The Gilroy House
A point of interest on the Winnipeg's Wealthy Beginnings GPS-guided audio walking tour.
Press play & listen to the tour audio!
If you take a look to the right, you'll see a two story brown brick home that, as of 2020, says Hargrave Financial Group on the front.
That's the Gilroy House! It was designed and built by a Winnipeg contractor, Archibald MacDonald, for himself, his wife and their 6 children.
He must have been quite a talented craftsman, because, like Devon Court Apartments, this land was part of The Hudson’s Bay Reserve, the most prestigious area of Winnipeg - home to mansions, beautifully landscaped yards and Winnipeg’s most successful! The area remained quite elite for the next few decades, with churches and schools being built to accommodate the community.
The MacDonald’s didn’t live in the house long. In 1905, Albert Gilroy bought it when he transferred here from Toronto to open and manage Winnipeg’s T. Eaton store. What a building that was! Almost 900,000 sq. ft., Eaton’s stood regally at 320 Portage Ave until demolition in 1999. But that’s another tale!
Albert Gilroy lived in Gilroy House until his death in 1919, when it would have still been a very affluent area.
Soon suburbs began appearing though and people were moving away from city centre. The Depression, of course, changed things drastically. By 1940, Gilroy House had been converted to a rooming house. In 1978-79 it was Osborne House, a safe-place for victims of domestic violence. Today, an office!
And next ... a mansion!
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