Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Unlike the past four decades, the next resident of 37 Kings Drive will not be a current University of Manitoba president.
The post-secondary institution is putting its president’s residence up for sale this week. In addition to housing presidents, the property was used for hosting university events with staff, students, faculty and community members.
"As the University of Manitoba transitioned from one president to another in 2020, it seemed like a good time to sell the property," said John Danakas, the university’s associate vice-president of strategic communications and government relations.
Michael Benarroch became the university’s new president on July 1. He and future U of M presidents must make their own living arrangements.
One benefit of selling the house is that the university will save money, Danakas said. The university estimates it will save $60,000 a year in maintenance costs by selling the home. Danakas couldn’t reveal how much the property is being listed for because the listing isn’t live yet.
There are also other reasons to sell the brown bungalow accented with red panels and white window frames.
"Entertaining is a lot easier and economical on campus," Danakas said. "There’s also the challenge of actually living in a residence that you’re holding these functions at. If you have a family and so on, there can be challenges."
The university’s board of governors decided last September to sell the residence.
The University of Winnipeg sold its president’s residence, at 49 Oak St., for just under $789,900 in 2014. Brandon University put its on the market in 2015.
"It was fashionable for many decades and served an important purpose in terms of connecting with the internal and external community at home," Danakas said. "(The properties) had a special appeal. People felt honoured to be able to attend a reception at the president’s residence."
Four presidents stayed at 37 Kings Dr. while leading the University of Manitoba. Ralph Campbell was the first, in the mid 1970s. After him came Arnold Naimark, then Emöke Szathmáry, and finally David Barnard. The house was in walking distance of the university, and the presidents didn’t pay rent.
"They were taxed for the benefit of being provided with a home," Danakas said.
Before the university bought 37 Kings Dr., presidents stayed on campus at Chancellor’s Hall. The building is now used as the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
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Gabrielle Piché is the community journalist for The Headliner. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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