Friday, April 21, 2017

700 Ellice Avenue - Waddell Appliances / Naomi House

Top: ca. 2009, Google Street View
Bottom: ca. 2017, Christian Cassidy

Place: Waddell Appliances / Naomi House
Address: 700 Ellice Avenue (Map)
Opened: 1954 
Architect: Unknown

This building was the longtime shop and home of James Aitken Waddell.

Waddell was born in Manchester, England in 1905. He came with his family to Canada, settling in Montreal in 1912 and onto Winnipeg in 1929.  The family comprised of James Sr., wife Ann and sons William, James A., John and George.

The same year they came to Winnipeg, James Sr., who worked as a moulder - pouring metal into moulds - died of lung cancer.  After his death, the children, some of whom were living on their own, moved in with their mother at 418 McGee Street.

September 12, 1938, Winnipeg Tribune

In 1938, James, a salesman by trade, married Violet McLaren of Home Street. It is likely that they met through Home Street United Church where they were both active, especially with its Cubs and Scouts programs.

During World War II, Waddell enlisted with the Air Force. He was put in charge of organizing Winnipeg's first chapter of the Air Cadet League of Canada. On October 1, 1940, 65 boys met under him at General Wolfe School for their initial meeting.

Waddell decided to transfer to the Royal Canadian Navy and spent the war stationed at St. John's, Newfoundland.

When the war was over, he returned to Winnipeg and worked briefly for Eaton's before deciding to  open his own business.

July 5, 1947, Winnipeg Tribune

Advertisements for the Waddell Appliance Parts Company first appear in local newspapers in January, 1947. It was initially located at 499 Main Street near William, (now demolished.)

By Christmas 1949, Waddell had relocated to 72 Princess Street, the commercial section of the Odd Fellow's Temple. The store billed itself as having the largest selection of washing machine parts in Western Canada. They also added a service department.

2009 Google Street View

In 1954, Waddell again relocated to what appears to have been a custom-built location at 700 Ellice Avenue. It was a mixed-use building with 4,200 square feet of commercial space on the main floor and a 2,000 square foot living space upstairs for him and Violet.

Interestingly, this piece of land had almost always been vacant until Waddell built on it.

Prior to 1905, when the West End was being subdivided into a suburb, nothing is listed at that address. In 1906, it was home to a blacksmith shop for a year or two. By 1910 until 1953 there are no Henderson Directory listings between 690 and 710 Ellice Avenue. (The neighbours at 690 Ellice from 1907 to 1927 ran a store and in the suite above it raised a family of 13 children, so this could have been a side yard or garden for that property.)

This was a period of great change for Ellice Avenue. With developments such as the Winnipeg Stadium (1953), Winnipeg Arena (1955), Polo Park mall (1959), and a new airport (1963), Ellice was becoming more of a thoroughfare, an alternative to Portage Avenue. As a result, its was shedding its original residential feel for increasingly dense commercial and residential developments.

Top: March 12, 1962, Winnipeg Tribune
Bottom: Interior from a ca. 2000s sales brochure

The larger premises allowed Waddell to have a showroom for new appliances, such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, ovens and even televisions. His bread an butter, though, continued to be the warehouse of appliance parts, both new and reconditioned.

The Waddells continued to stay involved with community activities. Both were active Home Street United Church and in the Cub and Scout movement. They were also involved in a number of fraternal organizations.

Around 1980, Waddell retired. The couple then spent their winters in Mesa, Arizona and summers at their cottage at Nutimik Lake.,

James A. Waddell died in 1984 and Violet in 1990. They had no children.

December 24, 1971, Winnipeg Tribune

The new president of Waddell Appliances was Lawrence "Larry" Dolynchuk, a long-time business partner of Waddell.

Larry was a service technician Simpson Sears living in the North End throughout the 1960s. In late 1968, he and Al Dolynchuk opened Fleet Appliances at 613 Sargent Avenue. By 1970, they had a second location at 887 Main Street..

Fleet offered similar fare as Waddel. They sold reconditioned washers, dryers, vacuums as well as parts.

Lögberg-Heimskringla, August 1974

In the summer of 1973, Fleet's Sargent Avenue location changed to 700 Ellice Avenue, the same address as Waddell's.  It is unclear if this was a partnership or a merger.

Through the 1970s Fleet appears to have taken care of the new appliance sales portion of Waddell Appliances location while Al operated the Main Street location.

