Sport Manitoba



In 1882, James Robertson and Co. commissioned a warehouse on the north side of Pacific Ave. between Main and Martha streets. In 1884 Robertson and his company’s local manager commissioned English immigrant and prominent Architect Charles H. Wheeler to design another building further east on Alexander. Wheeler hired Thomas Kelly as the contractor. Robertson leased the building to George Duncan Wood and Company.

George Duncan Wood relocated prior to 1900 and John Dyck Ltd. moved in.

The SmartBag company of Montreal bought John Dyck out in 1906, purchased the property from James Robertson and proceeded to hire Daniel Smith to design the second section of the building. In 1913 the SmartBag Co. merged with Woods Manufacturing Co. and became Smart-Woods Ltd. Due to the mergence of the two respected businesses, more room was needed and the third section was commissioned through John Woodman and Raymond Carey Architects. Many other tenants have resided in the SmartBag Co. building (as it is most commonly known) throughout the years. Prosperity Knitwear was the owner prior to its purchase by Sport Manitoba.

Section A was originally built as a two-storey structure using the mill construction method (solid brick walls, square timber beams and post interior support system and wooden plank floors). A third floor was added prior to 1900. The same method of construction was used on Section B in 1906. The largest and final section was built using reinforced concrete, the latest in technology at the time. This 5-storey building’s facades face three prominent thoroughfares (Lily St., Alexander Ave. and Pacific Ave.) and as a result the building is seen as defining those intersections and being an important contribution to the historic streetscapes.

Due to its three-decade construction period, the complex has ties to three important periods in Winnipeg’s growth including the real estate boom of the early 1880’s, the turn of the century growth phase and the period prior to the First World War when the city was at its growth pinnacle.

The oldest portion of the complex was one of the 22 oldest buildings in the Downtown and one of the eight oldest warehouses. It was seen as a rare, handsome and one of the most intact early examples of the Romanesque Revival Style.[i] The characteristics of the Romanesque Revival Style are:

  • solid brick with a raised stone basement

  • rusticated stone accenting around windows and doors and at roof level

  • use of the arch above the windows and doors

The larger building was built in 1913 and is a simpler, more modern rendition of the Romanesque Revival style with a limestone base, arched windows and brick exterior walls with stone accenting around windows and doors.

The Historical Buildings Committee recommended that the building be listed as a Grade II on December 11 2008. Along with Heritage Winnipeg, the HBC wanted a designation of grade II for “a more vigorous form of protection that is difficult to repeal” but decided to “support the less restrictive heritage designation to allow Sport Manitoba to amend its plans for the athletic centre, which could fill a recreational void in the inner city” [ii]

On January 6th 2009, The SmartBag Company Building was placed on the HBC Conservation list as a grade III building. Including the character-defining elements:

Section A and B (built 1884 and 1906)
                     Exterior
                 o     
3 masonry walls (North, South and West) of the north facing structure
                 o     
metal decorative cornice of the main façade
                 o     
paired and arched second and third stody windows with continuous stone sllls and brick accenting
                 o     
other main façade details including pilasters with decorative metal caps and decorative brick panels
                 o     
railway track lintels on the ground floor windows and the original windows on the third floor of the west façade
                   
              Interior

                 o     
Structural elements (wood beams and posts) and wood 2nd and 3rd floors

             Section C (built 1913) (all elements pertain to north, south and east elevation
             Exterior

                  o     
Reinforced concrete facade
                  o     
Rusticated stone-clad base and dark brick upper floor cladding with stone accenting
                  o     
Stone belt course above the forth floor windows and the stone capping
                  o     
Original industrial sash windwons on all levels including raised, square-headed basement opening, large ground floor elements and arched fourth floor windows with stone keystones
                  o     
Main entrances (two on north and one on south) featuring bull’s eye windows above doors recessed in rusticated and smooth-cut ashlar, prominent surround and keystones
                  o     
Deeply recessed square-headed loading bays on the south façade
                    
