The house at 61 Carlton Street was built in 1895 for Hugh John Macdonald, son of Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Sir Hugh John practiced law and served briefly as Premier of Manitoba, at the end of his career he served as a city magistrate. After his death in 1929, the house was sold and converted into a rooming house. Over the next 40 years many changes were made to the house. In 1970 it was scheduled for demolition which was averted. The four-year restoration process entailed structural, electrical and mechanical repairs, as well as period artifacts donated by many local families. Dalnavert is open for tourist throughout the year. The one-hour guided tours provide a focus on Winnipeg's early cultural and social life. Special programs and activities are scheduled year round.
Dalnavert is currently closed to build a new Visitors Centre. The museum will reopen in the autumn 2004.