Standing elevated 10 feet off the ground, the Winnipeg Tree House is a sight to behold. The unconventional design almost seems to float amongst the trees, the floor-to-ceiling windows mirroring the surroundings, reflecting the world around and blending the structure seamlessly into nature; indoors extending to outdoors.
Our Winnipeg staycation with Bowerbird Stays started on a sunny yet freezing winter day, clear skies and fresh snow with temperatures plunging to -25C° as we made our way to St. Vital, a suburb in the South Central part of Winnipeg.
While some people might not see the appeal in spending a vacation confined to their home city, we’ve found that staycations are a fun way to break up your daily routine and this change in perspective can serve as excellent motivation to head out and discover new locations, businesses and activities around your city.
The Tree House proved to be the perfect escape which gave us a much-needed change of scenery in a picturesque setting. In this post, we’ll take you on a tour around one of Winnipeg’s most unique homes.
Welcome to the Tree House
Located on a large lot right on the banks of the Red River, the Tree House immediately caught our eye. Before heading inside, we took a moment to appreciate the architecture from the large snow-covered garden. Small deep footprints surrounded the house in a myriad of patterns, a sign of the local fauna’s frequent visits to the garden.
Ahead of its time, architect Gustavo Da Roza created this marvel in 1973, with its clean lines and use of glass, Da Roza adopted a minimalist and linear design, a hallmark of the Bauhaus style. The home is modestly-sized, at a little over 1900 sqft, it includes two bedrooms and two full bathrooms and several common areas covering one floor up in the trees.
We entered through a cement plinth on the ground floor which, together with the exposed steel frame surrounding the house, is part of the supporting structure. From there, a winding staircase took us to the heart of the home.
Floor-to-ceiling windows welcomed us, revealing its main draw as soon as we arrived: panoramic views of the natural setting that surrounded the home. We spent many moments here throughout our stay, gazing out, watching squirrels darting around the trees and observing a family of deer in search of food, foraging through the thick blanket of snow.
Throughout, the interior design weaves together the old and new, embedding elements of contemporary artistry with Bauhaus craftsmanship.
An open floor plan spans around this central plinth, with a succession of common areas that flow gracefully through the home. The dining and living areas form one expansive space, flooded with natural light and featuring views of the tranquil garden.
Just off from the dining area is a galley-style kitchen, complete with natural maple cabinets, contrasting black countertops, stainless steel appliances and a skylight, providing ample natural light.
The kitchen is partitioned between the two main spaces in the home, living and sleeping, which allows you to prepare meals while marvelling at the outdoor scenery, but still separated enough to not disturb anyone watching tv or reading a book.
Even though the common rooms flow together without any closed spaces, the use of different-height walls and carefully positioned partitions and bookshelves create distinct areas and cosy corners, providing an air of privacy without the need for doors.
After a day of exploring Winnipeg, the family area was a welcome retreat. Compared to the dining and living areas, with their more updated look & feel, this showcases a distinct 70s feel, with a sunken living room — or conversation pit — a large wooden bookshelf and complete with a fireplace and picture frame art TV.
The main feature though is the floor-to-ceiling windows running the entire length of the back wall with views of the forest and glimpses of the Red River through the trees. Even though glass surrounds most of the common areas, the space provides a comfortable retreat to entertain and relax with friends and family.
The west side of the home houses the two bedrooms, both with queen beds, plush bedding and large fitted desk by the window. Unlike the rest of the house, the bedrooms only feature one corner floor-to-ceiling window, giving the rooms a secluded feel, offering privacy without sacrificing the amazing views.
The desk was perfectly positioned in such a way that I could enjoy my book and coffee while periodically glancing up to catch a squirrel scurrying up a tree or a deer strolling by, foraging in the snow in search of food. The master bedroom features a walk-in closet and a large en-suite bathroom, the ideal space to get ready.
One area of the home we weren’t able to enjoy due to the extreme cold, was the “three-season” enclosed deck, just off from the living area. It’s perfect to spend warm summer evenings enjoying a BBQ and a glass of wine while the sun sets, or a hot chocolate during the cooler months, cozying up with unobstructed views of the beautiful fall colours. During our stay, we were happy to watch the scenery from inside the home, as temperatures dropped to around -30 C.
Our stay at the Winnipeg Tree House was the perfect staycation. The change of scenery, the serenity of the surroundings and the unique home gave us the opportunity to recharge and enjoy the city from a different point of view.
Quick home facts
- 2 full bedrooms, 3 Queen beds
- 2,5 bathrooms, 1 family bathroom, 1 en-suite, 1 powder room
- Parking under the elevated home
- Stairs as well as an elevator take you up to the main level
- Wifi available
- Smart TV with streaming services available such as Netflix, Disney + and Prime
- Microwave, oven, stove, dishwasher, coffee machine and toaster
Things to do around Winnipeg
Winnipeg has a lot to offer and we could write several articles about things to do around the city. To get you started, here is a short list of our favourite activities and places to visit near the Tree House:
For coffee: Small Mercies: A beautiful store in Osborne Village, with an excellent cafe inside. In summer, make sure to enjoy your coffee in the courtyard
For dinner: The Oxbow Natural Wine Bar & Restaurant: Head to South Osborne for a delicious meal paired with natural wines. Try the Chef Table option for a sampling of select dishes picked by the chef.
For a walk: St. Vital Park: At 46 hectares, St. Vital is the third largest park in Winnipeg. In summer enjoy the Duck Pond, treetop lookout, picnic and BBQ sites and beach volleyball. In winter, head out to the ice skating rink, the cross-country ski trails or toboggan slide.