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Gimli began to develop as a summer retreat in the early part of the 20th century, shortly after the CPR arrived in 1906. Greater attention came in the 1920s with more cottages going up in the northern part of the town and in the Loni Beach area.

Many of Gimli’s cottages were built using kits provided by lumber companies (Brown & Rutherford, McDiarmid Lumber in Winnipeg and Monarch Lumber), as well as from Eaton’s Department Store. These origins give the buildings an overall simplicity—in form, plan, construction, materials and detail. It has also been observed that the cottages generally were inexpensive—and ultimately not very substantial. That so many have survived is a testament to the actual durability (and ingenuity) of those kit producers, of the carpenters who put them together, and of the following generations who have maintained them.

Gimli’s cottages are a vital aspect of life here, giving a light airy sensibility to the community. They are light-hearted, summery and cheerful.


Free copies are available by contacting the New Iceland Heritage Museum.