The Manitoba government is warning that the provincial legislative building has fallen into serious disrepair. Due to mark its centennial in sync with Manitoba’s sesquicentennial next year, the Beaux Arts style landmark now requires more than $150 million worth of restorative upgrades.
The 2019 Manitoba budget, released last week, lists the work among unexpected cost outlays that cannot be postponed further. “There is a limited time to act in order to prevent this historic building from becoming permanently impaired. We will soon introduce legislation to ensure that the necessary repairs are completed,” it states.
The budget characterizes deferred maintenance as one of “a series of undisclosed or understated financial issues” the previous government handed on to its successor. However, the previous government instigated the building condition assessment that discovered the scope of the required work.
Major projects involving heritage restoration of two of the legislative building’s most noted features occurred during the previous government’s tenure. In 2002, a $1.1 million roof replacement included temporary removal and off-site maintenance of the iconic Golden Boy, which sits atop the cupola. In 2012, the nearly century-old skylight above the building’s grand staircase was replaced at a cost of $1.5 million.