Tuesday, July 19, 2022

1480 Main Streeet - William's Hairdressing / Super Boy's

 © 2022, Christian Cassidy

Place: Former William's Hairdressing / Super Boy's (website)
Address: 1480 Main Street (Map)
Constructed: 1947
Contractor: Unknown

The building permit for 1480 Main Street was issued in 1947 in the midst of a post-war building frenzy. By August of that year the value of building permits had already reached the $12m mark, a total not seen in Winnipeg since 1914.

The first business to call this address home was William’s Hairdressing owned by William and Mary Knapp.

William Knopf was born in Whitemouth, Manitoba, and moved to Winnipeg at an early age. By the early 1930s he is listed in street directories as a barber. Mary, (nee Maria Zirk), was born in Thalberg, Manitoba in the RM of St. Clements, and came to Winnipeg as a teenager. She and William married in 1931.

The couple first settled at an apartment at 2-167 Aikins Street and then to a house at 87 Lansdowne Avenue.


April 1, 1944 Tribune

In 1934, William and Mary changed their last name from Knopf to Knapp and opened William's Hairdressing Shop at 1479 Main Street. They also lived behind the store. (The business was sometimes listed separately in street directories as William's Barber Shop and William's Beauty Parlour.)

The couple moved to their long-time family home at 271 McAdam Avenue around 1945. This would have coincided with them starting a family which included daughters Evelyn and Linda.

The small shop advertised infrequently with the odd holiday season ad in the Winnipeg Tribune or Western Jewish News.


September 18, 1952 Western Jewish News

The move across the street to 1480 Main Street came in late 1947 or early 1948. It is likely that the Knapps were renters, not the ones who financed its construction. 

Business appeared to flourish at the new location which had up to five hairdressing stations. One 1952 ad seeking staff offered a pay packet of $35 per week plus commissions.

To keep current on the changing fashions of the 1950s, William attended the 1955 International Beauty Show and Exposition in New York City. A note in the Western Jewish News said his intention was to bring many of the award-winning new hairstyles back to the North End.


June 28, 1968, Winnipeg Free Press

The building was put up for sale in 1968 for $35,000. Ads ran from April to July of that year noting that it was “a property with tremendous diversified opportunities.” Interested parties were asked to contact a Mrs. Kirk or Simonite Realty.

If the building sold, either the Knapps purchased it or the new owner allowed them to stay as tenants.  Ads for selling off the fixtures of Williams Hairdressing appeared in December 1972 and the Knapps retired in 1973.


Mary Knapp obituary photo

William was an active member of the Manitoba Hairdressers Association and the Independent Order of Foresters. He died on July 10, 1979 after a lengthy illness.

Mary was involved in Trinity Lutheran Church on Flora Avenue and the Inkster Seniors Centre. She lived long after William and spent much of her time travelling the world, including Europe, Australia, the Middle East, the Far East, and the Caribbean.

She died on August 7, 2006 at the age of 93. Her obituary notes that "Mary lived a wonderful and rich life."


May 6, 1976, Winnipeg Free Press

In the summer of 1974, 1480 Main Street was home to Swiss Farms Ice Cream stand and then a series of short-lived burger drive-inns, including Maxim, Rousso's, and Burger Palace. Its last incarnation was UFO Pizza before going up for sale again in February 1984 as a 20-seat restaurant with lots of parking.

Angelo and Ourania Corantzopoulos, who operated a restaurant on Henderson Highway called Fat Boy's, relocated to 1480 Main in 1985 and changed the name of their enterprise to Super Boy's.

In a 2013 interview with the Free Press, daughter Georgia said that Burton Cummings would always come by when visiting his mother. There was also a visit by a MuchMusic veejay that gave them national exposure. (In the same interview, Angelo mused that the building must have once been a hair salon as whenever they renovated they found hair curlers!)

Ourania died in 2007, but the Corantzopoulos family still runs the restaurant. At 37 years, they are by far the longest-lasting business to call 1480 Main Street home.

Note that Super Boy's will be closed until the end of August for family holidays!

