2021 Winners

Best Tour

2021 Best Tour

Ghost Sign Walking Tour

Located at The Cube, Old Market Square

Join tour guide Matt Cohen and walk the Exchange District in search of ghost signs. Discover the area’s fading promotional signage and learn more about the companies that called these warehouses home. This 90-minute tour will allow participants to travel back in time and get to know the businesses behind the ads and the impact they played in shaping the landscape of the district.

Best Overall Experience

2021 Best Overall Experience

Vaughan Street Jail

Located at 444 York Avenue

Walk around this 140 year old foreboding former gaol (jail) and hear tales from yesteryear that will surely shock and surprise you into improved attendance at work or school. Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but the improvement will definitely be noticed during the tour as you listen to stories of famous Canadians from both sides of the bars, inmate treatment, 19th century law, see a flogging rack, walk into solitary confinement, and visit the lunatic cell.

Best Architecture

2021 Best Architecture

Dalnavert Museum Mini Main Floor Tour

Located at 61 Carlton Street

Go back in time as soon as you step into this small mansion in the heart of Downtown. One of the finest examples of Queen Anne Revival architecture in Western Canada, the house has an impressive collection of 19th century decorative arts all out on display as they might have been back in 1895. A national historic site, it feature rooms on the main floor such as the Kitchen stove with built-in waffle iron, and the parlour with its papier-mâché chess board table!

2020 Winners

Best Tour

2020 Best Tour

Haunted History Tour

Located at Memorial Provincial Park

Join one of Winnipeg’s most experienced guides, Matthew Komus, author of the book Haunted Winnipeg: Ghost Stories from the Heart of the Continent, on a tour of haunted history. The walk combines historical fact with ghost stories connected to three well-known Winnipeg buildings. Starting at Vaughan Street Jail, the tour proceeds to the Manitoba Legislature Building and concludes at Dalnavert Museum.

Best Overall Experience

2020 Best Overall Experience

Vaughan Street Jail

Located at 444 York Avenue

Open to the public for only two days a year, walk through this former jail where you will hear tales of famous Canadians from both sides of the bars, inmate treatment, 19th century law, child criminals and executions. The Jailer will surely shock and surprise you into improved attendance at work or school! And don’t miss your chance to learn about the 1918 “Spanish flu” – a pandemic of the past!

Best Architecture

2020 Best Architecture

Marlborough Hotel

Located at 331 Smith Street

Originally known as the Olympia, the hotel immediately established itself as one of the most prominent and luxurious places to stay in Winnipeg. A few months later it closed, becoming a barracks for soldiers during World War One. A six storey expansion upwards greeted guests in 1921, with a ten storey addition built in 1956. In 2004 the property was connected to the former Garrick Theatres, creating the only pool and waterslide in downtown Winnipeg. Late Gothic Revival architecture, imported Italianate marble, and beautiful stained glass windows are some of the features that can be seen in the building today!

2019 Winners

Best Overall Experience

2019 Best Overall Experience

Vaughan Street Jail

Located at 444 York Avenue

The Vaughan Street Jail was built in 1881 by architect Charles Osborne Wickensen, and was later modified by Samuel Hooper in 1909. It is the oldest provincially owned building still standing within the City limits. There are significant local and Canadian historical figures connected to this building, and yet unfortunately, there is still no heritage designation.

Best Architecture

2019 Best Architecture

Marlborough Hotel

Located at 331 Smith Street

Built in 1914 as the Olympia Hotel and at only three storeys tall, the hotel immediately established itself as one of the most prominent and luxurious places to stay in Winnipeg. It was only a few short months before it closed down to become a barracks for soldiers during World War One. A six storey expansion greeted guests in 1921, and in 1956 construction began on a ten storey tower on the north side of the hotel. In 2004 the property was connected to the former Garrick Theatres to create the only pool and waterslide in downtown Winnipeg. Late Gothic Revival architecture, imported Italianate marble, and beautiful stained glass windows are some of the features that can be seen in the building today!

2018 Winners

2018 The "HIDDEN GEM"

Holy Eucharist Church

Located at 505 Watt Street

Holy Eucharist Church was first established in 1918 by Ukrainian Catholic Bishop Nykyta Budka, the Church today built in 1954 is located on Watt and Munroe and is adorned with a hand-carved Iconostas, crystal chandelier and stained glass windows and frescoes done by famous artists Mol, Kowal, Hordynsky, and Prairie Studio Glass.

Best Guided Tour/Programming

2018 Best Guided Tour/Programming

Vaughan Street Jail

Located at 444 York Avenue

The Vaughan Street Jail was built in 1881 by architect Charles Osborne Wickensen, and was later modified by Samuel Hooper in 1909. It is the oldest provincially owned building still standing within the City limits. There are significant local and Canadian historical figures connected to this building, and yet unfortunately, there is still no heritage designation.

