Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/10/2019 (272 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The 138-year-old Winnipeg Hotel is officially closing its doors this weekend, but its life isn't over yet.
The hotel at 214 Main St. opened in 1881. It was purchased three years ago by a holding company fronted by John Pollard, co-chief executive officer of Pollard Banknote Ltd, along with the recently redeveloped Fortune Building next door on the corner of Main and St. Mary Avenue.
"The previous owner is closing operations this weekend, and it'll be closed for the time being," Pollard told the Free Press on Friday. The holding company hopes to refurbish the building and redevelop it into a boutique hotel, he said.
According to the Manitoba Historical Society, the three-storey building was constructed by Oswald and Thomas Montgomery, a pair of developers who are the eponyms of the Montgomery Block at the intersection of Portage and Notre Dame avenues.
Pollard said his group had always planned to take possession of the Winnipeg Hotel on a delayed basis, allowing the owner to keep operating while the Fortune Building renovations were ongoing. Those renovations were completed this summer, he said.
The new owners will take stock of the hotel when they take possession Monday. That work includes a structural assessment and general assessments, in order to see what is salvageable and to direct future redevelopment.
"It'll take us a while to figure out exactly how to proceed," Pollard said, but anticipated it could take as long as three years to complete the renovations on the Winnipeg Hotel. His group wants to keep the same name, he said.
As for the empty lot which sits between the Fortune Building and Winnipeg Hotel, Pollard said he envisions the development of a public plaza.
The holding group is entirely separate from Pollard Banknote, and all plans are subject to the group receiving all necessary approvals from the City of Winnipeg.
Ben Waldman covers a little bit of everything for the Free Press.
Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.
Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.
To those who have made donations, thank you.
To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.
The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.
While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.
After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.
If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.
We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.