Sunday, July 10, 2022

629 Alexander Avenue - Former Sherbrook Theatre

© 2022, Christian Cassidy

Place: Former Sherbrooke Theatre
Address: 627 - 629 Alexander Avenue (Map)
Constructed: 1912
Architect: George G. Tetter
Contractor: A. Jameson

A construction permit for this building was issued to Mrs. Annie S. Conway on July 29, 1912. It was designed by George G. Teeter and estimated to cost $10,500 or about $275,000 in 2022 dollars

This was the second time that Conway and Teeter teamed up to construct a building that summer. In early June, a $90,000 building permit was issued for a double-width apartment block on Kennedy Street. That building still stands today and is appropriately named Conway Court.

Teeter was born and raised in Ontario. Not long after graduating from the University of Toronto he came to Winnipeg and began advertising his practise in January 1906.

By April, he was requesting tenders for a large house in Riverview and the original Tabernacle Baptist Church on Burrows Avenue. Other prominent buildings he designed were: Trinity Baptist Church (1907), Killarney MB municipal hall (1909), King Edward Hospital (1911), Ellesmere Apartments (1911),  Gordon - King Memorial United Church (1913), and the Christie Brown Bakery as supervising architect (1932).


May 28, 1896, Manitoba Free Press

Annie Conway was the widow of auctioneer Michael Conway.

Originally from Tralee, Ireland, Mr. Conway came to Canada as a child and settled at Guelph, Ontario. He came to Winnipeg in 1882 and set up an auction house. Over the course of more than thirty years in business, he sold everything from horses and rugs to vacant land and houses.

Less is known about Annie Conway other than she was born in Ontario. Her age is listed as “50” in both the 1911 and 1916 census records.

The couple don't appear to have been in the property development business but may have collected choice lots and small commercial buildings over the years. A May 1911 newspaper article mentions that Mr. Conway had purchased a vacant lot on Hargrave Street at St. Mary's Avenue next to a lot he already owned to give him 126-foot-wide frontage.


1911 Census of Canada, Library and Archives Canada

The Conways resided at 177 Kennedy Street with their three children, who in 1911 were aged 11, 19, and 22, and a live-in maid. Located just a couple of blocks from the land titles and legislature building, this would have been an affluent neighbourhood at the time.

In October 1911, Mr. Conway unexpectedly died at the age of 65. To provide for her family, Annie got into the property development game.


September 15, 1914, Winnipeg Tribune

Conway hired Teeter to design the 24-unit Conway Court located just a few doors down from the family residence. At a cost of $90,000, about $1.4 million in today's money, it represented a significant investment upon which the future of her family depended.

Conway was a hands-on investor acting as building agent for both the apartment block and the commercial building on the Conway's Hargrave Street lot. She conducted business from the family home.


June 30, 1912, Winnipeg Tribune

The other development by Annie Conway was the Picture Palace Theatre at 627 - 629 Alexander Avenue. It seems a strange venture for her as a neighbourhood theatre represented a much riskier investment than pretty much any other sort of development that could have been built on the land.

It does not appear that Conway was involved in the day-to-day running of the theatre. The building was leased out to theatre operators. The only time a manager is listed by name in street directories comes in the first year, a Mr. Mathesius.

That first year in the street directory there are two residential suites listed upstairs. They were inhabited by J. Fleming, a yardman at the stockyards, and Mathesius. Residents would not be noted in directories again until the late 1920s.


November 2, 1912, Winnipeg Free Press

It is unclear how successful the venue was. As an independent neighbourhood theatre with less than 300 seats, there was no money to advertise and not enough clout to be included in the weekly "at the movies" write-ups in the newspapers.

The only early newspaper mentions of the theatre appeared from November 1912 through May 1913 in classified ads for Emmanuel Baptist Church which used the building for Sunday services after a fire destroyed their church. (It is only in church ads that the building is referred to as Little Theatre. Street directories list is as the Picture Palace Theatre.)


January 14, 1916, The Voice

Theatre management appears to have changed frequently.

New management came in late 1914 and the venue was rechristened the Sherbrooke Theatre. Street directories do not list the name of a manager or any staff that worked there.

The only early newspaper mentions of this new incarnation were a November 1914 ad for the movie Zudora that listed several independent theatres where it would be shown, and a January 1915 Winnipeg Tribune ad promoting an independent film that listed the Sherbrooke amongst the venues where one could go see it.

