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Manitou Town Hall

325 Main Street, Manitou, Manitoba, R0G, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1997/05/08

View of main elevation, of the Manitou Town Hall, Manitou, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Main elevation
Detail of window shed and bracket, of the Manitou Town Hall, Manitou, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Window shed and bracket
No Image

Other Name(s)

Manitou Town Hall
Manitou Opera House
Opéra de Manitou

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1930/01/01 to 1930/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/07/28

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Manitou Town Hall, a large, residential-like auditorium and office building, is a prominent presence near the south edge of the commercial district on Manitou's tree-lined Main Street. Situated on a grassed corner lot with rear and side parking, the 1 1/2-storey wood-frame structure, built in 1930, is set among a mix of commercial and residential buildings. A monument at the front memorializes Nellie McClung, reform activist and author who spent her early-married life in Manitou. The site's municipal designation applies to the structure, the monument and the two lots they occupy.

Heritage Value

The Manitou Town Hall, a splendid Arts-and-Crafts-influenced facility designed by Winnipeg architect Charles S. Bridgman, recalls a period when for many small communities an opera house was a necessary component of the town hall. Built in 1930, after Manitou's first town hall and opera house burned, the structure's residential design blended well with the environment and originally combined a number of functions, including municipal offices, council chambers, a jail and main-floor auditorium. The intact auditorium interior, with a partially sloped floor, custom-built stage and exceptional acoustics, continues to make the facility an important social and performance venue that serves the community and much of southwestern Manitoba well.

Source: Village of Manitou By-law No. 6/97, April 9, 1997

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Manitou Town Hall site include:
- placement of the building on the southeast corner of Main Street and Fuller Avenue with its front facing west

Key elements that define the Arts and Crafts influence of the building's exterior design include:
- the honest expression of materials and wood-frame construction, including the rectangular form with a low-pitched gable roof and broad eaves covered by cedar shingles and the simple structural elements such as the purlins, roof brackets, and painted drop-siding walls on a raised concrete basement
- the numerous openings, including the symmetrically placed, paired double-hung windows with 12-pane upper sashes on four elevations, the eight-pane sashes in the transoms and basement windows, the 16-pane windows above the porch and the eight-pane windows in the front double entrance doors and single rear and side doors
- additional features, including the one-storey open front porch with broad steps, a broad gable roof and piers on half side walls; the bracketed shed roof over the set of windows above the main entrance; the wood fire escape on the south facade; and the north-side annex with a hipped-shed roof, a single door opening and sash windows

Key internal elements that define the building's heritage character and qualities as a live performance venue include:
- the large auditorium with an open-space floor plan, high ceiling, rear balcony and stage behind a proscenium
- features and materials such as the auditorium maple floor which slopes upwards at the rear, the dark-stained wood trim, custom-built stage, stage lighting and velvet curtains with the original fringe
- the furnishings, including the movable wooden chairs, some with legs shortened to accommodate the sloping auditorium floor
- functional and safety elements such as the wide entrance with double doors to the auditorium, a cloakroom, the staircase to the upper balcony and four exit staircases, two located at each of the east and west ends, with a south-side fire escape from the balcony
- the basement spaces with a front office and vault, small rear kitchen, dressing rooms and washrooms




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (MB)

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations

Function - Category and Type


Auditorium, Cinema or Nightclub


Town or City Hall

Architect / Designer

Charles S. Bridgman



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Village of Manitou Box 280, 418 Main Street Manitou, MB R0G 1G0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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