Landmarks, Monuments & Built Heritage of the West

A major component of community life is the landmarks, monuments and built heritage within that community. Canadian historians have often claimed that the physical and geographical heritage of Canadians has played a key role in the development of our identity as a nation. Western Canadians, in particular, have been shaped by their landscapes and architecture. From sod huts to towering skyscrapers, the built heritage of western Canadian communities has influenced the development of the region and the people. 


The University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections, along with its partners, the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg Archives, the Canadian Architectural Archives, and the Archives of Manitoba, have created a website devoted to western Canada’s architectural history and the effects it has had on Canadian society. The 7,000 textual documents, photographs, blueprints, films, and sound clips that comprise Landmarks, Monuments & Built Heritage of the West document this rich historical legacy.


Featured content on the site includes nearly 2,000 photographs of buildings, landmarks, and monuments throughout Western Canada by famed architect and photographer, Henry Kalen; several hand-drawn original blueprints and designs of Ukrainian Catholic churches by Father Philip Ruh; a film depicting the horrific fire that destroyed one of Father Ruh’s churches in Mountain Road, Manitoba; newspaper clippings from the Winnipeg Tribune documenting the city’s turbulent relationship with its heritage buildings; plus over 100 architectural drawings of the beautiful and intricately designed Marine Building in Vancouver. In addition, an educational site with targeted content for children in Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 4 explains the value of landmarks in Manitoba communities through mapping exercises and digitized photographs.


Come immerse yourself in the history of your surroundings by visiting the Landmarks, Monuments and Built Heritage of the West website at


This project was made possible through the Canadian Culture Online Program of Canadian Heritage, Library and Archives Canada and the Canadian Council of Archives.