In October 1915, the Sherbrooke was finally included in the Winnipeg Tribune's "at the movies" section allowing for a brief description of its fare for the coming week.

Starting in January 1916, longer "advertorials" were published weekly in The Voice. One said of the venue, "This charming little theatre...is now putting up a very attractive program.... The theatre is sanitary, warm, well decorated, and comfortable."

These notices trail off in April 1916.


September 16, 1916, Winnipeg Tribune

In September 1916, a new season and a new round of ads for the Sherbrooke Theatre appear in the daily papers announcing that it had "re-opened under new management".  Starting in January 1917 the name of the theatre was tweaked by dropping the 'e' at the end of Sherbrook.

These ads appeared regularly until March 1917. It is unclear if the venue then closed, changed management, or if it was just deemed that city-wide ads did not attract enough new patrons to justify their expense.


November 20, 1917, Winnipeg Tribune

Conway advertised for yet a new theatre operator in November 1917. This appears to be the last newspaper mention of the Sherbrook Theatre.

The venue continues to appear in street directories until the 1921 edition, which would have been compiled in 1920, when 629 Alexander is listed as 'vacant'.

It is likely that Conway sold the building in 1920. That same year, she and her youngest son moved from the family home at 177 Kennedy to an apartment.

Not long after, Conway fell into poor health. She and her son moved to Los Angeles in 1922 in the hopes that a warmer climate would improve her health, but she died there in January 1923.

Conway's body was returned to Winnipeg and she is buried in St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery with her husband.


October 12, 1921, Winnipeg Free Press

The new owner advertised in late 1921 that he was willing to renovate the building into a warehouse or storage facility for the right tenant.

After a brief stint as a fence maker's workshop, the building became home to Peterson Auto Repairs from about 1923 to 1925. The shop could be accessed through a garage door at the rear of the building.

After Peterson, the building again sat vacant until the Fairbairn family arrived in 1928.


November 14, 1958, Winnipeg Tribune

Robert L. Fairbairn was born in Scotland and came to Canada as a young boy in 1910. He became a carpenter and opened a workshop at 629 Alexander called Fairbairn Furniture. His family, wife Elizabeth and eight-year-old Alan, moved into the suites above the workshop.

Both Robert and Alan were military men. Not long after coming to Canada, Robert went back overseas to fight in the First World War. Alan Fairbairn served in World War II and after the war continued on in military service in various senior roles until 1968.

Fairbairn Furniture did not advertise, though classified ads show that after the war Fairbairn began building boats in his workshop. By 1950, the focus had shifted entirely to boats and in 1958 the company name was changed to Faircraft Boats Ltd..


Rear view, 2022, (Christian Cassidy)

Bill Burdeyny, an outdoors writer for the Winnipeg Tribune, wrote in a 1974 column that he still used his Faircraft boat regularly and described it as, "... a 12-foot aluminum Faircraft model, different to many in that the bow form is crimped rather than welded. It has a plywood floor for additional strength and a great comfort on a hot day. The gunwales and keels are also made of wood."

Fairbairn must have done well with the boat business as he and Elizabeth moved from the cramped confines of the apartment above the factory to the 5000 block of Roblin Boulevard in the late 1950s.

Faircraft Boats closed in 1960 and Fairbairn leased the shop to Goodman Canoe and Boat Works which stayed for about a year. In 1963, he put the building up for sale for $10,000.

Robert Fairbairn died in 1965.


Long gone ghost signs, 2022, (Christian Cassidy)

By 1966, the building was home to Renew Heating and Industrial Supplies Ltd. and in 1970 became the local Canadian Hilti sales and service outlet.

The building was put back up for sale in 1972, this time for $30,000, and the address is not mentioned again in newspapers until it was sold at a mortgage sale in 1983.

2007, Google Street View

The last commercial tenant of the building was Recon Heating Supply Ltd. which appeared there in the mid-1980s after the mortgage sale.

Fred and Isobel Zilkey farmed north of Manitou before moving to Winnipeg in 1959 with their children. Fred worked as a serviceman for Winnipeg Supply and Fuel Ltd. for a number of years before starting Recon.

Ross Zilkey, their son, was manager of the U of M Bison's Men's Basketball team in the 1970s, including the Hall of Fame 1975-76 team. He worked for his parents and eventually took over the business when they retired.