Main Street disappears around 1980, the same time as Waddell retired.  Larry and wife Doreen moved into the upstairs suite.

Doreen passed away in 2014 and it was around that time that the business went up for sale.

Our West Central Times, Winter 2017

The building sat vacant for a couple of years until it was purchased and donated to City Church on Maryland Street and is being converted into Naomi House.

The church, which has many members who were former refugees, will use the main floor to house offices for their existing Community Connexions program which strives to meet the “spiritual and physical needs” of new refugees. Upstais will be transitional housing housing for about 25 refugees and asylum seekers upstairs.

The living will be “boarding house” style. The main floor will have a communal kitchen and dining area. Upstairs, there will be a shared living room, computer area and about eight small bedrooms.

The housing will be transitional, meant to last about six months until more permanent housing, if required, can be secured.

Naomi House is expected to open in the spring of 2017.

My photo album of 700 Ellice Avenue

Thursday, April 13, 2017

637 Main Street - Bon Accord / Mitchell Fabrics Building

Place: Bon Accord / Mitchell Fabrics Building
Address: 635 - 645 Main Street, 185 Logan Avenue
Constructed: 1906 - 07
Architect: John D. Atchison

Mr. and Mrs. Fraser ca. 1930s

The now single-storey Bon Accord block stands as a testament to Arthur M. Fraser's protest against property taxes.

Fraser, (1852 - 1948), was born and raised in Scotland. In 1876, he became a lawyer in London, England and the following year married Mary Gordon.

Though he did not move to Winnipeg until 1898, he had visited the city on a number of occasions, (I believe he was a board member of the London-based Land Corporation of Canada which sold land for subdivision along the CPR line, primarily in Western Manitoba and near Regina.)

Soon after arriving, Fraser and his family, which would eventually include ten children, lived at 166 Donald Street.

Fraser quickly became known as a well-to-do property owner. By 1905, his portfolio consisted of more than a dozen pieces of land, including 400 feet of frontage along Main Street. He also became a director of the Standard Trusts Company when it was created in 1902.

Fraser was an outspoken political activist in favour of temperance and against taxation. His lengthy letters to the editor appeared regularly in daily papers, often calling out those in positions of power for their beliefs and policies.

Top: Oct. 27, 1906, Winnipeg Telegram
Bottom: Nov. 13, 1906, Manitoba Free Press

In 1905 - 1907 Fraser began to develop some of his higher profile properties.

Permits were granted for the five-storey Bon Accord building, the Men's Own Block, a five storey hostel with assembly hall to the east of the Bon Accord at 226 Logan Avenue, plus a 16-storey office building at Main and McDermot. (The tower never got built, you can read more about that in Robert's post at The Common.)
The Bon Accord, far right, ca. 1918, (Virtual Heritage Winnipeg)

The five-storey, brick and reinforced concrete Bon Accord, was constructed in 1906-07. Architect John D. Atchison, (also see), designed the mixed-use building with multiple retail units on the main floor, at least one floor of residential suites and offices on the upper floors.

Tenants started advertising in the block in March 1907 but a powerful rain storm in July caused extensive water damage the top floor. The water came through the stairwells and elevator shaft and ran right down to the basement. As a result, there was a delay in new tenants moving in until late summer.

Initial retail tenants included a clothing store, pawn shop, department store and Chinese goods store. The following year, the Quebec Shoe company opened and was a retail presences for a decade.

The offices were a combination of real estate companies, insurance agents, accountants and the likes of J. D. MacArthur, a well known contractor. Gospel Church occupied suite 106 for many of the early years. In 1930, the Communist Party called it home.

The residents who lived on the second floor were mostly from the working class, with occupations such as elevator operators, CPR employees, bridge builders, Eaton’s clerks and stenographers. The 1911 census lists 62 people living as living on the second floor alone, many of them families.

There were some well-to-do tenants. People like Robert Tate, president of Canada Loan and Realty Company, and Fraser who lived with his family and a nanny on the fourth floor.

Nov. 14, 1907, Manitoba Free Press

A unique feature of the building was the 700 person Bon Accord conference hall that could be entered from the Logan Avenue entrance. It was likely on the third floor of the building as that floor usually appears empty or with just one or two offices listed in Henderson Directories. (Both the Bon Accord and Men's Own buildings had halls.)

The hall was initially given over to Mrs. Sherbinin who also ran the Stranger's Rest Mission further north on Main Street.

