Manitoba Legislative Building
|Manitoba Legislative Building
|Town or city
|Winnipeg , Manitoba
|15 July 1920
|C$8,075,865 (1921 est.) 
|242 feet (74 m)
|250,000 ft 2
|Design and construction
|Frank Worthington Simon & Henry Boddington III
Manitoba's third legislative facility is located in the present building.
A log structure stood at A.G.B.'s residence. Bannatyne Main Street. Dermot Avenue, until it was destroyed by fire in 1873.
Temporary accommodations were available until 1884. The second building north of Government House was built on the grounds that are now the Legislative building. The second building became redundant after the construction of the third Legislative Building. It served as a classroom for the University of Manitoba, until it was destroyed in 1920.
On the site of this building was also a statue of Queen Victoria which was commissioned after her death in 1904 for C$15,000. (This statue would be moved to the front of the current building's grounds.) Manitoba wanted a bigger and more striking building to house its legislature in 1909. This was due to the growing economy of Manitoba and its sevenfold increase in population since 1881. The Department of Public Works reported in 1911 that due to "congested condition of all Departments of the Legislative Buildings, it is necessary to erect more practical buildings as quickly as possible." In 1911, the Manitoba government announced an architectural competition to all architects who were subjects British Empire . For the winning design of the
">Manitoba Legislative Building, a grand prize of C$10,000 was awarded and $100,000 in commission.
Cost of the new building was set at $2,000,000 Frank Worthington Simon, a student at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, submitted 67 proposals. His design was chosen to build the stunning structure.
One of Manitoba's plaques commemorating Manitoba's confederation entry was stolen from the building in October 1974.
In June 1994, work began on repairing the steps at all four entrances of the building. On 4 October 1995, Governor General Romeo Le. Blanc officially opened the Manitoba Plaza on the south grounds of the building, commemorating the 125th anniversary of the province The Legislative Building has been used many times as a set for films and television productions, including The Diviners (1993) in 1990 and Capote (2005) in 2004. In addition to being used for library functions, the Reading Room was also used as a legal office and courtroom. The Reading Room hosted the 2003 Governor General’s New Year’s Message.
In 2002 the outer dome of the building received new copper sheathing. 2014 was the year that the local government highlighted the dangers of the building's deterioration. The main dangers to building longevity are tree roots, insect larvae and bird feces.
The cost of reconstructing the Grand Staircase today is prohibitive due to factors such as the shortage of skilled masons. In 2012, both the exterior and interior skylights above the Grand Staircase were also replaced. In the Legislative Building was inaugurated a military honor hall in March 2015. This honours the Manitoban regiments which participated in World War I.
Work began in 2016 on the second floor's gender-neutral restroom (2nd level, west side).
Manitoba's legislature became the nation's first to put an access ramp at its entrance in November 2007. After Independent MA Steven Fletcher had given him a tour, Rick Hansen, the CEO of Rick Hansen Institute, criticized the accessibility.
The Chamber became wheelchair-accessible in the same summer. A Chamber floor was raised by 76 cm (2.49 feet), the front rows of desks moved forward in order to make it wheelchair-accessible between the two first rows. Additionally, a ramp was added on the opposing side. The renovation received a Heritage Winnipeg Conservation Award in 2018.
You will find the main piment on the Legislative Building’s North Side, located above the six Ionic columns. These figures were created and carved in New York by Albert Hemstock Hodge by Piccirilli Brothers.
The main pediment is flanked by two Egyptian sphinxes that face east and west.
The Sun God Ra is the Good God Who Gives Life, and this carving was made onto a slab of stone just below the chin. Frank Worthington Simon described it as the representation of Manitoba's central figure.
Enterprise calls the workers towards the Land of Promise. Europe is leading a bull. It is symbolic of the immigration from Europe. An adjacent group consisting father, mother and their children, who are the new families in the land, is also shown. To the left is a pair of figures clasping and embracing a vase, from which flows water. They represent the convergence of Red Assiniboine Rivers that fertilize the earth. Next is a ploughman with his horse, tilling the soil, whilst the male and female figures bring the fruits of the Soil of Manitoba.
