Home / Accueil

Firth House

546 River Road, St. Andrews, Manitoba, R1A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1987/06/26

Primary elevations, from the northeast, of the Firth House, Lockport area, 2007; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2007
Primary Elevations
Contextual view, from the east, of the Firth House, Lockport area, 2007; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2007
Contextual View
Primary elevation, from the east, of the Firth House, Lockport area, 2007; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2007
Primary Elevation

Other Name(s)

Firth House
Hay House
The Heights
Maison Hay
The Heights

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1861/01/01 to 1890/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/01/29

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The two-storey Firth House, a large stone and wood structure built between 1861 and the late 1890s, overlooks the Red River from a site in the Lockport area. The provincial designation applies to the dwelling and its deep lot.

Heritage Value

Firth House is one of only a few stone structures that remain from Manitoba's pioneering Red River Settlement, and an illustration of the large dwellings that once dotted the banks of the Red River between Winnipeg and Selkirk, where former Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) employees established an enclave. The house also is associated with E.H.G.G. Hay, a prominent early businessman, provincial politician and civil servant whose family and descendants continuously occupied the site from 1900 until 1975. The structure is a combination of styles, Georgian and Gothic Revival, a reflection of its structural history, and a reminder of the changing architectural tastes of Red River Settlement society. Originally built of locally quarried stone by retired HBC labourer Thomas Firth in the Georgian style, the house subsequently was enlarged in the 1890s with renovations carried out in the newly popular Gothic Revival. It is the Gothic, in modest form, that is most apparent, but Georgian hints are also evident.

Source: Manitoba Heritage Council Minutes, September 27, 1986

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Firth House site include:
- the dwelling's placement on a narrow but deep tree-fronted lot on a rise on River Road, facing east toward the Red River

Key elements that define the large dwelling's structural history, particularly its combination of Georgian and Gothic styles, include:
- its basic two-storey rectangular volume, Georgian in inspiration, symmetrically proportioned, with a medium-pitched side gable roof and walls of stone and wood
- the neatly composed front, of modest Gothic inspiration, dominated by a centred wood entrance porch and balcony and by three, steeply pitched wall dormers, with the main and balcony doorways flanked by tall, vertically aligned rectangular windows, including large ground-floor openings with transoms
- the combination of construction methods and materials, including thick rough-cut stone walls that extend to a height of two storeys on the sides and one storey at the rear; the entire front (east) facade and upper portions of the side and rear walls of wood construction clad by horizontal siding painted white
- the additional fenestration provided by an orderly arrangement of openings and a gable dormer at the rear, pairs of rectangular windows in the side walls, a single opening in the south gable end, etc.
- the modest details and finishes, including plain wood eave and window trim, wood shingles, a tall brick chimney on the north side, deep stone lintels, turned wood posts, balusters and decorative spindles on the front porch, etc.

Key elements that define the dwelling's interior heritage character include:
- the straightforward centre-hall plan, with the main floor divided into a front parlour and dining room and a rear kitchen and pantry, and the upper level into four bedrooms of roughly equal size




Recognition Authority

Province of Manitoba

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer



Thomas Firth

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Main Floor, 213 Notre Dame Avenue Winnipeg MB

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places



Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places