In 1997, the business was reorganized with additional business partners and rechristened Recon Controls Ltd.. In 2007, Recon moved to a new location.

Since that time, there have only been residential tenants in the building.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

2433 St. Mary's Road - Former Riverbend Dairy Farm

© 2022, Christian Cassidy

Place: Riverbend Dairy Farm
Address: 2433 St. Mary's Road
Constructed: 1933

Riverbend Dairy Farm began operations in the early 1930s when George R. Gobert bought 257 acres of unbroken land on St. Mary’s Road in St. Vital. Today, the buildings are fenced off and awaiting demolition to make way for an expanded traffic interchange at St. Mary's Road and the Perimeter Highway.

Here's a look back before they're gone...


May 24, 1975, Winnipeg Free Press

Gobert came to Manitoba from his native Belgium in 1920 and operated West Flanders Dairy on Clarence Street in the town of Tuxedo with two of his brothers. In 1932, he and his wife Edith whom he married in 1928, purchased a lot on St. Mary's Road to go into business for themselves.

The following year, they erected a  house and a barn large enough to accommodate 40 cows and eight horses on the property. The house featured many amenities, including an indoor bathroom, and was said to have cost more to build than the barn, something unheard of at the time.

To get their portion of the Flanders herd to their new property, the Goberts walked the cattle across the Elm Park Bridge, through Kingston Crescent, and down St. Mary's Road. The operation took place at 4:00 am to avoid traffic and they were charged a toll of ten cents per head to cross the bridge - the same rate as humans.

George Gobert’s first public foray into politics came in December 1934 when he appealed the City of St. Vital's assessed value of his house and barn. Farmers received special property tax exemptions for buildings on their land, but that did not extend to dairy operations.

Gobert won his case in Court of King's Bench in February 1935 and farmers and dairy operators were treated equally under the assessment laws. (Gobert would go on to serve on the St. Vital municipal council from 1955 into the early 1960s.)


May 24, 1975, Winnipeg Free Press

Riverbend Dairy Farm began selling milk to customers in the St. Vital area by horse and cart in 1934 and added a motorized vehicle by the end of the decade.

The herd soon grew to 60 head to keep up with demand.


October 5, 1936, Winnipeg Tribune

The Goberts showed some of their prized cattle and horses at agricultural fairs across southern Manitoba and garnered numerous awards. Rockwood Romanuk, for instance, was the all-Canadian champion three-year-old bull at the Toronto Winter Fair in 1954 and the senior champion and grand champion bull the following year in Brandon.

One of their cows, No. 218903, made the news in 1936 when she gave birth to triplets (believed to be a one in 100,000 birth event). They named the calves Frankie, Fannie, and Patsy.

The family were supporters of the St. Vital Boys and Girls Calf Club and hosted many events for the organization at their farm. Reporting on a September 1940 calf exhibition, one reporter noted, "The great dairy farm with its colony of buildings is quite a site in itself."


August 21, 1943, Winnipeg Tribune

The Winnipeg Tribune's Verena Garrioch visited Riverbend Dairy Farm in 1943 for a story about young children who had to fill in on family farms as older siblings fought in the war. She met Helen, Phyllis, and George Jr., ages 10 to 14, who assisted with the dairy operation and tended the fields of corn and barley using heavy machinery.

It was not long after this story that the Goberts sold off their cattle in favour of growing crops as finding labour for the dairy portion of their business became too difficult as the war dragged on.

August 13, 1953, Winnipeg Free Press

The family wasn't in their new venture long when the devastating Red River flood of 1950 struck and submerged much of St. Vital's farmland under water for weeks.

The water did a great deal of damage to the Gobert's fields, covering them in debris and causing deep gullies to form. It made planting and harvesting extremely difficult.

After a few years of poor harvests, the family decided that they had to get back into the dairy business.


January 20, 1972, Winnipeg Tribune

This time around, Riverbend was a commercial supplier of milk to Royal Dairies on Cambridge Street, though it did continue to sell "medically certified raw milk" on a cash and carry basis from the farm to select customers for the next two decades. 

