1890 – A.G.B. Bannatyne Residence, Armstrong’s Point, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Architect: Rowan & Payne


Armstrong’s Point was intended as an enclave of palatial residences for the new rich merchant classes of the booming Winnipeg in the late 19th century. One of the first to be built, was the residence of merchant A.G.B. Bannatyne. His tyndall stone and red sandstone mansion was commonly called Bannatyne’s Castle. However he didn’t live to enjoy it – his health being destroyed by the stresses of the bust of the mid 1880s – dying in 1889 before it was completed. Costing $60,000, it became the most grandiose private dwelling in Manitoba at the time of its construction. The house was eventually completed by J. Stewart Tupper, who renamed it Ravenscourt. It was used as a boys school and a convent before being demolished in 1951. Perspective view including plan published in The Architect, November 10th 1883.

The designer John H. Rowan was previously the Government Engineer in charge of the Manitoba District in 1880-81. Upon being advised by the Chief Engineer in Ottawa to close the office in Winnipeg, Rowan chose to send in his resignation to the Minister of Railways and remain in Winnipeg. Rowan continued to work as a civil engineer in Winnipeg until around 1890. In 1892 he left Canada and went to Chile.