It was a place where  "...young men who were in great distress, without friends, without money to buy a meal or a place to sleep” could go to find refuge. It is also where Sherbinin accepted donations of clothing and other materials for the poor. Interestingly, a mission of some sort would be an almost continuous presence in the building until the late 1980s.

Mar. 6, 1904, Winnipeg Tribune

The mission's presence was thanks to Mrs. Fraser. A devout woman, despite having ten children to raise, she devoted much of her spare time to missions working with the poor.

Shortly after arriving in Winnipeg, she was the founder of this city's chapter of the Travellers' Aid Society. A division of the YWCA, it offered shelter and comfort to stranded and destitute travellers, especially women and families who were the victims of abuse or at risk of falling into the sex trade.

Due to her prominent place in this movement and her oration skills, she sat on committees and shared the stage with the likes of Nellie McClung.

It is unclear how long the mission operated from the building. By 1911, the hall contained the offices of the Sunshine Fund, another YWCA charity. The hall was also used by churches as a temporary location and sometimes as a commercial exhibition space.

Apr. 5, 1927, Winnipeg Tribune

The building appears to have been successful, though Fraser was an unhappy man as he became more vocal in his anti-tax crusade.

In March 1922, he co-founded and was the first president of the Winnipeg Taxpayers' Association. They appeared as delegation at various civic and school board meetings offering advice. He also became known for his long - sometimes a quarter of a page - letters to the editor railing against taxes and tax policy.

He routinely appealed the assessment on his properties and made the Bon Accord his centrepiece.

Fraser didn't just feel that the assessments were too high, but that the system of used by the city was "illegal'. Rather than using value and net revenue, he and his lawyers argued, the city should only tax based on gross rental.

In 1926, he found a sympathetic ear in provincial justice Galt, who heard his appeal. Galt shocked the city when he agreed with Fraser's argument and lowered the assessed value of the Bon Accord from $75,000 to $18,000.

Apr. 9, 1926, Winnipeg Tribune

The city appealed that decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. The court, however, said it did not have the jurisdiction to hear the case. In the end, the wording of the property tax bylaw was strengthened and the Bon Accord's original assessment was reinstated.

This infuriated Fraser, who claimed it was an illegal act by the city, and he never forgot it. He continued to fight the battle of the building's assessment in hearings in subsequent years and pointed out the injustice in many letters to the editor.

In 1928, Fraser announced that his family, the children were grown by now but two daughter remained at home, were moving back to England. The Free Press notes quoted an unnamed real estate agent as saying his departure: “...will be a distinct loss to the ranks of investors who have shown their faith in the future of the city.”  

He did not move to England. He ended up in Montreal but kept an interest in at least some of his local  properties and contributed his letters to the editor at assessment time.

Apr. 17, 1935, Winnipeg Tribune

Fraser sold the Bon Accord in 1932 for the sum of $75,000 to Mrs. Matilda Wilson, a widow. Wilson moved into the block, suite 407, but died in 1934.

The building's sale may, in the end, have not been completed or was just a sale just on paper as it was sold again in 1935, this time for $35,000 to builder Frank Lount. According to the Tribune, Fraser was still the owner at the time.

Along with the sale, it was announced that the top four storeys of the building would be dismantled, leaving just the main floor and basement.

Dec. 9, 1935, Winnipeg Tribune

It is unclear if the dismantling was a condition of sale by Fraser - a final "screw you" to the city for the high assessment.

The low sale price and the fact that Lount made no public comment about the need to take of the top floors off leads me to believe that it was a condition of sale.

Fraser couldn't help but send one last letter to the editor, which appeared on December 9, 1935 Winnipeg Tribune. With it, he included before and after photos of the Bon Accord as an: “…illustration of what the present system of assessment and taxation is doing in Winnipeg, razing its buildings and ruining its property owners.”

The dismantling, which cost about $8,000, began in the last week of April 1936.
Bon Accord, right, showing different storefronts, ca. 1966 (Warkentin)

After the elimination of the top floors, the Bon Accord name pretty much disappears. The various storefronts developed so that they did not even appear as if they belonged to the same building.

The 1940 Henderson Directory shows that there were five main floor units: the Oak Theatre; New Main Café; J. Mindess and Co. Jobbers (clothing store); Shorty’s Billiards parlour; and an empty space. In 1944, that void became Mindess, Gilfix and Malt, forerunner to Mitchell Fabrics. Also around 1944, the pool hall became Union Gospel Mission.

