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The Criterion Hotel

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Built at a cost of $20,000, the Criterion was designed by H.S. Griffiths, one of several British architects practicing in Winnipeg. The city’s economy was booming at the turn of the century as wheat and western settlement brought on stable economic growth. The Criterion Hotel, built in 1903, was one of many hotels established in the area to accommodate the thousands of arriving travellers.

The large bar on the ground floor and handsome billiard room attracted a ready market in the members of the nearby “Newspaper Row”, where the three major dailies, the Free Press, the Tribune and the Telegram, as well as several smaller daily, weekly and monthly publications were located. A daily gathering of newsmen continued until Prohibition, returning during the 1930s and 40s. The newspapers had moved from McDermot Avenue, but the proximity to City Hall and noteworthy stories still made the Criterion a convenient gathering place.




Year Built Heritage Status Date Material Floors/Square footage
1903 Municipal, 1981, grade II Limestone facade with false balcony, coloured terra-cotta detail. 4 storeys/13,125 total floor space

Original Use Present Use Address Architect
Hotel Offices 214 McDermot Avenue H.S. Griffiths





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