Historic Queer Meeting Places in Winnipeg
This VisitList is a shorter version of my Historic Queer Winnipeg Walking Tour. The sites on this list are located on Treaty One Territory, traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. The goal of my project was to showcase Winnipeg as a museum. A museum filled with the ghosts of those who were oppressed because of who they were: who they loved, how they dressed, how they expressed themselves. It is more important now than ever to recognise that these struggles have not disappeared, nor has hate based on gender, sexuality, colour, or ethnicity.
After extensive searches through newspapers, podcasts, articles, and archival interviews, I have found *32 locations so far that have served as safe spaces for queer people at various points in time. The 8 sites I have chosen to be on this VisitList are intact buildings, accessible, and in open, well-lit areas. This tour through time demonstrates that we have always been here. These are buildings that we walk or drive past every day, and yet we are unaware of the layered histories of these places, and the memories that inhabit them. These histories have been concealed, and the information that is accessible to the public is scattered and fragmented. It is my hope that having all of this information in one place can lead to more awareness, and a celebration of 2SLGBTQ+ history in Winnipeg. All of this said, we still have a lot of work to do in our communities. We have to acknowledge that while we do have queer spaces now, racism, transphobia, and misogyny still exist in them. This tour through Winnipeg’s queer past, and the bonus queer history media links I have provided will show how much of a journey it was to get others to recognise our rights, and that the job is not done until our queer spaces are fully accessible, inclusive, and safe for all who need them.
*I will be adding more locations and information as I unearth them, with a focused effort to add as much historical QTBIPOC content as possible.
You can find the full map of my Historic Queer Winnipeg Walking Tour here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1wNm5BlfSOYFit0bvIB40S4VEUjXkju54&usp=sharing
Please click on “visit place” on each of the entries below to read the full write up!
This is the first permanent location of Oddfellows' Hall, having opened in 1883.
Now the Marlborough Hotel, it was established in 1914 as the Olympia Hotel.
The Legislature has been a queer meeting place since the 1930's.
Opening in 1970, Club 654 (now the Irish Club) was the first gay club in Winnipeg.
Happenings Social Club was a licenced beverage room and dance club from c. 1974-2004.
Now the Radisson Hotel, this was the second location of the Silver Slipper in the 1970's.
This was the first location of Ms. Purdy's Women's Bar, which opened in 1984.
This was the final location of Giovanni's Room, the longest running gay bar in Winnipeg.
Winnipeg, Manitoba to Winnipeg, Manitoba
50 Great Saves: The Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act
Duncan, British Columbia to McAdam, New Brunswick 10 places
In 1990, the Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act came into effect after years of lobbying with the help of the National Trust for Canada. The act has granted over 150 railway stations federal legal protection across the country including the Duncan train station in Duncan, BC and the McAdam Railway Station in McAdam, New Brunswick.
Atlantic Canada’s Hidden Histories
Shelburne, Nova Scotia to Middle Sackville, Nova Scotia 35 places
geocaches that demonstrate the rich, diverse histories of Atlantic Canada.
Halifax, Nova Scotia to Middle Sackville, Nova Scotia 9 places
The geography of Black urban Halifax and Windsor encompassing the waves of Black migration
The Hidden Black Cityscape
Saint Marys Parish to New Brunswick 15 places
Explore Fredericton’s early Black history. Often missing from the modern cityscape.