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Criterion Hotel

214 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/04/21

PPrimary elevation, from the north, of the Criterion Hotel, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
Primary Elevation
Terra cotta capital on the Criterion Hotel, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
Contextual view, from the northeast, of the Criterion Hotel, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resouces Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
Contextual View

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1903/01/01 to 1903/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/03/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Criterion Hotel, built in 1903, is a tall, narrow masonry structure that occupies a small lot in a dense city block in Winnipeg's historic Exchange District. The City of Winnipeg designation applies to the building on its footprint.

Heritage Value

The Criterion Hotel is a fine example of the stylish and functional buildings constructed during Winnipeg's boom period in the early 1900s. Designed by architect H.S. Griffith, the structure is noted for its classically detailed front executed in rusticated limestone, and for its coloured terra cotta tiles and column capitals that were added in 1915, and which remain as excellent examples of terra cotta use in Winnipeg. Wedged between the buildings it was constructed beside and converted to other commercial functions, the Criterion continues to play an important role in its immediate historic streetscape.

Source: Winnipeg City Council Meeting Minutes, April 21, 1981

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Criterion Hotel site include:
- the mid-block location on McDermot Avenue between Main and Albert streets in Winnipeg's Exchange District, a national historic site of Canada;
- the building's placement on the entire lot, walls immediately next to adjacent structures and flush to the sidewalk, creating a continuous built edge;
- the ongoing historical and physical relationship with other early twentieth-century buildings in the immediate vicinity.

Key elements that define the building's stylish and classically detailed exterior include:
- the high, narrow four-storey mass of buff-coloured brick and limestone construction with a flat roof;
- the treatment of the main facade using rusticated Manitoba limestone blocks laid horizontally on the upper three storeys and, at street level, red bricks with terra cotta tiles of stylized foliage and geometric forms painted red, green, white, blue and brown as a border and in the architraves and Corinthian capitals of columns;
- the varying sizes, shapes and rhythms in the rows of lintelled window and door openings, including the main floor's large central window and doorways on both sides, each with a transom light;
- the classical detailing, including the shallow third-floor stone balcony with shaped balusters, supported by four evenly spaced heavy stone brackets and accessed through a narrow doorway; the continuous fourth-floor sill; the modillioned cornice; the brick parapet with a series of pilasters and arches between its raised ends; etc.
- along the east elevation the repeating pattern of brick pilasters with raised capitals;
- the rear brick wall containing four rows of windows and modest ornamentation, including a continuous fourth-floor rusticated limestone sill and three rows of corbelled brick below the roofline.




Recognition Authority

City of Winnipeg

Recognition Statute

City of Winnipeg Act

Recognition Type

Winnipeg Landmark Heritage Structure

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1915/01/01 to 1915/12/31

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn

Architect / Designer

H.S. Griffith



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

15-30 Fort Street Winnipeg MB

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places

Aerial view

Exchange District National Historic Site of Canada

Exchange District National Historic Site of Canada is located in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba. The site consists of a densely built, turn-of -the-century warehousing and business…


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