            
Interior
                  o     
Columns with mushroom capitals at all levels.[iii]

 

In June 2009, the HBC approved the first phase of the rehabilitation to section C and approved the partial demolition of section A and B to make room for the field house on the condition that the northern façade be retained and integrated into the new development.[iv]

On October 15th 2009, “an independent Engineer’s report deemed [the entire structure including the north façade] structurally unsound”. “After significant deliberation and consideration of various options the HBC amended the existing Certificate of Suitability to appove-in-principle the complete demolition of [the 3 story building] upon submission of the development proposal”[v] and on condition that the site would not be used as surface parking while vacant.

On February 2nd 2010, issued a statement that “they hope[d] to move forward with plans to build a $15-million field house on [the site of] a three-storey component of the Smart Bag building”[vi].

Due to the designation as grade III rather than the recommended grade II, a partial demolition was allowed. The Fire Department considered all three sections as one building therefore the demolition was seen only as a partial and under grade III designation was not required to go to Property and Development. Sport Manitoba was given approval to demolish sections A and B no longer needing to retain the more ornamentally complex north façade as was part of the previous compromise.

Feb 18th 2010 HBC supported the demolition based on proof of significant structural compromise to the structure, thorough review alternatives, and support demonstrated for the proposed interim/future use of the site by the applicant”. The proposed second phase of the renovations is building a multimillion-dollar field house that includes educational, therapeutic and recreational components in the location of the original two sections of the building.

June 2010 sections A and B were demolished. Construction of the field house is in the beginning stages.


[i] Heritage Planners Report December 2008

[ii] (2009, January 7. Kives, B. Sport Manitoba to revisit inner-city field house plan. Winnipeg Free Press).

[iii] Council Minutes Jan 28th 2009, City Clerks Department

[iv] City of Winnipeg Briefing note. February 19, 2010. (1)

[v]City of Winnipeg Briefing note. February 19, 2010. (1)

[vi] 2010, February 2. Kives, B. Sport Manitoba revisits field house. Winnipeg Free Press

 

December 2008. 145 Pacific Avenue SmartBag Company (George Duncan Wood and Co. Building). City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee Report.



The Ryan Block

Update August 2013: The Ryan Block was awarded a 'Preservation Award of Excellence" for commercial conservation in 2012. To see a list of all 2012 award recipients, click here

August, 16, 2010

         

The Ryan Block located across the street from Old Market Square was built for one of Winnipeg’s original shoe merchants, city alderman and mayor, Thomas Ryan in 1895. An addition was built in 1903 but ultimately Ryan relocated to a larger building in 1907.

Bedford Investments acquired the property in 1987 and by 1988 they owned all of the properties lining King Street between Bannatyne and McDermot Avenues excluding a one-story building located at 98 King. This property was acquired and demolished by Bedford Investments despite it being on the Historical Buildings Committee’s “inventory”.

The Historical Buildings Committee (HBC) recommended that the Ryan Block at 104 King be put on the Building Conservation List in order for redevelopment discussions to occur at Council level. It was designated historic Grade II on March 11, 1991. Five months later, a massive fire roared through the 3rd and 4th floors causing $250,000 damage. Arson was suspected.

In 1991 The Winnipeg Core Area Initiative agreed to provide the current owners $750,000 in grant money for redevelopment, however no proposal was ever submitted and the monies were redistributed.

The owner (Reiss of Bedford Investments) applied to have the building de-listed in 1992.

On May 16, 2002 The HBC reviewed an engineering report, paid for by the City and CentreVenture, which confirmed the building required some stabilization work but otherwise was structurally sound.

On September 7, 2004 The Standing Policy Committee of the Planning, Property and Development Department (PPD) reviewed another application by Reiss to de-list. The HBC recommended that the building not be de-listed as no change in its architectural or historical significance occurred. The HBC went on to state that this property is one of the key sites within the National Historic Site. City council agreed with the HBC.