In 1970, George Gobert retired from the business and it was left to his sons, Gerard and George Jr., to carry on operations without him. When he died in January 1975 at the age of 74, the family decided to wind down operations for good.(Edith, George Sr.'s wife, lived to be 101 and died in 2006).

Riverbend Dairy Farm's last day as a commercial dairy was April 1, 1975.

The land was then sold to Qualico Developments who developed the River Park South subdivision on part of the property. The section containing the house, barn and other outbuildings was leased back to the family.

Family obituaries from the Winnipeg Free Press

Gerard moved from the home sometime after the business closed leaving George Jr, his wife Lillian (nee Zylema) whom he married in 1954, and their four children at the farm. They continued to farm grain until their retirement in 2008.

George Gobert Jr. died in November 2012. Lillian Gobert, now 87, lived at the farm until it was expropriated in May 2021 for the new traffic interchange.


Saturday, June 18, 2022

1539 Waverley Street - City of Winnipeg Public Works Yard

© 2022, Christian Cassidy


Place: Kane Equipment Ltd. / City of Winnipeg Public Works Yard
Address: 1539 Waverley Street (Map)
Constructed: 1969
Architect: Unknown


March 18, 1944, Regina Leader Post

The first urban address for this piece of land came in 1966 as headquarters for Walter J. Kane's Kane Equipment Ltd..

Born at Conshohocken, Pennsylvania in 1892, Kane took an early interest in horses and worked on several ranches in the U.S. and Canada before joining the rodeo circuit. From 1916 to 1917, he was the world champion bucking horse rider. He then served in a cavalry division of the U.S. Army in World War I.

Kane and his wife Enid settled on a 600-acre farm near Winnipeg soon after the war.


June 11, 1938, Winnipeg Tribune

In 1924, Kane began a contracting business that built roads and highways in rural Manitoba. The company was renamed Kane Tractor and Equipment Ltd. after it relocated to 701 Henry Street in Winnipeg in 1938. It also changed its focus to be a heavy equipment dealership that supplied municipalities and the construction, logging, and mining industries.

Kane's company boomed along with the post-war expansion of suburban municipalities and the province's road network.


1938 Vox Fluminis, Riverbend School (Balmoral Hall) yearbook

Horses were Kane's passion. Along with the construction company he operated the Cambridge Riding Club on Cambridge Street where he also raised and trained his championship horses.

The Cambridge Riding Club turned out many riding and jumping champions. This included Bouncing Buster featured in this 1951 Canadian Cattlemen article that concluded, "It is probably safe to say that Buster won more first prizes than any jumping horse in Canada".

Kane was in demand throughout the prairies as a judge for horse shows and rodeo competitions. He was made a life member of the Horsemen's Club.

In 1958, Kane sold his construction company and continued to concentrate on his horses, though by this time Cambridge Street appears to have been replaced with suburban development. He branched out into breeding cattle and at the 1963 Brandon Winter Fair won most of the Hereford awards, including supreme champion futurity bull.

Walter Kane died 1972 and is buried at Conshohocken, Pennsylvania

The man who bought out Kane was Hugh T. Macdonald. He had worked in the heavy equipment industry since the 1920s and by the 1950s was Kane Equipment's vice president.

Like Kane, Macdonald also had a keen interest in horses and raised many champions, including the grand champion hackney mare at the 1963 Toronto Winter Fair. When Manitoba created its first Manitoba Horseracing Commission in 1965, he was one of three commissioners.

Kane Equipment continued to grow and by the end of the 1950s took up the entire block of 667 to 701 Henry Avenue.

In January 1960, it expanded into general contractors' supply business and opened a retail outlet on Erin Street called Kane Equipment Commercial Division with branches in Brandon, Dauphin, Minnedosa, The Pas and eventually some communities in Saskatchewan.


June 17, 1969, Winnipeg Free Press

By the 1960s, Kane Equipment needed a larger site and in April 1966 announced that it had bought a 12-acre plot at Waverley Street and Chevrier Boulevard. It began advertising its new location in October.

The main building on the site opened in early 1969. It is unclear who the architect was. (You can see the building in the background of the photo in the above advertisement.)

The original building was 45,000 square feet in size and featured 26-foot-tall ceilings and 11 large bay doors.  A brief mention of the building in the Free Press described it as having "spacious and bright areas, tastefully furnished offices, a conference room, central kitchen, and air conditioning."


