Steinkopf Gardens

Address:555 Main Street
Other Work:2011
Architects:Dennis Wilkinson and Associated Architects for the Manitoba Centennial Centre (Green Blankstein Russell; Moody Moore and Partners; Smith Carter Searle and Associates)
Landscape Architects:Dennis Wilkinson
Hilderman Thomas Frank Cram, 2011
Tours:Part of the QR Code Tour

More Information

In the centre of the Manitoba Centennial Centre lies a landscaped sunken garden which runs in-line with James Avenue. Named for Maitland Steinkopf – a former member of the provincial government who oversaw the Centennial Centre’s development – the Steinkopf Gardens is bordered on the south by the Centennial Concert Hall and on the north by the Manitoba Museum. This space originally featured a large pool with sixteen fountains at its west end, above which was suspended an angled stair, connecting the ground level to the sunken garden. This pool was removed during a 2011 renovation by Winnipeg landscape architecture firm Hilderman Thomas Frank Cram. This overhaul also added a ramp at the garden’s east side and sculptural Tyndall stone seating and signage along the Lily Street entrance.

Looking out onto the pool (originally) and the garden as a whole are plate glass windows, framed by cream-toned concrete, which illuminate the subterranean halls connecting the complex’s various buildings. The gardens also once held a substantial statue of Queen Elizabeth II by local sculptor Leo Mol. First unveiled in 1970, in 2010 this artwork was relocated to the Manitoba Legislative grounds.

Between the garden and Main Street stands a columnar memorial, named “The Volunteer Monument.” This sculpture of limestone and red granite was designed by architect Samuel Hooper in 1886. Originally a tribute to the men of the 90th Winnipeg Battalion killed in the 1885 North West Rebellion, in 1963 the monument was re-dedicated to those who have served with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. The plaza in which it stands stretches north toward the Manitoba Museum. Featuring dark grey paving, the space also holds a concrete and metal monument to the astronomer Nicholas Copernicus. Dedicated in 1973, the memorial was a gift from the Polish-Canadian community in honour of the 500th anniversary of this scientist’s birth.

Design Characteristics

  • Bordered on the south by the Centennial Concert Hall and on the north by the Manitoba Museum
  • Originally included a large pool and sixteen fountains up the angled stairway to the west of the gardens, this connected the street level to the sunken garden
  • The garden once held a statue of Queen Elizabeth II by Leo Mol, but it has since been removed