Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION
Students seek former residents of West End apartment block
The Spanish flu, a pair of murders and the scene of some trash-talking controversy.
A pair of University of Winnipeg students are looking for former residents of the Thelmo Mansions in the West End as part of an oral history project for their history of Winnipeg class.
"We’re hoping to hear some of the stories of the building, what it was like to live there, and the role that it played in community," said student Victoria King.
King, along with her partner Alyson Shane, was introduced to the building during a walking tour with the Daniel McIntyre/St. Matthews Community Association and became intrigued by its unique design and history.
Thelmo, built in 1914 at 519 Burnell St., was a popular residence for young soldiers in its early years, and was the scene of a controversial Spanish influenza outbreak, and murder in 1987.
In recent years, the building has largely been vacant and abandoned, and in 2004, was the scene of a another murder when tenant Stephanie Buboire was found stabbed to death.
In 2005, the building closed, and two years later, became a neighbourhood blight as piles of garbage — largely furniture, scrap wood, glass and household items — had been allowed to cover much of the approximately 3,200-square-foot lot. At one point, the garbage pile reaches as high as a first-storey window, according to reports.
"There were a lot of things that were happening with the building," King said, noting she has heard rumours the block might have been a brothel at some point. "In the beginning, it was very middle class residences, then right before it was shut down, it was probably involved in some sort of illicit activity."
If you have a story to share, King can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, local developers Hudson Bay Traders Inc. bought the building in 2010 and continue a $3-million redevelopment of the block.
Much of the building has been gutted, and work includes a new roof, new windows, and new electrical and plumbing systems. Once complete, the building will have 88 moderately-priced one and two-bedroom suites, building owner Russ Knight said.
"We bought it for financial reasons, and because we saw the potential of the grandness," he said.
Rents will range from $650 to $850 and the first tenants are expected to move in April 1. The rest of the building should be complete by August.
Knight noted 60% of new immigrants to the province go directly into the rental market.
"We have a very serious rental problem and occupancy balance in Winnipeg," he said. "To bring another 88 units into the market that didn’t exist before, we know we will fill them up immediately."
More The Metro
More The Metro
(1 of 16 articles for this week)05/15/2013 1:00 AM 0
Must Have Menus
Ads by Google