Best Restoration

2018 - Best Restoration

Dalnavert Museum Mini Main Floor Tour

Located at 61 Carlton Street

The Dalnavert Museum and Visitor’ Centre has undergone an incredible transformation through detailed restoration that is immediately visible to guests as they enter the 1895 home of Sir Hugh John MacDonald, son of Prime Minister John A MacDonald. The grand old house was nearly lost in the 1970s, and was slated for demolition. Thanks to dedicated volunteers and philanthropists, restoration to the house began almost immediately after the purchase.

Then again in 2014 Dalnavert Museum was closed and in risk of being lost forever. The Friends of Dalnavert Museum was formed and took over ownership with a new business model. In 2015 the museum officially reopened stronger than ever, guaranteeing it will be part of our social and architectural fabric for generations to come.

2017 Winners

Best Restoration

2017 - Best Restoration

Dalnavert Museum Mini Main Floor Tour

Located at 61 Carlton Street

The Dalnavert Museum and Visitor’ Centre has undergone an incredible transformation through detailed restoration that is immediately visible to guests as they enter the 1895 home of Sir Hugh John MacDonald, son of Prime Minister John A MacDonald. The grand old house was nearly lost in the 1970s, and was slated for demolition. Thanks to dedicated volunteers and philanthropists, restoration to the house began almost immediately after the purchase.

Then again in 2014 Dalnavert Museum was closed and in risk of being lost forever. The Friends of Dalnavert Museum was formed and took over ownership with a new business model. In 2015 the museum officially reopened stronger than ever, guaranteeing it will be part of our social and architectural fabric for generations to come.

Best Guided Tour or Programming

2017 - Best Guided Tour or Programming

Vaughan Street Jail

Located at 444 York Avenue

An unassuming building located at the corner of Vaughan Street and York Avenue, the Vaughan Street Jail represents our province’s judicial history. The brave souls who dared to enter for Doors Open Winnipeg were treated to an theatrical tour and introduced to some of the prison’s most infamous inmates. The performances were brought to life by Friends of the Vaughan Street Jail volunteers.

Originally the Eastern Judicial Gaol, the Vaughan Street Jail, designed by architect Charles Osborne Wickensen, was built in 1881 by the Province of Manitoba on land purchased from the Hudson’s Bay Company. Children, women and men were all imprisoned in the building during its history, with the mentally ill receiving the most treacherous treatment. Significant hangings at the jail include those of notorious serial killers John “Bloody Jack” Krafchenko and Earle Leonard Nelson, the “Gorilla Killer”. Today it no longer functions as a jail but instead has become the oldest provincially owned building still standing within city limits.

2016 Winners

The Hidden Gem

2016 - The Hidden Gem

Holy Eucharist Church

Located at 505 Watt Street

The original Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Parish was built in 1919. It was the third Ukrainian Catholic church built in Winnipeg. In the 1940s, East Kildonan was growing. The small church wasn’t large enough to house the ever growing congregation.
The new building was constructed in 1954, six blocks north of the original location. Today the Church is well known for its perogy suppers.
It is home to the Millennium Senior’s Centre, and the council #11330 of the Knights of Columbus.

The Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Parish had 168 visitors in one day over the weekend of Doors Open. The visitors to their site received a taste of the church’s famous perogies.

2016 - Best Restoration

2016 - Best Restoration

Dalnavert Museum Mini Main Floor Tour

Located at 61 Carlton Street

Dalnavert Museum is the beautifully restored 1895 home of Sir Hugh John Macdonald, once considered to be Winnipeg’s most beloved man. He was the 8th premier of Manitoba and the son of Prime Minister John A Macdonald. Dalnavert has long been considered to be one of the finest examples of restored Queen Anne Revival architecture in Canada. It is a national and provincial heritage site. Dalnavert Museum and Visitors’ Centre aims to promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of local heritage, arts and culture through education and community engagement. The building saw nearly 2,000 visitors during Doors Open.

Best Guided Tour/Programming

2016 - Best Guided Tour/Programming

Vaughan Street Jail

Located at 444 York Avenue

The Vaughan Street Jail at 444 York Avenue was built in 1881 by architect Charles Osborne Wickensen, and was later modified by Samuel Hooper in 1909. It is the oldest provincially owned building still standing within the City limits. There are significant local and Canadian historical figures connected to this building, and yet unfortunately, there is still no heritage designation.

The Vaughan Street Jail boasted the most site visits with over 3,000 visitors over the weekend.  With theatrical performances and historic costumes the volunteers once again put on a fantastic tour!

