Five of Winnipeg’s grandest homes will be the exhibits when the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s 11th annual Home Tour takes place Sunday.
The homes are located within a couple of blocks in the Old Tuxedo neighbourhood, on Lamont and Handsart boulevards. Two were built in 1929, one in 1930, another in 1947, and the most recent was constructed in 2004.
WAG Home Tour
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Self-guided tour tickets: $40 at wag.ca, or at the Winnipeg Art Gallery front desk, McNally Robinson, Grace & Company Ltd., and Salt Boutique. If there are any tickets left on tour day, the remaining ones will be available to purchase from WAG staff at the tour site.
Not only does the tour provide an opportunity to check out these mansions, but each one can provide viewers with decorative ideas for their own residences, says Helen Ritchot, who co-chaired the Home Tour with Mary Anne Rudy.
"These are five state-of-the-art interiors that are spectacular," says Ritchot.
Each home on the tour has undergone interior renovations over the years, and offers glimpses into changing trends, from Depression- and wartime-era simplicity to the 21st-century’s technological revolution. For instance, the prewar houses on the tour initially kept their kitchens hidden at the back while guests enjoyed socializing in large dining rooms, Ritchot says, while bright, lavish kitchens are often the main reason contemporary homes are sold.
The Home Tour guide, which costs $40, is the ticket, and provides entry to the homes. Each one has stairs; the tour is therefore is not fully accessible.
The tour can start and end at any home — all five houses are within a block or two of each other, ideal for a Sunday stroll — and here are brief descriptions, from oldest to newest.
This 4,142-square-foot mansion, which was one of the sets of the comedy series Less Than Kind, was built in the Georgian Revival style in 1929, and was one of the first houses that went up in the Old Tuxedo neighbourhood. The house still has the original servants stairwell and maid’s quarters on the top floor; however, a ground-level "garden room" is new.
This Tudor Revival was also built in 1929 but underwent renovations — to modernize and preserve its original look — by architect Les Stechesen and interior designer Naomi Sommer after its present owners bought the property in 1999. Art lovers will get a chance view some of the owners’ art collection that will be on display in the 4,251-square-foot residence.
This 1930 home, which is 2,756 square feet, is also a Tudor design, and was restored in 2008, keeping its original woodwork and stained-glass windows. A new custom-made wood-and-glass front door protects the house’s elaborate wooden original. The home was built one year after the nearby Assiniboine Park Pavilion was constructed, and the two buildings share several architectural similarities.
This 1947 house was the first home to be displayed in the WAG’s Home Tour, back in 1953. The current owners were sold on the property’s eye-catching rear lawn. Among the 2,560-square-foot home’s renovations are a state-of-the-art kitchen and a master bedroom built over its two-car garage.
This home was built in 2004, designed by architect Verne Reimer, and its modernist look, complete with Tyndall stone exterior, offers an interesting contrast from the other four houses on the tour. The corner-lot house — almost a stone’s throw from the Assiniboine River — checks in at 4,469 square feet.
Arts and Life Editor
Alan Small was named the editor of the Free Press Arts and Life section in January 2013 after almost 15 years at the paper in a variety of editing roles.