Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

Places

Buildings

Residences on York

Formerly:House of York
Sheraton Hotel
York the Hotel
Address:161 Donald Street
Use:Apartment block
Original Use:Apartment block
Constructed:1971-73
Other Work:1984, residential units converted to Hotel (following purchase by Lakeview Properties)
2010-12, parkade addition, recladding and apartment conversion
Architects:Moody, Moore and Partners
Downtown Winnipeg Consortium -- LM Architectural Group and Number Ten Architectural Group (1984)
Engineers:Crosier Kilgour and Partners (1984)
A.E.B. Engineering Group (1984)
Dominion Bridge Co. Ltd. (1984)
Contractors:B.F. Klassen Construction Ltd.

More Information

First constructed by Bestlands Development as an apartment complex known as the “House of York,” 161 Donald Street was purchased in 1980 by Lakeview Properties and converted into a hotel. The original design, by Helmut Peters of the firm then known as Moody Moore Duncan Rattray Peters Searle Christie, featured facades composed of exposed concrete and balconies, which fronted glazed sections. A lower podium section of two storeys was clad in Manitoba Tyndall stone and concrete. The building, 23 storeys high, then contained 216 suites designed for a range of downtown housing requirements and contained a swimming pool, sauna, party room and landscaped gardens with planting that often draped over the West side plaza and parking space. Prior to construction Bestlands Development cited the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg's Downtown Development Plan as one reason the project was undertaken at this site.

As a hotel 161 Donald Street operated under different names until the first decade of the 21st century. Between 2010-12 the building was recommissioned back into its first purpose as a tower housing personal residences. At this point a major re-cladding was conducted, a process which also saw the balcony spaces converted into interior space. This project coincided with the construction of a 50,000 square foot parkade. These two endeavours followed designs by local architectural practices BLDG and Allan Coppinger Architect. The new parkade features artistically detailed black metal cladding and glass sections. The parkade and re-cladding of the apartment building was finished at a cost of $1,250,000.

Design Characteristics

  • 20 storeys plus parking garage (with 174 parking stalls)
  • Interior Design (1984): Co-ordinated Hotel Interiors Ltd (Vancouver)
  • Original residential capacity, 216 apartments
  • Original Hotel Capacity, 286 rooms; reduced over time to about 274, then 266.
  • Plan area: 21 456 sq ft
  • Gross floor area: 225 434 sq ft

Sources

  • “Bestlands launches Downtown Winnipeg Project.” Manitoba - Canada's Number One Sun (formerly Manitoba Industry and Commerce Bulletin) 24 1 (January/February 1972). 16-17.
  • “Bestlands launches Downtown Winnipeg Project.” Western Construction and Industry 24, 1 (January 1972). 21.
  • “Downtown Parking Structure.” Winnipeg Industrial Topics 32 4 (August 1972). Inside cover page. (Published in Winnipeg Industrial Topics 35 2 [April 1975].)
  • “$5-million Sheraton expansion.” Winnipeg Real Estate News. 4 December 1987. 1.
  • “Minute No. 71/1464.” Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg Minutes of the Council 39 (November 10, 1971) (Approval of an application from Bestlands Development Ltd. to build a 23-storey, 216-suite apartment block with ground floor commercial space)
  • “Sheraton Winnipeg -- ensuring a home away from home atmosphere." Winnipeg -- Growing From Within (October 1997). 26.
  • “Sheraton Winnipeg Hotel.” Winnipeg Free Press. 27 October 1999. B7.
  • “To Accommodate Food Outlet.” Winnipeg Development News (April 1975). 2.
  • Atkinson, Don. “House of York bought by Lakeview Properties for an apartment hotel.” Winnipeg Tribune. 25 January 1980. 13.
  • Campbell, Donald. “Levit snarls at critics.” Winnipeg Free Press. 9 January 1993. A9.
  • Cash, Martin. “City hotel industry sees unusual receivership.” Winnipeg Free Press. 20 January 1994. C7.
  • Cash, Martin. “Chain turns sod for hotel in Brandon.” Winnipeg Free Press. 16 October 1998. B5.
  • Cash, Martin. “The Story So Far.” Winnipeg Free Press. 16 October 1998. B5.
  • Dennison, Wally. “Hotel expects 75% room occupancy.” Winnipeg Free Press. 19 June 1985. 25.
  • Fitzgerald, Mary Ann. “Hotel expansion plans scrapped.” Winnipeg Free Press. 23 August 1988. 20.
  • Krishnan Thampi, Radha. “Sheraton Hotel in receivership; Royal Bank owed $17-million.” Winnipeg Free Press. 15 December 1992. 1.
  • Moloney, Paul. “City buildings on sales block.” Winnipeg Free Press. 20 June 20 1979.
  • Smith, Chris. “Exquisite hotel called European style.” Winnipeg Free Press. 30 November 1983. 65.
  • Verhaeghe, Melanie. “Gov't Didn't Know'.” Winnipeg Sun. 16 December 1992. 5.
  • Verhaeghe, Melanie. “Sheraton Sinks.” Winnipeg Sun. 15 December 1992. 5.

Locations of Supporting Information

  • Provincial Archives of Manitoba (MMP Architects files)
  • University of Manitoba Libraries, Department of Archives and Special Collections, Winnipeg Tribune Subject Clipping Research Files (Microfilm Roll# 1, file on "Abacus Cities Ltd, 1977-1979." - contains stories about the firms acquisition of Winnipeg buildings from Bestlands Development Ltd. and subsequent financial troubles that led to the sale of those properties; Microfilm Roll# 10, file on "Bestlands Development Ltd."; Microfilm Roll# 32, file on "Construction 1963-1974" - contains 1973 Globe and Mail story that includes references to the House of York and other Bestlands Ltd. projects; Microfilm Roll# 55, two files on "Fort Garry Trust" covering the period of 1964-1979.)
  • City of Winnipeg Archives