, one of the original owners of the Free Press. He owned the house from 1989 until 2004.

An email sent Monday by Melanie Sifton-Borger, Graeme's former wife, stated: "In the early '90s (the Siftons) had an opportunity to have Leo Mol himself set the bronze statue of Fawn & Deer that graced the front of the home," she recalled.

The arts community was welcomed at many fundraising events hosted there, said Sifton-Borger in the email.

"There were many milestones and fond memories shared in this gracious home," she said. "I have spent the last day-and-a-half through tears poring over the pictures in the news of the fire devastation... My heart goes out to the Dornetshuber family."

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 18, 2014 0

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Rumor's 30th Anniversary with Mike Wilmot, Darryl Lenox, Dave Hemstad & Derek Edwards

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS  070527 The 21st Annual Teddy Bears' Picnic at Assiniboine Park. The Orlan Ukrainian Dancers perform on stage.
  • A female Mallard duck leads a group of duckings on a morning swim through the reflections in the Assiniboine River at The Forks Monday.     (WAYNE GLOWACKI/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) Winnipeg Free Press  June 18 2012

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Would you visit Dalnavert Museum if it reopened?

View Results

Ads by Google