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Status: Operational Historical Hotel
One of the glamorous railway hotels built across Canada to promote traveling by train in the early 20th century.
This hotel was constructed between 1911 and 1913 by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. When it was completed, it was the tallest structure in the city.
The hotel was originally to be named The Selkirk but it was decided to honour Upper Fort Garry which had once stood at the junction of the Red and the Assiniboine Rivers. A location that was the starting point when Winnipeg was laid out.
In 1979 the hotel was bought by a Winnipeg family and has been run as an independent hotel since then albeit by different owners
The hotel doesn’t deny that it is haunted; although it doesn’t seem to be exactly thrilled about it either. There is no mention of paranormal activity on the hotel’s website but the staff doesn’t deny it if asked in person. If pressed for details, though, they become a bit more reserved about ‘rumours and innuendos’ of events that happened ‘before their time’.
The hotel will allow you to book and stay in the haunted room.
The most famous paranormal legend in the hotel is that of Room 202. The story is that in the 1910’s or 1920’s a newlywed couple stayed in the room. The wife sent the husband out to get some pills for her headache. While completing his errand he was tragically struck by a horse and carriage and killed.
The woman – torn by guilt – is said to have hung herself in the closet ending her own life. The hotel expressively denies she hung herself in the closet – that detail may be too much for guests staying in that room. Legend says she now is trapped in Room 202 for eternity; forever waiting for her husband to return.
In Room 202 guests describe hearing footsteps walking – the floorboards are said to creak - around the bed. Wet squishy footsteps are also heard coming out of the bathroom. The phantom sound of wire hangers scratching inside in the bedside closet is reported as well. The disembodied sounds of crying has been heard. Both the TV and the light inside the closet are known to turn on by themselves. A cloaked dark figure has been seen standing at the bottom of the king bed in the room.
The most chilling report is that of blood running down the walls in a scene straight out of the Amityville Horror or The Shining. Liberal MP Brenda Chamberlain stayed in the room and reported an eerie feeling and an invisible presence getting into bed with her.
Apparently, there is a woman who regularly books Room 202 and swears a woman in a white ball room gown visits her there. There is a no more classic ghost story than the woman in white.
Beyond the famous – infamous? – Room 202 is the lesser known legends of the hotel. The ghost of a singer in the Palm Lounge who is known for giving witnesses headaches. In the Broadway Room a ghost is seen still enjoying his meal – last meal?
Other Activity: objects moving on their own, touches, tugs and pulls by unseen presences, electrical disturbances, light anomalies, disembodied voices, cold and warm spots, feelings of uneasiness, being watched and not being alone.
820 Sherbrook Street
Status: Operational General Hospital
In 1973 the Health Sciences Centre was established by the Provincial Government uniting the Children's Hospital of Winnipeg and Winnipeg General Hospital (see other article for paranormal activity at the former site of Winnipeg General Hospital) as well as other smaller health facilities.
The amalgamation was done to group everything under one administration group; in 2000 the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority took over the operations of the medical complex. This hospital is the largest in Winnipeg.
This facility is also associated with the University of Manitoba as well as being used as a research centre and teaching hospital for residents of Northwestern Ontario and Nunavut and employs over 6000 people.
Apparitions of former staff and patients have been witnessed wandering the hospital. In a rarely used portion of the building there a phone inside an old elevator that makes calls to other parts of the building with no one on the other end of the line. The elevator has been examined many times when this happens but the phone is found still on the receiver and still covered in dust.
Phantom footsteps are heard in empty rooms that immediately cease once the living enter the room, these footsteps have also been heard echoing in empty hallways.
One couple had a woman beat them to the bank of elevators so they waited behind her for the elevator to come. When it did this woman entered and went straight to the back of the elevator. They decided to wait for the next one but the doors began to close they suddenly stopped and reopened like someone put arm up to block them. The couple then entered the elevator to find it empty with no sign of the woman they both watched enter.
494 Tache Avenue
Status: Former Convent; Former Senior’s Home; Former Hospital; Museum
The first Grey Nuns came to Manitoba in 1844 and lived with Bishop Norbert Provencher – one of the most prominent figures in the creation of the Province and the first Bishop of Manitoba – while this house was being built.
The Grey Nuns moved into the building in December of 1847 when the kitchen was the only room fully completed with a floor, 4 walls and a ceiling. The nuns lined the rooms with beaver pelts in order to survive the harsh Winnipeg winter.
Eventually the building became 2 floors plus a basement and an attic. The nuns not only lived here but also ran western Canada’s first hospital, an orphanage and a senior’s home in the building. Eventually a school for both boys and girls was run here as well. In the long run the school was become a boarding school for just girls.