The Indolent Man can be seen in the corner bottom left of the pediment with a half-kneeling lady, representing the spirit that encourages progress.
Next is the goddess Europa leading a bull, symbolizing Canada's European heritage and immigration.
Europa stands to the right with three figures: a mother, father, and child. These are symbols of colonization.
Lieutenant-Governor'S Reception Room
In the east corridor of the Manitoba Legislative Building is the Lieutenant-Governor's Reception Room, used by the province's Lieutenant-Governor on state occasions to receive visiting royalty and foreign dignitaries (general public is barred from entry). During such events, scarlet-coated Royal Canadian Mounted Police are posted on either side of the door and military aides assist the Lieutenant-Governor with official duties.
The room measures 7.3m (24ft in each direction) and is covered in American walnut with inlaid ebony. It has hand-carved ornaments along its ceiling and around the corners. An image of sovereigns is displayed on the walls, while a French gold chandelier hangs from it. This floor is made from a specially-woven carpet in Donegal (Ireland). Two elaborate, gilt-framed mirrors are located across the room's north and south walls. Directly above the room are the two male warriors (War): one native in full eagle feathered headdress, and one Roman, guarding the representation of the Ark of the Covenant The room's Prince of Wales Chair is reserved for visiting royalty.
On the southwest corner of the building, portraits of former Speakers are located on the 2nd floor. Photos of Manitoba's Premiers are found on the northeast wing’s second floor, with painted portraits in the southern committee rooms.
The second floor of the east hallway houses the names of Manitoba recipients. The symbols that signify the authority of the Legislature are the original Manitoba mace, used for its first 13 years in the Assembly's history. These two maces became permanent displays in a cabinet situated on the second floors of the building's second story.
Special functions can be held in the Manitoba Room (Room 200, also known as The Chandelier Room). V.A. has painted portraits King George V (and Queen Mary) Long (1915) hang at either side of the room. On the adjacent walls hang portraits of Queen Elizabeth II Prince Philip by Dennis Fildes (1962).
Room 260 is the reading room of the Manitoba Legislative Library. There are three levels of book stacks. The Room can accommodate 25,000 volumes. Additional space is available under the Chamber. You can access the upper levels via two spiral staircases and/or the original elevator.
The Trailblazers Gallery, second floor west side was inaugurated on 21 August 2018. It honors 18 women who served in traditionally male positions and have worked hard to make Manitoba a better place for women.
Albo Frank, April 2007. The Hermetic Code. Winnipeg Free Press
Marilyn Baker (1986). Manitoba's Third Legislative Building – Symbol in Stone: The Art and Politics Of A Public Building. Hyperion Press Winnipeg.
Historic Resources Branch
Manitoba Legislative Building Designation. May 12, 1989. Designation Authority: Honourable Bonnie Mitchelson, Minster of Culture, Heritage and Recreation. Manitoba. Manitoba. Manitoba. Manitoba. Manitoba. Manitoba. Manitoba. Manitoba. Manitoba. Manitoba. Manitoba. Manitoba. Manitoba. Manitoba. Henry Boddington III of England designed the building in 1912. It won an Empire contest over 66 other entries. The most important example of Beaux-Arts Classical Architecture in Manitoba, this building is made of Manitoba Tyndall limestone. The Golden Boy, atop the dome, is an emblem of Manitoba’s youth and prowess.
It's Manitoba's third Legislative Building. Former A.G.B. was the home of the first Legislature. Bannatyne occupied the former A.G.B. Dermot Avenue from its destruction in an arson fire in 1873. Temporary lodgings were provided until the opening of Government House in 1884. It was demolished by 1920.
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Photos & Coordinates
A map of the current Legislative Building showing the exact location of the second Legislative Building. It was located at this site between 1884 and 1920.
Source: Manitoba Legislative Building, Winnipeg, Manitoba, [undated pamphlet].
Eastern side of the second Legislative Building (no date)
It is the eastern end of the second Legislative Building.
Source: Manitoba Miller and the Nor-West Farmer Volume 6, Number 9, September 1887
The eastern side of the second Legislative Building (no dates) by G. A. Barrowclough