back to top

Here's The "Mannequin House" That Has Been Delighting And Confusing Winnipeg For The Last Year

"I want people to come by, smile, be silly."

Posted on

For the last two years, people walking past Wayne Fehr's house have noticed something strange. His living room window is full of an ever-changing group of mannequins.

Wayne Fehr / Facebook

Fehr's display has become so well known in his neighbourhood of St. Vital and around Winnipeg that most people simply call it "the mannequin house."

It all started two years ago as a joke that snowballed into a fun hobby.

"I had a girlfriend who was quite a prankster. Her idea was to get a mannequin, set it up in the backyard, and then have a homemade shower built in," he told BuzzFeed Canada. "And then when buddies come over, 'Hey look at there. My neighbour lady's showering in my yard again, eh.' Guys would get a kick out of it."

Fehr found a fellow Winnipegger who sold mannequins, and before he realized it, he'd become a collector. "It became almost an addiction to buy these dolls," he said.

Wayne Fehr / Facebook

He kept some of the mannequins in the living room, and it turned enough heads that he decided to make it permanent.

"They were coming into my front yard and taking pictures of it. So we started setting up a display."

His house even shows up on Google Street View like that.

Google Maps

He changes the mannequins' poses and outfits every couple of weeks with cheap clothes he gets off Kijiji. He has more than a dozen mannequins that he cycles through.

Fehr, who works in construction, says his job takes him to all different parts of the city talking to homeowners, and often the kids will know him by reputation. "I've been at people's jobs talking to them, and the kids will say 'We know where you live!'"

He says he's only had two complaints from neighbours. One person contacted him on Facebook saying it was "stupid." Another neighbour called the police on him because one of his scenes had a mannequin in a nightgown. "One of the ladies down the street didn't like it. She thought I was degrading women."

Wayne Fehr / Facebook

There was nothing police could charge him with, but Fehr said he's kept his display rated PG since then out of respect for his neighbours.

Although some people have called it creepy and unsettling, Fehr said it's all in good fun. And for the most part, people seem to appreciate what he's adding to the neighbourhood. He even got an anonymous Christmas card last year addressed to his "lovely window ladies."

"That's beautiful. That's why I want to do it," he said. "I want people to come by, smile, be silly."

Fehr said he will probably move away eventually, which would mean an end to his mannequin menagerie. But until then he likes the reactions he gets.