Jan. 14, 1939, Winnipeg Tribune

The Oak Theatre first began advertising in January 1939 and was located at number 645. It formed a cluster of theatres near the intersection with the Starland and Rex across the street.

It was a neighbourhood cinema that showed second run films and could be leased out by local speakers and preachers. The exact number of seats it had is unknown, but it must have been small considering the building was only one floor with a basement !

The Oak closed in 1962.

The New Main Café, a Chinese restaurant, first appears in the Henderson Directory of 1932. An early owner was Wong Jim Quong.

The café's fate mirrors the fortunes of that section of Main Street. Even in the 1930s and 1940s it could be a rough place. but it took a drastic, downward spiral in the 1950s.

It seems that the management, likely the Pang family, allowed illegal drinking to take place in the basement level which led to many gruesome incidents.

In 1955, a group purchased pop upstairs then went down to mix it with rubbing alcohol. The party soon took to the streets and ended with the murder of August Flatfoot on Higgins Avenue.

In 1959, a man who had been drinking in the basement came upstairs and punched 73-year-old William Kmet of Fraserwood, MB, a patron in the café, in the head. He died of a brain hemorrhage.

Later that year, another assault in the basement left a man with a broken finger and needing 28 stitches.

The café's name comes up numerous times in relation to court cases involving murder, assaults, theft and prostitution until it was finally closed down in 1962.

Mar. 24, 1934, Winnipeg Free Press

Union Gospel Mission
has had a permanent presence in Winnipeg since they opened at 637 Main Street in 1933.

The organization's international headquarters was based in St. Paul, Minnesota and had missions in Canada, Great Britain and the U.S.. The first head of the Winnipeg mission was  Edward C. Clarke, who had previously established missions in Buffalo, N.Y. and Erie, Pennsylvania.

Union Gospel was open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offered meals, a place to sleep and spiritual guidance. In 1944, they relocated within the building to unit 645.

They were a fixture in the space until around 1980 when they moved to their present home on Princess Street.
645 Main Street ca. 1991 (Warkentin)

Through the 1980s, number 645 was home to the Indian and Metis Pentacostal Church and Mission. It was then briefly an outreach centre for the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre.

Sept. 5, 1956, the  Jewish Post

It was fabric store Mitchell Fabrics that outlasted all of the other businesses.

The roots of the store go back to a wholesale jobbers (clothing and textiles) run by Samuel Mindess and Frank Gilfix. Their partnership appears to have formed in 1906 when they had an office on the second storey of the Bon Accord Building.

After the deconstruction, they moved to 619 Main Street but returned to the Bon Accord around 1943.

Nov. 28, 1966, Winnipeg Tribune

When Mendel Mitchell of Reinland, Manitoba returned from World War II he settled in Winnipeg and went to work for what was then called Mindess, Gilfix and Malt. In 1947, he became a partner with Frank Gilfix and the store was renamed Mitchell and Gilfix.

The name Mitchell Fabrics first appears in the 1961 Henderson Directory. Later that decade, Mitchell began expanding into neighbouring retail units. It is unclear when he bought the building outright. (For more about the history of Mitchell Fabrics.)

Mitchell's remained a fixture in the Bon Accord for 70 years. In February 2017 they announced that the store would close.

My photo album of the Bon Accord Block
A look back at Mitchell Fabrics West End Dumplings

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

160 Osborne Street - Former Osborne Village Motor Inn,-97.1442076,3a,75y,62.79h,81.69t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sQBkXQKLsVp6CtjqdDwXx5A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

Place: Former Osborne Village Motor Inn
Address: 160 Osborne Street (Map)
Opened: June 1965
Architects: Waisman Ross Blankstein Coop Gillmor Hanna
Contractor: Kraft Construction Ltd.
Cost: $900,000

The early 1960s were the glory years for higher-end motel development in Winnipeg.

Ever since people started travelling primarily by private automobile in the 1950s motels were a popular choice thanks to the convenience of being able to park for free outside your door.

What set these 1960s motels apart was that they offered amenities that were once the domain of downtown hotels, such as fine restaurants, lounges, entertainment spaces and banquet facilities. They also provided things that most downtown hotels couldn't at the time: spacious, air conditioned rooms with large windows.

