Motion passes to recognize West Kildonan Library as historical building

The Friends of West Kildonan Library Coalition are pleased that the Library is en route to officially becoming a historical building as the motion of designation passed the Historical Building and Resources Committee. Temi Olatunde reports.

By Temi Olatunde

It’s been quite a year for the West Kildonan Library and its staunch supporters.

After winning a nearly decade-long battle to stop the library from relocating, members of the northwest Winnipeg community believe they’re close to another big victory.

The West Kildonan Library could soon be designated a historical building, after a motion passed the city’s Historical Buildings and Resources Committee.

“I’m a local resident, a passionate local resident. This is my local library. This is where I walk down and get my books from,” said Daniel Guenther of the “Friends of West Kildonan Library” coalition.

“So when this was threatened with closure earlier this spring, myself and other residents started just to connect and said, ‘what can we do to save this library?’”


The coalition represents library patrons that advocate for the preservation of this building. Guenther has always maintained the library is a big part of the community.

“Many people who use the library now were kids, and they remember their parents fighting to get this library back when this was the city of West Kildonan,” said Guenther. “And people say that they love this space. It’s warm, it’s inviting. It’s where they remember going to read. It’s where they take their kids and now their grandkids to read.

“And on top of that, it’s a fantastic piece of architecture that’s now being recognized for what it is, which is a phenomenal modernist building here in Winnipeg.”

Winnipeg’s West Kildonan library. (Credit: Evan Krosney/handout)

The 55-year-old building is the work of esteemed local architect George A. Stewart, who graduated from the University of Manitoba.

“It also has Tyndall stone throughout the entire project, inside and outside,” said Guenther. “And Tyndall stone is Manitoba’s provincial stone and it’s a very special material.”

The coalition says it looks forward to completing the historical designation process. A vote will be held in January 2023 by city councillors to make it official.

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