“On April 26, 2005 the Reiss was served with an Order under the Vacant and Derelict Buildings By-law No. 35/2004.”

The City of Winnipeg received a copy of the Final Report prepared for Bedford Investments entitiled: “King and Bannatyne Redevelopment Feasability Study” on August 29, 2006. This report formed the basis of a potential public private partnership between the Public Service and CentreVenture in early 2007.

Reiss provided an engineering report on May 28, 2007 done by Wolfrom Engineering Ltd. Stating that the building should be demolished by winter to prevent potential danger to the public.

On June 1st 2007, a second Order was issued to repair all interior and exterior structural components to bring the building into a safe and stable condition, or to demolish the building. On June 4th 2007, Reiss made an application to de-list with intent to demolish.

On June 6th 2007, an engineer’s report from Crosier Kilgour and Partners Ltd. commissioned by the PP&D reported that “collapse is highly possible” and it is unlikely restorable. The report recommended that the building be demolished but stated that the façade was salvageable. On June 20th 2007 City Council agreed with these recommendations. “[Council] adopted the following:

  • That the King Building, 104 King Street, not be removed from the HBC’s list as the heritage values have not changed.
  • That the listing of the King Building be changed to Grade III designation to accommodate the intention of, at a minimum, preserving the two significant facades facing King Street and Bannatyne Avenue as part of a redevelopment of the site.
  • That proper Officers of the city be authorized to do all things necessary to implement the intent of foregoing.”

“[In 2007 Reiss] agreed to a proposed redevelopment of the site [that would see the following objectives implemented]:

  • Preserving the two principle facades
  • Develop a significant ground floor retail space with frontage along King Street and Bannatyne Avenue.
  • Provide as much parking as practical. Given the limited area of the site, approximately 186 parking stalls are envisioned.
  • Limit the height of the proposed building to that of the existing King building to retain its historical integrity.”

Bedford Investments commissioned an architectural design of a mixed-use development that remains sympathetic to the contrast between the historic masonry buildings at the north and south of the property and a semitransparent metal and glass building between. A feasibility study for the development estimated the cost at around $7 million.

“The City’s financial participation of this proposed redevelopment will assist in enhancing the value of the Exchange District as a National Historic Site by retaining and preserving the historic building facades. The at-grade commercial development will contribute to the revitalization of a special character area and the new public parking structure will replace the open undeveloped parking lot thereby maximizing densification while providing an attractive and desirable pedestrian edge. The additional public parking will also support downtown housing in the immediate area and may lever additional private investment” (10).

Source: Winnipeg City Council Minutes December 19th, 2007

The Ryan Block building was destroyed and converted into a parkade that opened in 2010. For more information, please consult the following articles:

For The Winnipeg Free Press Article written by Bartley Kives on October 21st Click Here
For The Winnipeg Free Press Article written by Bartley Kives on October 22nd Click Here
For The Winnipeg Free Press Article written by Staff Writer on October 22nd Click Here



Hydro Substation

Hydro has found a new location for its substation. They have abandoned and moved on from last years plan that would have seen a block of significant heritage building on McDermot Ave. gutted. Hydro has now decided to build on an old William Ave. surface parking lot that they rented to the Health Sciences Centre prior to the completion of the Tecumseh Parkade.

For the Winnipeg Free Press article click here



Heritage Canada's Top 10 Endangered Places List

The Heritage Canada Foundation posted their 2010 Top Ten Endangered Places List.  They have recognized the immense pressure of development that faces the Exchange District National Historic Site and its periphery.  Heritage Winnipeg along with Heritage Canada are very concerned for decisions that have been made regarding the historic and architectural content of the District. Heritage Winnipeg continues to advocate for a more transparent process to allow stakeholders an opportunity to be involved in the decision making process, and in addition to change committee structures that have not benefited the national historic site.


For Heritage Canada Foundation's Endangered Places List of 2010 click here.