In 1961, the Gordon Hotel chain unveiled its Curtis Gordon and Assiniboine Gordon motels and the Carlton Motor Inn opened on Carlton Street. The same year that 160 Osborne was constructed, 1965, the Westminster Motor Hotel (now Sherbrook Inn ) and the Dakota Motor Hotel were also built.

June 30, 1965, Winnipeg Tribune

This three-storey motel was built for Oscar Grubert's Champs Foods International.

Champs was best known as the Canadian rights holder for the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises. In fact, most Manitobans knew the chain as simply "Champs Chicken" for over a decade.

A motel chain was part of the Champs' long-term business plan but this would be no low-end chicken shack.

Top: As Champs Motor Inn, June 30, 1965, Winnipeg Free Press
Bottom: Champs Ad, June 30, 1965, Winnipeg Free Press

Architects Waisman Ross Blankstein Coop Gillmor Hanna, (now called Number Ten Architectural Group), designed the building which cost a reported $900,000 to build. It was constructed so that two additional floors could be added at a later date, but never were.

The 32 rooms featured air conditioning and custom built furniture. There was a conference room for 250 as well as four restaurants and lounges, including the Cock and Bull, Winnipeg’s only charcoal pit steakhouse. The Rolls Royce Piano Lounge featured live entertainment nightly and the motel's Rolls Royce was used in promotional material and as a "loaner car" for those who booked weddings at the venue.

The maitre d'hotel was Derek Toms who used to manage the Grandome Hotel at Grand Beach.
Undated album recorded at Champs (Discogs)

The house entertainer in both the Cock and Bull and Rolls Royce Lounge for the first three years or so was Welsh pianist / singer Idris Evans, who even recorded a live album there. The Tribune's Gene Telpner said in a review that Evans was: "Doubly blessed with a  good singing voice plus a velvet touch on the keyboard."

After his run, Evans returned to England and toured as the pianist for Sarah Churchill, a songwriter and poet and daughter of Sir Winston Churchill.

July 16, 1970, Winnipeg Free Press

After just a few years, Champs decided to that the motel business was not for them, opting instead to concentrate on their restaurants. In the years to come that would include chains like Grubee's and Mother Tuckers as well as stand-alone restaurants like Pierre's.

In July, 1970 they announced that they were selling up.
Top: As the Plaza Motor Inn (CardboardAmerica on Flickr)
Bottom: March 15, 1972, Winnipeg Tribune

The new owner was National Promotions which was owned by the Kives family of K-Tel fame.

At the time they also owned the Westminster Motor Hotel, (now Sherbrook Inn) and the Viscount Gort Hotel. They rechristened the Osborne Street property the Plaza Motor Inn and named the chain K-Tel Motor Inns.

K-Tel did little in the way of renovations. The Rolls Royce Lounge stayed and they introduced The Studio, a basement beverage room and discotheque, likely in the space that used to be The Huntsman Lounge.

This was the era of the rock band beverage room in Winnipeg hotels and The Club transformed into a showcase. Bryan Adams played there shortly before he got his big break.

K-tel's motel business didn't last much longer than Champs' did.

In 1978, they sold off both motels, though retained the Viscount Gort, expanded it, and continue to own it to this day.

July 21, 2007, Winnipeg Free Press

The next, and final, owners of the motel were the Green brothers, with Chuck as the front man. The Greens were no strangers to the bar business. Growing up, their father owned the Westbrook Hotel on Keewatin Street.

They purchased it in 1978, though the new name, "Osborne Village Motor Inn", did not come until 1980.

July 21, 2007, Winnipeg Free Press

It was under the Greens that the rock bar "The Zoo" became famous across the country as a must-play venue in the city.  In a 2007 Free Press story, David Sanderson sat down with Chuck and compiled a list of just some of the bands that played its stage, (above).

The basement lounge-turned-discotehque became Ozzy'z bar.

When Chuck died in 2011, brothers Coleman and Dave took over. It was they who sold the building in August 2015.

Rumoured plans for the building included conversion into a boutique hotel or condominiums.

In late March 2017, it was finally announced by owners Fusion Capital Corporation that the building would be gutted then turned into "micro-suite" apartments for rent upstairs with reconfigured commercial space on the main floor.

Parts of the redeveloped building could reopen as early as this fall.


