Kenmore/Princeton Apartments & Historical Plaques
A point of interest on the Winnipeg's Wealthy Beginnings GPS-guided audio walking tour.
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If you take a look across the street, you'll see a three section, red brick building next to the taller white one. This spectacular building got off to a very unexpected and slow start.
At first, apartment blocks weren’t entirely welcome on the scene, but it didn’t take long for Winnipeggers to become fans of apartment-living. And in this neighbourhood, they were especially upscale, luxurious and loved for their artistic design.
This one was expected to be met with at least the same enthusiasm, if not more.
Originally known as Kenmore Apartments, until being sold in 1928 and re-named Princeton Apartments, it was Winnipeg’s most expensive apartment building construction ever! Boasting 55 breath-taking suites, from studios to roomy 2-bedrooms, complete with dining rooms and parlours, no expense had been spared.
It was Winnipeg’s first to use reinforced concrete frame, making it safer and more fire-resistant. It was shaped to provide better natural lighting and air circulation. These features, along with ornamental stone, fine wood, copper and marble accents, saw it built to a price tag of $200,000, almost $6,000,000 today.
For some reason, though, it just didn’t fill as quickly as was expected. It took until about 1920 to hang a No Vacancies sign. Even then, unlike others in this area, it was filled with tenants from all walks of life.
Over 100 years later, it's still in great condition. The outside hasn’t changed much. The interior, although re-done to be 45 instead of 55 suites, is mostly original, too.
Now if you look to the centre of the road, on the median you'll see a couple historical plaques and a square fountain. We have a bit of a walk to the next point of interest, so feel free to take a quick look and keep walking while I tell you about them.
The fountain, along with one of the two plaques, were given to Winnipeg in 1970 by a national real estate development and management company, M.E.P.C group and Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg, or Metro. Metro was a governing body responsible for distributing services throughout the city and satellite communities. It played an important role from 1960-1972, when Winnipeg and its suburbs amalgamated. The fountain and plaque celebrate the 50th anniversary of the city’s first water supply.
The plaque next to it stands in honour of Amelia Yeomans, one of Winnipeg’s first female doctors. She was an activist who worked to see social reform in medicine. A very candid and outspoken public speaker, she recognized the impact poverty has on health and fought to change that by drawing attention to social medicine and the need for more sanitary conditions in prisons. She was also part of the suffrage movement and although it didn’t happen in her lifetime, she played a huge role in women having the right to vote.
Each POI has a fun multiple choice trivia challenge you can test your skills on.
The trivia questions are separate from the commentary and completely optional.
The app keeps score for you so you can challenge your friends and family.