Description of Historic Place
The Granite Curling Club, built in 1912-13 and expanded in 1959, a large steel-trussed rink with an attached 2 1/2 -storey wood-frame clubhouse, stands in a park setting next to the Assiniboine River in the southwest corner of downtown Winnipeg. The City of Winnipeg designation applies to the building on its footprint.
The Granite Curling Club, part of `the roaring game' since 1880, is significant as the oldest curling club in Western Canada, mother club to several others and proud home of many honours through its rich history of bonspiels and championship teams. When the club opted to build a new facility in the early 1910s, both the architect, James Chisholm, and contractor, Thomas Kelly, numbered among its exclusive membership. To the arching nine-sheet rink with crenellated corner towers and steel trusses imported from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Chisholm attached a picturesque Tudor Revival-style clubhouse. Strategically located next to the Assiniboine River, from which water for the rink could be pumped, the complex has provided year-round recreation for generations of enthusiastic curlers and has been a technological innovator (the first in Winnipeg to install artificial ice, for example). The Granite also is a rare example of an historic sports facility that remains on a prominent site in downtown Winnipeg.
Source: City of Winnipeg Committee on Environment Minutes, September 29, 1986
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Granite Curling Club site include:
- the location on the north bank of the Assiniboine River, west of the Manitoba Legislative Building, with deep east-west frontage along Mostyn Place between Osborne and Balmoral streets
- the placement of the clubhouse at the east end of the rink, set back from a formal gateway of two stout brick and stone pillars joined overhead by an arch of wrought iron forming the words 'GRANITE CURLING CLUB'
Key exterior elements of the complex's picturesque Tudor Revival style include:
- its massing in two distinct sections: a large elongated rink, oriented east-west, attached to a rectangular 2 1/2 -storey clubhouse oriented north-south
- the utilitarian rink of wood and corrugated metal construction over a frame of wood, arched steel trusses and steel columns faced by brick buttresses, with aesthetic relief provided by square corner towers, tall and crenellated at the east end, and clad in brown brick at the base with roughcast above
- the cottage-style Tudor clubhouse with a high base of brown brick and upper levels of half-timbering over roughcast, and with a complex roof of east-facing gables, shed and twinned gable dormers, etc.
- the ample clubhouse fenestration composed of large rectangular openings with arched brick heads on the first floor and flat heads above, set in singles, twos (gable dormers) and threes (east side)
- the main entrance's arched and gabled brick porch ornamented with half-timbering, a stone keystone, large metal light fixtures, etc.
- other details, such as heavy, plain wooden bargeboards, tower buttresses, lancets, other arched openings and brickwork, a massive brick chimney, etc.
Key elements that define the complex's interior character and function include:
- the two-storey viewing area provided by banks of windows at the conjunction of the rink and clubhouse
- the rink's exposed steel trusses, plank roof, wood columns and lighting system; its wide span, encompassing nine sheets of ice separated by low wood dividers and surrounded by wooden platforms; and its mechanical works, including ice-making system
- the clubhouse's layout and amenities, including the main-floor canteen, kitchen, coatroom and offices, the spacious second-floor dining room and bar, and the upper-level games rooms
- the dining room's beamed ceiling of dark hardwood, rich oak panelling, arched openings and large masonry fireplace set beneath an arch and flanked by cabinets