2017 Redevelopment
Osborne Village Inn to reopen with 'micro-apartments' CBC
Osborne Village developer envisions micro-apartments Metro
New plan for Osborne Village Inn Winnipeg Free Press

2015 Sale
Osborne Village hotel sold, future of space unknown CBC
Osborne Inn on the way out? Winnipeg Free Press

Friday, March 17, 2017

1441 Main Street - Former Safeway

Place: Former Safeway Store
Address: 1441 Main Street
Architect: Wurster, Bernardi and Emmons
Opened: April 13, 1965
Size: Approx. 20,000 sq ft

When American grocery giant Safeway came to Canada in 1929, setting up their head office in Winnipeg, they brought with them a number of innovations to the retail grocery industry.

One was the “cookie cutter” store. All Safeways were built from scratch with the same exterior design and floor plan so that customers knew it was a Safeway instantly and that the same products could be found in the same locations, regardless of which store they went to. This lasted until the late 1960s.

Another was that Canada Safeway Ltd. owned their properties through an arm's length company and leased the stores back. This allowed for great flexibility when the retailer released new store models and needed to either move on to a bigger site or demolish old buildings.

Decamber 13, 1929, Winnipeg Tribune

The first Safeway in this area of the city was a block away from 1441 Main Street at Atlantic Avenue.

It was part of the second wave of Safeway stores built and opened on December 14, 1929. It was likely expanded in the 1930s or 40s as the building appears to be wider than other 1929 - 30s Safeways that still exist.

Top: December 18, 1950, Winnipeg Free Press

When the next generation of store was approved by head office the Main Street location was one of the first to be replaced. It was actually built on the next block, across Luxton, so that there was no interruption in business to Safeway customers when it opened on  December 19, 1950. 

This new Safeway cost about $125,000 before fixtures. It offered a self-serve meat department, eight check-out counters and off-street parking. To maximize floor space, many of the 1950 stores included a basement stock room. (The Food Fare at Portage and Burnell still retains the 1950s Safeway store look.)

In the 1960s, this location was notable for being the only Winnipeg store to be open from 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week. The others closed at 6 pm during the week and at at 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

North America cities saw a huge growth in suburban development in the 1950s and 1960s. Safeway's architects were tasked with finding a way to make their stores stand out to motorists who were now speeding by on regional roads and freeways.

Their solution was the eye-catching "Marina style" store, named after the location of the prototype which opened on Marnia Boulevard in San Francisco in 1959. Its unusual design included a front wall of glass and curved roof line. One variation of the Marina style was the so-called "gull wing" because of the upturn at the extremities of the roof.

A number of Marina style stores, perhaps a dozen, were constructed in Winnipeg in the early 1960s. Only a handful had the gull wing.

April 12, 1965, Winnipeg Tribune

This store was part of a wave of new Safeways being built around the city at the time and opened on April 13, 1965. It was built in the "back yard" of the existing store, some of the site was former industrial land left over from the city's street car terminal.

Once opened, the old store was demolished to provide the expansive parking area. The total site is approximately 1.4 acres in size.

Over the decades these Marina style stores were sold off as the grocer added larger, regional stores to its chain. They include: Ellice and Wall, the first Marina-style store built in the city which has been extensively renovated; Dakota Shopping Centre, (now Family Foods); Regent Avenue (now extra Foods) and Mountain and McGregor.

This store, however, was one of the last Marina style stores still inhabited by the retailer. (The other is Salter Street, which is still a Safeway, though it does not include the "gull wing" variation.)

February 14, 2014, Winnipeg Free Press

After Sobeys bought out Canada Safeway in 2013 the chain was required to sell this and three other Winnipeg stores to appease the Competition Bureau. Soon after, Red River Co-op announced that it would take over all of them, returning to the local grocery business after a more than 30-year absence.

When Co-op tried to renew its lease in May 2016 it was turned down and the building's future was again in doubt.

On February 10, 2017, The North West Company announced that 1441 Main Street will become Winnipeg's 15th Giant Tiger store. It is expected to open on November 18, 2017.

There's no word on what renovations to the store's interior or exterior will be done for the new tenant. As seen in the above links, the unique architecture of many of these Marina style Safeways has lived on with new owners and tenants, while others, such as at Ellice and Wall, have been renovated so much that they are unrecognizable.


North West Company media release of 1441 Main (Feb. 2017)
Red River Coop Announcement about closure (May 2016)

Winnipeg to lose another Marina Style Safeway? Dumplings (Jun 2016)
For more images of the Main and Luxton store, see my Flickr Album!