In 1950 the St Boniface School for Nurses had to move into the building as well as their school was flooded out.
In 1958 the Grey Nuns left the building, and it was nearly demolished in 1959 despite the Canadian Federal Government recommending it as a possible museum. Through the efforts of the municipality and historical groups the building was saved. It finally underwent massive renovations when the nuns leased the building to the municipality and the Federal Government for a period of 99 years in 1963.
In the summer of 1967 it was opened as a museum.
The museum underwent renovations in both 1990 and from 1993 to 1995. When it re-opened in 1995 an admission was charged for the first time.
Today the building is the oldest in Winnipeg and the oldest oak structure in all of North America.
The museum contains exhibits related to the Metis and French culture in Manitoba including Louis Riel and his failed rebellion against the Canadian Government.
The phantom sounds of monks singing as well as a nun’s choirs are often heard in the building.
The phantom sounds of children running, playing and laughing is also often heard.
Objects frequently move on the own including doors opening and closing and taps turning off and on.
Lights flickering and other electrical disturbances are also reported.
Other Reported Activity: disembodied voices; light anomalies and feelings of not being alone and being watched.
(True North Centre)(Bell MTS Centre)(Canada Life Centre)
223 Carlton Street
Status: Former Retail Store on Site; NHL Arena – Winnipeg Jets
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Originally a flagship store for the failed Canadian retailer Eaton’s in one of the many Eaton’s Centres in the major cities of Canada.
When Eaton’s went bankrupt, this store was cleared completely out by 2001. There were many plans put out for the old building but above all the people of Winnipeg wanted to keep the iconic building frontage.
After some resistance this dream came to an end when the building was demolished in 2002. It was decided to built a state-of-the-art hockey stadium to replace the very aged Winnipeg Arena – which was built in 1955. On November 16, 2004 the new arena was opened.
The first tenants of the stadium – which also hosts concerts and international sports events – was the AHL team Manitoba Moose (2004-2011) until the NHL Winnipeg Jets finally returned to Winnipeg – in 1996 the original Jets team moved to Phoenix and become the Coyotes after facing serious financial issues.
On June 15, 2021 the naming rights to the arena were sold to Canada Life for 10 years.
It is thought that the hauntings as from back when the building was an Eaton’s store. This is not the only former Eaton’s store with paranormal activity which begs the question what was Eaton’s doing in their stores?
The apparition of a woman in black has been seen aimlessly wandering the arena – she seems to be unaware of the living.
Other Activity: disembodied voices including entire conversations between 2 or more people; phantom footsteps; objects moving on their own and other poltergeist activity; light anomalies; cold spots; people’s names being whispered in their ears and feelings of not being alone and being watched.
40 Osborne Street
Status: Heritage Building; Residential Building
In 1882 the Osborne Street Bridge was built over the Assiniboine River. This opened up access to St Boniface West (now known as the River-Osborne Neighbourhood).
In typical human fashion it was the rich who took advantage of this and crossed the bridge to build fashionable mansions. As the 20th century began, though, a new form of construction was beginning to compete with the mansions: the apartment building.
Unlike the concrete and glass monstrosities that we construct now the original apartment buildings were low rise and filled with large and generally lavish suites.
The Roslyn Court Apartments were built in 1909 at a cost of $205,000 ($6,740,000 in 2023 dollars) making it the most expensive residential building ever built in Winnipeg at that time. It was built in Queen Anne style – which would later guarantee it’s position as a heritage site – and of stone and concrete (due to building codes stating it had to be fireproof).
Many of Manitoba’s elite and famous have lived in this building including Lady Macdonald widow of Hugh John Macdonald a former Premier of Manitoba and son of Canada’s first Prime Minister and Dr Olive Cole the city’s first female dentist.
The design of the building is said to be a labyrinth of hallways combined with some unique apartment designs. Most apartments are massive suites with 2 or 3 bedrooms but there are a couple of tiny 1 bedroom apartments only 350 square feet albeit with 12 foot ceilings.
A large – six to seven feet tall – dark figure is seen stomping around the hallways, people’s apartments and in the laundry room. The figure has even chased people through the halls.
Many people believe this to be the ghost of the architect, William Wallace Blair, who is said to have gone insane while designing this building.
This shadow figure/apparition – unlike most similar phenomena – is said to appear quite frequently and most tenants in the last 50 years have at least 1 story regarding it. Whether they’ll admit that or not is a different story.
Other Reported Activity: unexplained noises; objects moving on their own; lights flickering on and off and feelings of being watched.