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Johnston Estate

547 13th Street, Brandon, Manitoba, R7A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2003/10/08

Contextual view, from the southwest, of the Johnston Estate, Brandon, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism 2005
Contextual View
Primary elevation, from the west, of the Johnston Estate, Brandon, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2005
Primary Elevation
No Image

Other Name(s)

Johnston Estate
Maison Doig
Doig House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1881/01/01 to 1881/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/04/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Johnston Estate, a two-storey brick house with an eclectic appearance that reflects its incremental development, is located close to the sidewalk on a busy street in a residential neighbourhood in central Brandon. The 1881 dwelling, with its later additions and matching brick fence, stands apart from the single- and multiple-family residences that surround it. The site's municipal designation applies to the exterior of the structure.

Heritage Value

The Johnston Estate, the oldest known inhabited house in Brandon, is a good representative of pioneer urban dwellings in southern Manitoba that have retained their historical visage while being expanded over time. Though composite in design, the dwelling presents an integrated and engaging face to its neighbourhood, one that features a complex roofline, variety of windows, wall dormers and decorative brickwork, including Italianate detailing. Further distinguishing the site is the front fence of matching weathered brick. Originally developed by James Arthur Johnston, the site recalls his role as an early settler who significantly influenced Brandon's initial economy and politics.

Source: City of Brandon By-law No. 6751, September 8, 2003

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the site's heritage character include:
- its location on the east side of 13th Street in Brandon, close to the sidewalk and sheltered by trees
- the matching brick fence that fronts the property, which is about one metre high, follows the slope of the street in increments, is capped with a row of header bricks, and has gateposts at the entrance

Key elements that define the Johnston Estate's eclectic design include:
- the irregular roofline characterized by a moderately pitched cross-gable roof, including a two-tier front (west) gable, a large front wall dormer with a hipped roof and two smaller hip-roofed dormers
- the irregular massing, incorporating a two-storey pavilion on the south elevation, a shed-roofed bay window at the front, a small flat-roofed entrance porch, an attached garage on the north side, an enclosed main-floor patio at the northeast corner and enclosed rear balcony porch
- the variety and orderly arrangement of windows, including the large front square-headed openings to the north of the entrance, the tall narrow paired windows to the south and two large square-headed openings in the south pavilion
- the exterior finish of soft yellow brick, with decorative touches such as the stringcourse, jack arches over the windows, rusticated stone sills, interconnected brick hood-moulding around the main-floor windows and the crown over the entrance porch

Key elements that define the dwelling's interior character include:
- the irregular configuration of the main-floor hallways and rooms with staircases
- the wood plank ceiling and trim, painted dark, in the sitting room of the original part of the dwelling and the large doorways with custom-cut trim
- the fireplaces; one in the sitting room with ceramic Dutch tiles and one in the bedroom above the living room with a simple painted wooden mantel, and the original gas-fired dining and hall light fixtures




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

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City Clerk's Office 410 9th Street Brandon MB

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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