Closing time

The final days of the Osborne Village Motor Inn

A neighbourhood staple for many Winnipeggers threw its final Halloween bash this past weekend. 

The iconic Osborne Village Motor Inn, which stood at the corner of Osborne Street and Wardlaw Avenue since the 1960s, has been sold. The Village Inn and its two bars, The Zoo and Ozzy’s, have long been an integral part of Winnipeg’s rock scene, and the Osborne Village Café has garnered new found popularity. 

Social media was abuzz upon news of the closure. Commenters on various platforms voiced their varying opinions: many were sad that Winnipeg was losing one of its last, storied rock venues, others shared a “good riddance” sentiment. 

Regardless of opinion, the Village Inn has been an integral part of the Osborne community for half a century. Changes in this community have been marked by other longtime tenants closing their doors, such as Desart and Papa Georges. But the overwhelming tone seemed to be one of nostalgia as people began lining up early for one last shaker. 

If only the walls could talk, they would have volumes of stories to tell as they welcomed not just rockers and musicians, but organizations and communities who called the Village Inn a place of inclusion and belonging. And it was with this mindset that The Uniter set out to shoot the last event.

Published in Volume 70, Number 9 of The Uniter (November 5, 2015)

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