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Congress Apartments

300 River Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1988/11/21

Primary elevation, from the north, of the Congress Apartments, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
Primary Elevation
Main entrance of the Congress Apartments, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
Entrance Detail
Main staircase of the Congress Apartments, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
Main Staircase

Other Name(s)

Congress Apartments
Appartements Boylston
Boylston Apartments

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1910/01/01 to 1910/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/08/25

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Congress Apartments, a three-storey brick and stone block erected in 1910, is located in Winnipeg's Fort Rouge neighbourhood. The City of Winnipeg designation applies to the building on its footprint and the following interior elements: stained-glass windows and main staircase (basement to third floor).

Heritage Value

The Congress Apartments is significant as one of the earliest luxury residential blocks in Winnipeg. By 1905, the popularity of apartment living was evident in the city. The Congress became one of several blocks intended for high-income tenants in Fort Rouge, a prestigious neighbourhood across the Assiniboine River from the downtown known for its large lots and homes occupied by professionals, business owners and public officials. Architect H.E. Matthews composed a sophisticated Edwardian Neo-Classical design that relies on near-monumental proportions and reserved examples of classical detailing to convey affluence and refinement for the pre-eminent address. Associated over the years with prominent tenants and owners, the well-preserved block continues to be an excellent example of quality multiple-family rental housing from the early twentieth century.

Source: City of Winnipeg Committee on Planning and Community Services Meeting Minutes, November 21, 1988

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Congress Apartments site include:
- its presence among other grand apartment buildings on River Avenue across from Fort Rouge Park and the Assiniboine River
- the stately grounds outlined by wrought-iron fencing, masonry gateposts featuring light fixtures mounted atop capitals engraved with the words 'CONGRESS' and 'APARTMENTS'

Key exterior elements that define the block's luxury character and refined Edwardian Neo-Classical styling include:
- the symmetrical three-storey massing with a high basement and a flat roof
- the facades of brown tapestry brick, with the lower levels rusticated and set on an ashlar stone foundation, and the south elevation of common brick on a rubble stone foundation
- the varied rectangular windows throughout, single or paired, including the north elevation with larger windows, some with side and transom lights and the multi-paned internal windows throughout; etc.
- the additional light and ventilation provided by a three-storey bank of sun porches across the south elevation, a narrow northeast light well, the north elevation's central U-shaped insert forming the main entrance, and the south side's interior courtyard
- the elegant entranceways, including at the front limestone steps and a curved balustrade leading to brass doors framed by a stone frontispiece with Tuscan columns, an entablature and a carved arched pediment, and on the east and west sides bays of double doors with mullioned transoms and fanlights set in arches with brick voussoirs and topped by multi-paned windows and balconets in rusticated brick surrounds
- the details, including the prominent metal cornice with corbelled brick below, a low parapet, channelled corner brick pilasters with stone bases and capitals, the basement's limestone quoins and upper belt course, the main floor's stone cornice, etc.

Key elements that define the building's stately interior layout and finishes include:
- the formal H-shaped plan with spacious suites coming off broad hallways and marble entrance hall
- the ornamental dark wood staircase split into two directions, with richly carved balustrades, bevelled mirrors, ornate lamps, etc.
- the details and finishes, including oak woodwork and stained- and leaded-glass windows throughout, plank wood floors, period light fixtures, wainscotting and a beamed ceiling in the lobby, etc.




Recognition Authority

City of Winnipeg

Recognition Statute

City of Winnipeg Act

Recognition Type

Winnipeg Landmark Heritage Structure

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Social Movements

Function - Category and Type


Multiple Dwelling


Architect / Designer

Herbert E. Matthews



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

15-30 Fort Street Winnipeg MB

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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