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Neighbourhood treasures worth touring

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Spring has finally arrived to energize the prairies and what better time is there for walking or driving around the city, exploring its hidden treasures.

The 10th annual Doors Open Winnipeg, presented by Heritage Winnipeg, will take place on Sat., May 25 and Sun., May 26. The event will feature more than 80 historic museums, churches and other intriguing buildings throughout Winnipeg and marvelously, it is free.
Close to home, in The Times area, there are many local landmarks well worth checking out.

Each has its own story to tell about our values, our history, and our neighbourhood.

In the Old Kildonan area, McBeth House at 31 McBeth St. in Rivergrove is worth having a look at, as is the old Kildonan Presbyterian Cemetery at 2373 Main St. close by. The church is the oldest Presbyterian church in Western Canada and the cemetery contains many of the families of the early Selkirk Settlers.

Drive south on Main and you will reach Bleak House at 1637 Main St., once the home of Colin Inkster, the son of a fur-trader and Selkirk Settler. Inkster was also the High Sheriff of Manitoba for roughly 50 years. This Red River frame house was erected in 1874.

Drive one block south and you will come upon the Seven Oaks Museum at 115 Rupertsland Blvd. This was once the home of Colin Inkster’s father, John Inkster, who arrived here from the Orkney Islands in 1821. The senior Inkster farmed, kept a store and a mill on this former river lot. Now a museum, the home provides a glimpse into the 19th century Red River settlement years.

Just across Main Street from here is the shrine of the Blessed Bishop and Martyr Vasyl Velychkovsky. The bishop was persecuted by the Soviet regime in the 20th century for remaining faithful to the Ukrainian Catholic church.

The shrine is inside St. Joseph’s Ukrainian Catholic Church at 250 Jefferson Ave., which also contains many beautiful Byzantine icons.

Farther south on the river side is the historic St. John’s Cathedral at 135 Anderson Ave. The Anglican cathedral contains many wonderful stained glass windows each with its own wonderful story.

Drive south again into the historic Point Douglas area and take a tour of Ross House at 140 Meade St. N. Built in 1852, it was the home of William and Jemima Ross and also served as one of Western Canada’s first post offices.

Close by at 110 Disraeli St. is St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which was converted into a Ukrainian church in 1918 from a 1902-built Anglican church. The tiny white church served the early Ukrainian immigrants in the area and boasts many traditional painted icons.
Be sure to travel west across Main Street to McGregor Street for not to be missed is the Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Sts. Vladimir and Olga at 115 McGregor St. Its many windows, created by renowned artist Leo Mol, and its paintings and iconostasis are magnificent.

For more information, watch for the Doors Open insert in the Thurs., May 24 edition of the Winnipeg Free Press or check out doorsopenwinnipeg.ca.

Cheryl Girard is a community correspondent for Riverbend. You can contact her at girard.cheryl@gmail.com.

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