Meredith Place Site to be Reimagined for Growth in YWCA Services for Westman Communities
YWCA Board of Directors decide to dismantle the uninhabitable Brandon building
beginning Summer 2023.
Brandon, Manitoba - June 21, 2023 – The Board of Directors of YWCA Brandon have made the decision to initiate the decommissioning of its Meredith Place building, which has been deemed uninhabitable and closed since May 2022. The Women’s Shelter was moved out of Meredith Place many years ago and up to its closure, the building had been operating as transitional housing. The decision to decommission the building will not impact operations of the Women’s Shelter, which will continue to serve hundreds of families impacted by domestic violence.
“Meredith Place has held an important role in our organization’s history, but it is no longer a refuge for women and families from the Westman communities” said Lois Ruston, Executive Director of YWCA Brandon. “In its condition, we are simply unable to repair the building and every day, Meredith Place poses a real safety hazard to the community and a profound drain on our resources. Following the conclusion of an insurance claim, the Board has made the difficult decision to select a company to dismantle the building.”
Upon his death in 1917, Henry Meredith, a local businessman and community builder in Brandon, bequeathed $10,000 (valued at over $230,000 today) to the YWCA, which they used to fund a new transitional house. Designed by Frank R. Evans, the building, which became known as Meredith Place in 2002, is unique with various details including decorative brick, columns, and carvings. Henry Meredith is known as a “hero” within the YWCA organization, and as such extensive efforts will be made during the decommissioning process to salvage aspects of the building masonry and identifying elements for use in future developments.
“Our passionate team, and new leadership, will see us respect our past while we get back to our mission - providing safety for women and those marginalized by gender, who are experiencing domestic or family violence - and grow our programs and services” says Candice Waddell-Henowitch, Board President. “Along with the community and our stakeholders, we will be embarking on a strategic redevelopment project that will see a new, modern, accessible, multi-purpose building emerge for greater inclusion of all our Westman communities.”
The organization intends to start the Meredith Place decommissioning process before this summer and is working with the Construction Association of Rural Manitoba for guidance and support in the quoting and tender process. Regular updates on the project will be posted on the website www.ywcabrandon.ca
For more information please contact:
Lois Ruston, Executive Director, YWCA Brandon
Meredith Place Decommissioning
June 21, 2023
Why does the Meredith Place building have to come down?
Following extensive structural and operations assessments, Meredith Place has been deemed uninhabitable in its current condition, and the building was closed on May 1, 2022.
Sadly, over the Christmas holidays this year, there was a significant water incident when a pipe burst causing further, unrepairable damage to the building. There have been numerous floods over the past 10 years, compounding the damage.
Every day, the Meredith Place building poses a real safety hazard to the community and a profound drain on our resources. We are not in a position to repair the building so that we may properly serve our mandate in the Westman community.
Where will the women’s shelter go?
The YWCA Brandon women’s shelter, which is fully operational, is in a building leased from Manitoba Housing and is completely unaffected by the issues facing Meredith Place.
Is Meredith Place a historical building?
Meredith Place/YWCA Brandon is listed as a historical site by the Manitoba Historical Society, but it is not designated as such by either municipal, provincial, or national registries.
That said, Meredith Place played an important part in our organization’s history, and it is important to us that we honor its role in our organization. Through the decommissioning process we intend to protect as much of the masonry and identifying elements as possible to use and carry the Meredith Place history into our new facility.
When will the process start?
Following the conclusion of an insurance claim anticipated by end of June 2023, we will be proceeding with the selection of a company to plan and conduct the decommissioning of Meredith Place. We are working with the Construction Association of Rural Manitoba for guidance and support in the procurement and tender process.
It is our intent to start the Meredith Place dismantling process this summer. Regular updates on the project will be posted on our website www.ywcabrandon.ca
Is the demolition going to impact surrounding buildings?
We do not anticipate any immediate impacts to surrounding buildings, and safety will be of paramount importance to this project, for the workers and citizens of Brandon. Regular updates and information will be circulated to inform the community on key project milestones and will be posted on our website www.ywcabrandon.ca
What will go on the site in its place?
Following the demolition, we will be embarking on a strategic redevelopment project that will see a new, modern, accessible, multi-purpose building emerge for greater inclusion of all our Westman communities.
A shelter and transitional housing for women, and those marginalized by gender, and their children experiencing domestic and family violence.
Programming space dedicated to empowering our communities and create an opportunity for our clients to build skills and access resources.
The facility will also be a new administrative home for YWCA.
We will be announcing more around the planning process and championing of this redevelopment in our community in the coming months.
100, 158-11th Street Brandon, Manitoba R7A 4J4 Phone: 204-571-3680 Fax: 204-571-3687
Lois Ruston Appointed Executive Director of YWCA Brandon
Ruston will champion the Board of Directors strategy that will see the organization return to its roots for all Westman communities.
Brandon, Manitoba - March 23, 2023 - The Board of Directors of YWCA Brandon is pleased to
announce the appointment of Lois Ruston as Executive Director. Ruston will officially take
leadership of the organization on April 11, 2023.
“Lois is a well-known and respected member in our community, having supported and
provided leadership to many non-profit organizations over the past two decades” said Candice
Waddell-Henowitch, Board President. “Her work in the area of social services has
highlighted the importance of the YWCA, and she will play a pivotal role in delivering on our
strategic plan and primary mission to grow our services for the betterment of all Westman
With diverse experience, Lois is passionate about developing people, and growing leaders in
their respective organizations and our community at large. She has served on a number of
Boards and committees throughout her career and is a 2014 recipient of the YWCA Women of
With this appointment, the organization also intends to pursue a name change from YWCA
Brandon, to YWCA Westman, demonstrating its renewed commitment to foster connection,
relationships and support to Westman communities. Furthermore, it reflects the organization’s
full regional mandate of support, which is the largest YWCA mandate in Manitoba.
“I am honoured to have been selected to help lead this important organization,” said Lois
Ruston. “The Board has emerged out of COVID whole, and has developed a solid, and
ambitious, strategic plan to grow the programs and services of the YWCA. I am proud to be able
to support the team in achieving our vision for all Westman communities.”
Meet The Team
Board of Directors