Main Terminal Building of the Former Winnipeg International Airport

“Transport Canada has submitted the Main Terminal Building of the former Winnipeg International Airport, now named the James Armstrong Richardson International Airport to the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office (FHBRO) for formal evaluation because the Winnipeg Airport Authority (WAA) proposes to demolish the main terminal with the intention of completing a new facility."(1)

The Department of Transport (DOT) created a terminal building program across the country in the 1950’s and 60’s to improve safety and reflect Canadians growing self-awareness and confidence. It saw 8 large-scale modernist air terminals built by prominent Canadian architects. The terminals integrated Canadian artworks and were furnished with Canadian designed furniture. The program captured the federal governments support due to its intention of introducing passengers to a new image of modern Canada from the moment they entered the terminal building.

Winnipeg’s most prominent post-war [architectural] firm, Green, Blackstein and Russell (GBR) designed the Main Terminal Building in Winnipeg for DOT between 1961-64, during the boom time period of Winnipeg’s Post-war growth. A major renovation was done in 1984-86 by IKOY architectural partnership, which remained sensitive to the original design while altering interior spaces and circulation patterns.

The modernist aesthetic and adaptability of the Main Terminal Building is a result of its simplistic form and function design found throughout its materials and layout. The Mies van der Rohe inspired design of the terminal took David Thordarson and Bernard Brown (the principle designers from GBR) nearly 3 years to complete. The terminal building is a powerful interior space rooted in local materials. It became a type of regional expression “[symbolizing] the aspirations and cultural production of Canada in the post-Second World War era”(6).

The key architectural features include:

  • Large open mezzanine lobby area with a recessed open upper floor
  • Suspended interlocking light panels which stretch across the width of the building
  • Double steel columns between each bay of glazed curtain wall stretching from floor to above the dropped light panels
  • Use of tyndall-stone cladding the interior columns, end walls, back walls and upper band of the southern wall.

    Sources: Waldron, A. Air Terminal Building: James Armstrong Richardson International Airport. Historical Services Branch. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office

    For Current Issues regarding the Main Terminal Building please consult the WAA website.
    The James Armstrong Richardson International Airport made Heritage Canada's Top Ten Endangered Places List of 2008.



    Upper Fort Garry Heritage Park and Interpretive Centre

    Upper Fort Garry is the place where Winnipeg and Manitoba was born and the site of significant historic events. Today, exciting plans are underway to reclaim and transform this treasure into a $19 million world class heritage park and interpretive centre. Highlights of this unique park include:

    • a design that demarcates the foundations of the original buildings and walls;

    • the original Governor’s Gate will remain;

    • interpretive and symbolic representations of the fort and the buildings that were once enclosed within its walls;

    • installations of art and other creative works within the park will represent the rich history of Upper Fort Garry;

    • outdoor gathering spaces for historical events and programs; and

    • a modern Interpretive Centre that houses meeting facilities and exhibitions.


    More information can be found at the Friends of Upper Fort Garry website.



    Parks Canada contributes $425,000 to Union Bank conversion

    Through the Parks Canada National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing Program, the Government of Canada has invested an additional $425,000 towards Red River College’s continued restoration of the Former Union Bank Building. Mr. Rod Bruinooge, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South stated that the conservation work done on the building will contribute to the historic sense of place of the Exchange District.

    The historic skyscraper banking hall located at Main Street and William Avenue is being converted into Red River’s culinary school, a restaurant and more than 100 student residences.

    The money will be used to help restore many of the historic doors and windows of the bottom three floors as well as assist in the renovation costs of the front foyer and banking hall. Conservation work will also be done on the historic Annex.

    The building is slated to reopen in 2011 for the first time since the last bank moved out in 1992.

    The cost-sharing program is also contributing $32,000 to the Gault Building to preserve the roof fence. The President of Artspace Inc., Cecilia Araneda, stated that the restoration will allow its character to grace the Winnipeg Skyline for generations.

