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Swinging open the doors to Winnipeg’s history

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One of many Leo Mol windows in the winner of the “Hidden Gem” category last year, the Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Sts. Vladimir and Olga.

PHOTO BY CHERYL GIRARD Enlarge Image

One of many Leo Mol windows in the winner of the “Hidden Gem” category last year, the Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Sts. Vladimir and Olga. Photo Store

"I meant to do my work today — But a brown bird sang in the apple tree, and a butterfly flitted across the field, and all the leaves were calling me."

Englishman Richard Le Gallienne penned these words. Elton John set them to music.
And at last, here in Winnipeg, the geese have returned and the robins too. The lilacs are budding, the grass is getting greener and the sun has decided to warm the earth.

Our long winter has been especially bleak this year but spring, as always, brings its own remedy for weary souls.

If you like to get out and about in the outdoors and at the same time explore beautiful, historic and unique buildings, then Doors Open Winnipeg is a wonderful springtime opportunity for you.

This free event is presented by Heritage Winnipeg and runs during the weekend of May 31 and June 1. Many of the buildings on display also feature guided tours where you can learn all about the history, the culture and the people connected to each site.

Many buildings, churches and museums will be on display throughout the city. But closer to home, in The Times’ area, some well-known local landmarks are definitely worth checking out.

McBeth House in Rivergrove is open and was built on property first deeded in 1815 to Alexander McBeth. The old Kildonan Presbyterian Cemetery is close by and contains many interesting tombstones belonging to the families of the early Selkirk Settlers.

St. John’s Anglican Cathedral and its cemetery is another historic and beautiful place. Many of Winnipeg’s notables are buried there and the cathedral has its own story to tell.

Ross House in Point Douglas, one of Western Canada’s first post offices, is worth seeing as is the historic St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church on Disraeli.

Bishop Velychkovsky Martyr’s Shrine on Jefferson Avenue houses the holy relics of the Ukrainian Catholic bishop who was persecuted by the Soviet regime for remaining faithful to his church. Beautiful Byzantine icons can also be seen in the church here.

The towering landmark known as the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral on Main St. will be open as will its museum which showcases rich Ukrainian culture.

And, be sure to visit, the winner of the "Hidden Gem" category last year, the Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Sts. Vladimir and Olga with its many colourful windows by Leo Mol.

Check out the doorsopenwinnipeg.ca website to see the full list of buildings, special tours, and directions.

Explore, walk around and enjoy Winnipeg this spring.

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

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