2015 Winners

The Hidden Gem

2015 - The 'Hidden Gem'

Historical Museum of St. James-Assiniboia

Located at 3180 Portage Avenue

The Historical Museum of St. James-Assiniboia located at 3180 Portage Avenue is a museum that strongly reflects the history of its community. There are three buildings on the property for visitors to explore, including the William Brown Red River Frame House circa 1856 and the old Municipal Government Hall, built in 1911, which now houses displays about the development of St. James-Assiniboia as well as an interpretive centre showcasing pioneer life in the late 19th century. A long-standing participant in Doors Open Winnipeg, the Historical Museum of St. James-Assiniboia is one of many incredible museum experiences that the city of Winnipeg has to offer. Truly an historical asset to the Doors Open event, we are very pleased with their continued participation.

Best Restoration

2015 - Best Restoration

Dalnavert Museum Mini Main Floor Tour

Located at 61 Carlton Street

Dalnavert Museum at 61 Carlton Street is the restored home of Sir Hugh John Macdonald, son of Sir John A. Macdonald and Premier of Manitoba from 1899-1900. In 1970, the home was purchased by the Manitoba Historical Society and restored to its 1895 appearance. Long considered one of the finest examples of restored Queen Anne Revival Architecture in Canada, Dalnavert offers visitors the opportunity to step back in time to Canada’s youth. Closed since the fall of 2013, Doors Open this year offered a sneak peek of the museum ahead of its official opening the first week of June. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of the Friends of Dalnavert Museum, the doors have been reopened to the public, with a feasible business plan to continue to make this historic home and national historic site a successful museum for future generations to enjoy. Congratulations!

Best Guided Tour/Programming

2015 - Best Guided Tour/Programming

Vaughan Street Jail

Located at 444 York Avenue

The former Vaughan Street Detention Centre, now known as the Vaughan Street Jail at 444 York Avenue was built in 1881 to house inmates serving two years or less sent from Western Ontario and the Prairie Provinces. It is the oldest provincially owned building still standing within the City limits. There are significant local and Canadian historical figures connected to this building, including such figures as Bloody Jack Krafchencko and Earl Nelson, Winnipeg’s first serial killer. However, unfortunately, this building still does not have any heritage designation or protection. This Doors Open site boasted the most site visits with nearly 3500 visitors over the weekend.  With theatrical performances and historic costumes the volunteers once again put on a fantastic tour! Prior to 2013, the building had been closed to Doors Open for 6 years – we hope to be able to continue to feature this building in our event. This building’s popularity just continues to grow and, as an architectural landmark to social and judicial history, is very important to our city’s history.

Best Architecture

2015 - Best Architecture

Holy Eucharist Church

Located at 505 Watt Street

The Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Church located at 505 Watt Street is one of Elmwood’s hidden treasures. Built to replace the original Holy Eucharist Church in 1954, this building is a sight to behold, adorned with stained glass windows and frescoes by famous artists, hand-carved Iconostas, and a crystal chandelier. The original parish was established in 1919 along with the original church, which was only the third Ukrainian Catholic Church to be built in the city. This was the first year that the Holy Eucharist participated in Doors Open Winnipeg, hosting nearly 500 visitors over the weekend! A valuable and beautiful addition to our Doors Open event, we are pleased to offer such a unique architectural gem in East Kildonan and we hope to include them again next year!

2014 Winners

Best Restoration

2014 - Best Restoration

La Maison Gabrielle-Roy

Located at 375 Rue Deschambault

La Maison Gabrielle-Roy is the childhood home of prominent Canadian author Gabrielle Roy. The house was built in 1905 by her father and features a gabled attic, sweeping veranda, and beautiful white Corinthian columns. Gabrielle Roy was one of Canada’s great novelists both in English and in French, as well as being an immensely important figure in French Canadian culture. One of the books she wrote Rue Deschambault, or Street of Riches in English, was based on her childhood in this home. This Doors Open site is one of many in the St. Boniface area of the city and provides tours in both French and English. The goal of the museum is to not only preserve the life, works, and personality of Gabrielle-Roy, but also to play an active role in the cultural life of Manitoba, particularly in the French-speaking community.

Best Overall Experience

2014 - Best Overall Experience

Winnipeg Railway Museum & Streetcar 356

Located at 123 Main Street, Tracks 1 & 2 (upstairs from the concourse)

The Winnipeg Railway Museum is the only museum in Winnipeg dedicated to Manitoba’s railway heritage and includes over 37 000 square feet filled with artefacts. There are two tracks that contain actual trains and equipment and their platforms feature displays such as the History of Women in Railroading, the Countess of Dufferin, and the Hudson Bay Railroad, among others. As well, the museum is the current home of Heritage Winnipeg’s special restoration project, Streetcar 356, which is the last remaining wooden streetcar built in 1909, rebuilt and used in Winnipeg until 1955.

