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McGregor House (Gwenmar) Heritage Site

McGregor House (Gwenmar) Manitoba Heritage Branch

McGregor House (Gwenmar) photo: Manitoba Heritage Branch

The McGregor House is a large wood-frame and stucco dwelling built in 1914 and located in a Kemnay-area farmyard near Brandon.

Heritage Value

The McGregor House, also known as Gwenmar, is an excellent early example of an ambitious Bungalow-style dwelling in a rural setting, a design well suited to the structure’s original role as a summer home.

The building has generous proportions, horizontal emphasis and a rustic wood shingle and stucco exterior.

This is matched by an interior that blends casual style and comfort, including large main-floor living spaces integrated with a wraparound verandah and sunroom.

This site also recalls the contributions made to Manitoba by its original occupants, the pioneer family of James Duncan McGregor, a prominent cattle producer, co-founder of the Brandon Winter Fair and lieutenant-governor of Manitoba (1929-34).


Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the McGregor House site include:

• its location in the Kemnay area, surrounded by farmland, close to the Little Saskatchewan River valley

• the placement of the house, facing south over expansive sloping lawns

Key exterior elements that define the dwelling’s well-expressed Bungalow style include:

• the horizontally oriented massing, 11/2 storeys high, with a nearly-square two-storey sunroom fixed into the southwest corner at a 45-degree angle and a rear kitchen extension

• the complex roofline, including the moderately pitched side-gable roof that sweeps down over the verandah with shed dormers on its front (south) and rear, and the hip-roofed sunroom

• an enclosed wraparound verandah supported by rectangular shingle-clad wooden pillars

• eye-catching fenestration composed mainly of banks of tall rectangular single- and multi-paned windows set in wooden surrounds, including a west-side bay window under a bracketed shed roof, etc.

• rustic materials and finishes, including wooden shingles on the gable ends, verandah and trim, and stucco in a matching white colour on the lower level

• details such as triangular wooden brackets in the eaves and a tall rectangular chimney

Key interior elements that define the building’s gracious summer-home character include:

• spacious main-floor layout with large living areas at the front of the building separated from the rear kitchen by a long side-entrance hallway

• the bright sunroom and roomy verandah integrated under the spreading roofline as an extension of the living space and accessed from adjoining rooms via French doors

• fine materials and features such as the living room’s unfinished wood ceiling beams, dark brick fireplace, natural wood flooring, painted wood baseboards, dining room plate shelf, small single horizontal windows of leaded glass with stained-glass accents in the living and dining rooms

• fixtures and details such as the metal hardware on doors and windows, metal curtain brackets over some openings, large tub with hardware in the washroom

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