    Sources: (2010, July 29). Government of Canada invests in heritage infrastructure in the Exchange District National Historic Site.

    For more information on the restoration and conversion of the Union Bank Tower click on one of the three Winnipeg Free Press articles below.

    Staff Writer (2010, July 29). red river college gets $425,000. Winnipeg Free Press.

    Belamy, B. (2010, June 14). downtown's status symbol. Winnipeg Free Press.

    Kives, B. (2009, October 16). heritage reborn. Winnipeg Free Press.



    Armstrong Point

    Heritage Winnipeg is pleased to announce that our first publication "Armstrong's Point - A History" is available for purchase.  Thank you to author, Randy Rostecki.

    You can purchase the book at $39.95 (taxes incl.) through our office by contacting us at 942.2663 or email at info@heritagewinnipeg.com.  If purchased before March 31, 2017, receive an additonal 30 percent discount. It makes a great gift.

    We accept cash, credit card, and cheque.




    Exchange District Guided Walking Tours

    May-September Weather Permitting
    Tuesday– Sunday 11 am and 2 pm
    Approximately 1.5 hours in duration

    Just north of Canada’s renowned corner of Portage and Main lies the spirit of the city– the Exchange District!

    Spectacular and beautiful, it is over 30 blocks of turn-of-the-century terra cotta and cut stone architecture unparalleled in North America! Explore incredible facades, spectacular interior spaces and unique detailing. This richness illustrates Winnipeg’s transformation between 1878 and 1913 from a modest pioneer settlement into the thriving metropolis that opened the West. The Exchange District now serves as a popular backdrop for today’s movie industry and is home to specialty retailers, restaurants, night-clubs, art galleries, wholesalers and Winnipeg’s theatre district. Discover one of North America’s most rare neighbourhoods!

    Tours begin at the Exchange District Info Centre in Old Market Square (King Street and Bannatyne Avenue).

    Adult (18-64 yrs) $5.00 Group tours also available
    Senior (65+ yrs) $4.00 Adult group $45.00
    Youth (10-17 yrs) $3.00 Senior group $35.00
    Family $10.00 Youth/Children’s group $25.00
    (Maximum of 12 participants per group)

    To book your group tour, or for more information call 942-6716.



    Barber House Update - 99 Euclid Avenue

    At the Historical Buildings Committee meeting in March 2000, a report was reviewed that included an assessment of the building condition and cost estimates for restoring the exterior and rehabilitating the interior for a new use. The report pointed out that in spite of the fire, “the original log superstructure is sound except for several areas of local deterioration requiring replacement of a few sections of logs. Second floor framing has sustained significant fire damage and is in need of total replacement along with the stairs. Exterior finishes and roofing requires replacement. This house could be readily insulated to current standards with insulation applied internally and externally.

    Repairs of this historic Red River log house is readily feasible. Barber House remains in basic sound condition and its status, as a rare example of this unique construction used by early pioneer settlers and founders of this city, is important. Costs associated with restoration of Barber House would not exceed new residential custom built construction cost levels and appears to be warranted based on historical significance alone.”

    Barber House is situated on a fairly large lot that is all city-owned. There is potential to subdivide the entire property for housing and still leave Barber House on its original site. Barber House could be rehabilitated into a single family dwelling with a contemporary interior and retain its heritage designation.

    The Historical Buildings Committee concluded by requesting that the Planning, Property and Development Department prepare a request for proposals for the land and building located at 99 Euclid Avenue. Development proposals must retain Barber House on its original site and its rehabilitation will require a Certificate of Suitability from the Historical Buildings Committee and a Heritage Permit from Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism.

    The Historical Buildings Committee welcomes the opportunity to arrive at a viable, satisfactory solution to this most challenging heritage opportunity.



    Become a Member
    Virtual Library
    The Exchange District
    Streetcar 356
    Online Store
    Doors Open

    Twitter Feed

    Updates from Heritage Winnipeg:


     
    Join twitter conversation
     
    ---