Best Guided Tour/Programming

2014 - Best Guided Tour/Programming

Vaughan Street Jail

Located at 444 York Avenue

The Vaughan Street Jail at 444 York Avenue was built in 1881 by architect Charles Osborne Wickensen, and was later modified by Samuel Hooper in 1909. It is the oldest provincially owned building still standing within the City limits. There are significant local and Canadian historical figures connected to this building, and yet unfortunately, there is still no heritage designation.

This DO site boasted the most site visits with over 1800 visitors in one day. With theatrical performances and historic costumes the volunteers once again put on a fantastic tour! Prior to last year, the building had been closed to Doors Open for 6 years – we hope to be able to continue to feature this building in our event. This year the Vaughan Street Jail also featured as part of an interview with CTV’s Karen Rocznik about Doors Open 2014.

Best Architecture

2014 - Best Architecture

Manitoba Underground Opera at the Millennium Centre

Located at 389 Main Street

The Millennium Centre, built for the bank in 1912 by national architects Darling and Pearson. This magnificent landmark building features monumental granite, a tapestry room whose floor has recently been refinished, and a marble banking hall capped by a gorgeous dome of stained glass. Since the 2000 immense progress has been made in its restoration thanks to the non-profit organization – 389 Main St. Heritage Corporation, and a generous donation by Bill & Shirley Loewen. This year for Doors Open, the Millennium Centre also featured a beautiful exhibit by the Costume Museum of Canada.

For 15 years our Executive Director has sat on the Board of the Millennium Centre to help preserve the building and continue to make it economically sustainability. The current business plan with Storm Catering facilitates events & gives much needed revenue for maintaining the building. Future plans include re-developing the upper floors, and Heritage Winnipeg creating a first-ever Heritage & Arts Interpretive Centre.

2013 Winners

Best Guided Tour/Programming

2013 - Best Guided Tour/Programming

Vaughan Street Jail

Located at 444 York Avenue

The Vaughan Street Jail at 444 York Avenue was built in 1881 and is the oldest provincially owned building still standing within the City limits. There are significant local and Canadian historical figures that are connected to this building, and there is still no heritage designation.

This DO site boasted the most site visits at approximately 3,000 visitors. With theatrical performances and historic costumes the volunteers put on a fantastic tour! The line up was down the street throughout the entire weekend and the building had been closed to Doors Open for 6 years. Having the Jail open for this year’s Doors Open not only allowed Winnipeggers a glimpse into their past, but it also was evident that the Province was willing to showcase this important landmark building as a commitment to continue to preserve and maintain it in the short term, and to hopefully move forward with a viable business plan for future re-development for the long-term.

Best Architecture

2013 - Best Architecture

Manitoba Underground Opera at the Millennium Centre

Located at 389 Main Street

The Millennium Centre (former Bank of Commerce) located at 389 Main Street had over 900 site visits in one day. This building was built for the bank in 1912 by national architects Darling and Pearson. This magnificent landmark building has been preserved for many years and is a grade one designated building. Since 2000, immense progress has been made thanks to the non-profit organization – 389 Main St. Heritage Corporation and a generous donation by Bill & Shirley Loewen. The centre features monumental granite and a marble-banking hall, capped with a stained glass dome 15 meters above.

For 13 years our Executive Director has sat on the Board of the Millennium Centre to help preserve the building and continue to make it economically sustainability. The current business plan with Storm Catering facilitates events & gives much needed revenue for maintaining the building. Future plans include re-developing the upper floors, and Heritage Winnipeg creating a first-ever Heritage & Arts Interpretive Centre.

2012 Winners

Best Overall Experience

2012 - Best Overall Experience

Historical Museum of St. James-Assiniboia

Located at 3180 Portage Avenue

Winnipegers were invited to return to a time past at the St. James Museum….and they did…and they loved it! Visitors were able to visit the three historical buildings on site: The William Brown Red River Frame House (constructed waaaaay back in 1856), the historic Municipal Hall, and the Display Building housing artifacts of blacksmithing, farming and transportation. In the William Brown House, trained Actors transported visitors back to early Manitoba pioneer life in late 19th century. For the second year in a row, Winnipegers have let Doors Open and the St. James Museum know that they love the site, the programming and St. James history in general.

2011 Winners

Best Overall Experience

2011 - Best Overall Experience

Historical Museum of St. James-Assiniboia

Located at 3180 Portage Avenue

Winnipegers were invited to return to a time past at the St. James Museum….and they did…and they loved it! Visitors were able to visit the three historical buildings on site: The William Brown Red River Frame House (constructed waaaaay back in 1856), the historic Municipal Hall, and the Display Building housing artifacts of blacksmithing, farming and transportation. In the William Brown House, trained Actors transported visitors back to early Manitoba pioneer life in late 19th century.