Years ago, the Minto Armoury had a live-in caretaker who resided in what was the apartment located on the 3rd floor of the Northwest corner of the building.
While the space hasn’t been used as an apartment for many years, its character has been preserved. We're talking 1,300 square feet of soaring ceilings, tall windows, separate pantry, original fixtures and features… a time capsule from the 1940’s.
Like many buildings in the Department of National Defence's inventory, Minto Armoury has been designated a Recognized Federal Heritage Building. You can read more about why (its historical associations and its architectural and environmental value) and what that means for the Armoury on the Parks Canada Directory of Federal Heritage Designations.
When a building has this many years in the rear-view mirror, you can’t help but wonder how many lives have been touched by events within its walls. More so when you know that children grew up here. Imagine being the kid who lived at the Armoury… what would it have been like having your friends over?
From 1942 to 1945, George Hill was the chief caretaker at the Minto Armoury and lived in the apartment with his family. George had a long military service, serving with both British and Canadian forces. Born in England in 1882, he enlisted with the Brits in 1901 and served as a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery until 1913. George then crossed the pond and enlisted in Winnipeg in 1915 with the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps. He served until 1945 with his last three years as the chief caretaker at the Armoury. His son Harry, who lived in the apartment, described George as an avid rifleman and good marksman (photos of George later in life).
Old buildings are more than brick and mortar. They are reminders of a city’s past and carry the narratives of the people who crossed its threshold. Come visit Minto Armoury and our museum, and take a walk through Winnipeg's past.