Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

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12 Pawnee Bay

Original Use:Dwelling
Architects:Nikola Zunic

More Information

Located north of the Trans Canada Highway, south of the Windsor Park Golf Course and adjacent to the Seine River, Niakwa Park is a park-like neighbourhood developed in the 1950s. The areas homes were designed by Nikola Zunic, a 1950 graduate of the University of Manitoba School of Architecture. The name Niakwa is derived from an aboriginal term for “winding river” as was earlier applied to the Niakwa County Club, which was established to the south of the present Niakwa Park area in 1921.

Niakwa Park was developed by Niakwa Park Ltd. Beyond Zunic, partners in the areas construction included Johanson Construction; T. Urbanski, Builder; J. Brown, Builder’ Heintz Brothers, Builders; J. Les Thompson & Son; and Thompson Lumber & Fuel Ltd. Lorne Thompson, of the latter company, was an early leader in the area’s construction and orchestrated the lots’ purchase from the the City of St. Boniface. Period advertisements tout the area as park-like, with the homes designed to fit with their neighbours in plot, aesthetics and even colour. Articles boasted, as well, of ornamental street lighting and signage (including a decorative entry gate that remains today) and refer to the subdivision as a “High Class” project. At this time it was described as “The most exclusive development in Western Canada” containing “Manitoba’s No. 1 home” – a building that appeared in the August 1956 issue of Canadian Homes and Gardens. Of the area the architect stated that he and his partners attempted to engender a certain diversity in design and embrace of the park-like terrain and maintaining existing trees, stating: “it was our plan that we wouldn't set up the houses like soldiers.” The layout of the neighbourhood, which includes 160 lots, features five bays whose names are drawn from North American aboriginal groups. The initial investment in the neighbourhood was $2,250,000, with homes selling for between $13,000 and $15,000. One of the early show homes was 21 Chippawa Bay, which featured interior design by Eaton’s Interior Decorating Service. The home was described as a “Modern” and “California-Style” bungalow, its furnishings selected to compliment such architecture, with colour used to establish “an atmosphere of warm hospitality.”

Design Characteristics

Size:1,461 square feet
Developer:Niakwa Park Limited
Suburb:Niakwa Park
Frontage Direction:East
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