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October 22, 2021

Roslyn Square: A Local Treasure


Photo courtesy of Heritage Winnipeg Files. C. 1910

Roslyn Square is a historic Winnipeg gem; the red building at the end of Osborne village is a neighbourhood staple. This five-story apartment block is just across the river from Downtown Winnipeg and stands out among surrounding buildings for its distinct colour and profile. Although the property is somewhat of a local icon, not many people know about its rich history and distinctive features.

Living Room in a two-bedroom suite at Roslyn Square

History

Built in 1908/1909, this building was a luxury apartment block and is still considered “one of Canada’s finest apartment buildings in the Queen Anne Revival Style” by Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. This style of architecture is from the late Victorian era, however, incorporated lots of different eras in designs. Some defining characteristics of this style included asymmetrical facades, vivid colours, unique windows, unusual rooflines, and more, with the design often being referred to as “free Renaissance”.

During Winnipeg’s 20th century boom, the property was known as the Roslyn Court Apartments, and was home to affluent and influential families. Prominent figures who called this block their home included MLA Kensington Downes, Lady Macdonald (widow of Sir Hugh John Macdonald), Mrs. Minnie J.B Campbell, and more.

The building has undergone under minor renovations over the years. With the original exterior design still largely intact and preserved, locals and residents can appreciate the aesthetics and charms of the original opulent apartment block.

Dining Room in a two-bedroom suite at Roslyn Square

Features

A unique architectural choice was to include an interior court at the Roslyn, which allows for natural light and ventilation into each suite. The courtyard is lined with walkways and porches from each unit, featuring a glass canopy on the top floor.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the property is the passenger elevator. The ornate copper cage style elevator is still intact and working today, and services all floors of the building. The intricate details of this type of elevator design are rarely seen in buildings today and is a treat to experience at the Roslyn.

The building features the original stained- and leaded-glass skylight to light up the somewhat maze-like corridors, giving the apartment block a charming and nostalgic ambiance.

Today, most of the original interior of the Roslyn Square has been preserved. Suites feature original mouldings, ornate woodwork, and high ceilings. Residents can also enjoy unique amenities such as clawfoot tubs, fireplaces, sunrooms and more. Make this charming local treasure your new home and visit the Globe Property Management website to book your private viewing.

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