$150M in repairs planned for Manitoba Legislative Building as centennial approaches

By | March 15, 2019

The Manitoba government is preparing to spend $150 million to repair the province’s landmark legislative building, which was built a century ago.

Finance Minister Scott Fielding says some maintenance and repairs have been put off for too long, resulting in deteriorating mortar, flashing, masonry and more.

Spectators look down at the legislature’s famous rotunda from above, where work is already underway. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

He says the heating, electrical and plumbing systems are also nearing the end of their lifespans.

The government plans to spread the money out evenly over 15 years, and appoint an advisory committee to decide which repairs are to be prioritized.

Fielding says it’s too early to determine if air conditioning might be added to the building.

The legislature is 250,000 square feet and three storeys, and has a large dome topped by a statue called the Golden Boy.

The Golden Boy tops the Manitoba Legislative Building. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

The Tyndall-stone building is adorned inside and out with large sculptures of people, bison, two sphinxes and others. Many Winnipeg residents have wedding and graduation photos taken inside it.

“We think it’s important to celebrate history and support this in terms of our investment in the building,” Fielding said Friday.

Deferred maintenance has resulted in deteriorating mortar, flashing and masonry, says Manitoba’s finance minister. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

The Manitoba Historical Society welcomed the upkeep.

“Any building of this age would inevitably need maintenance,” society vice-president Gordon Goldsborough said.

Signatures on 100-year-old Tyndall stone in a back area of the legislative building, opened up during renovations. (Trevor Brine/CBC)