February 2, 1981, Winnipeg Free Press

Peter Macdonald took over the company from his father in 1972 and faced a very different construction market than his predecessors.

The heady days of post-war development were over. The 1970s brought austerity, high interest rates, and a troubled economy. The industries Kane Equipment served were hit hard by the economy and municipalities cut back their infrastructure work.

Macdonald tried to find additional financing and event tried to sell off the company in the late 1970s, but with few signs that the economy was about to rebound the writing was on the wall. In February 1981 he announced that the company would wind down operations and told the Free Press, "the economy is getting worse and worse and the company can no longer stay in business."

The closure meant the layoff of 40 employees in Manitoba and another 40 in Saskatchewan.


In 1987, Winnipeg Building Index, U of M Digital Collections

The demise of Kane equipment came at around the same time the city was in the market for a works yard.

Its District 6 Operations Department yard on Markham Road suffered a major fire in December 1981 that destroyed five vehicle bays full of equipment. A replacement had to be found by the following winter.

The civic finance committee recommended to city council in August 1982 that it purchase the Kane Equipment site. The building and land was advertised at $2.37 million but it was believed the company would take $2 million for it. The additional office space was large enough to also house the district's parks and recreation offices.

The city acted on the recommendation and the building became home to the District 6 Operations Department.

In 1986, a tender was awarded to Moody Moore Partners to redesign the interior space and expand the service bay area. Michael Rattray and Helmut Peters were the lead architects on the project.

The building is still a city public works yard and houses the insect control branch, urban forestry branch, and a 4R recycling depot.


Friday, May 27, 2022

462 Arlington Street - Private Residence (R.I.P.)

© 2022, Christian Cassidy


House in 2014 (Google Street View)

Place: Private Residence
Address: 462 Arlington Street (Map)
Constructed: 1910 (razed by fire 2022)

The 1,385-square-foot house at 462 Arlington Street was constructed in 1910. This was a couple of years after a streetcar line was added to Arlington Street making it a desirable street to live on.

The first residents were John M. Whitehead, plumber, and his wife, Grace. They were 28 and 22 respectively with no children. John was born in Canada and Grace came from Scotland in 1906.

Mr. Whitehead was the president of the Plumbers and Steam Fitters of America - Local No. 254  in 1914 - 15. By 1917, he worked for the plumbing firm W. K. Beairsto on Donald Street.

The couple lived here until about 1919 before moving on to 690 Pine Street.


March 28, 1916, Winnipeg Tribune

This became the home of what was left of the Dawson family in 1919.

Fred and Emma Dawson and their eight children lived at113 Kate Street during the war. All were adults except for 12-year-old Gladys. When war broke out all five of their sons enlisted.

Walter Dawson received gunshot wounds to the back and chest in September 1916 and after he recovered was sent back to the front. He was killed in action on June 4, 1918. (For more about Walter Dawson, see this post.)

Another son, William, was injured in a gas attack in 1915 but he and the remaining sons survived.

Added agony for Emma came in March 1919 when her husband died after what the Free Press described as "a lengthy illness".


1921 Census of Canada, Library and Archives Canada

To make a new start, Emma and three of her children relocated to 462 Arlington Street.

George was a clerk at varnish manufacturer Wilkinson-Kompass on Higgins Avenue, Gladys was a switchboard operator at Scott Hill Ltd., and Edith started as a clerk at department store Robinson and Co. though a  couple of years later is listed as a dressmaker.

The Dawons only stayed here a couple of years.  In 1923, they moved to 752 Home Street where Emma died on June 29, 1924 at age 66. George and Edith then moved on to Canterbury Place.


MacGregor Herald July 24, 1930

Next up were a couple of generations of the Ryley family. Alma and Alfred Z Ryley, farmers, and Alfred L., an employee at Harris Abbatoir.

Through the 1930s, this was home to the Bowie family.

After graduating from the University of Toronto Veterinary School, James Stanley Bowie came to MacGregor, Manitoba and practised there from 1916 to 1930. He then got a job as a federal government animal inspector and moved to this house in August 1930 with his wife Edith, son William (age 12), and daughter Beryl (age 5).

The Bowies were avid curlers, with Mrs. Bowie serving as the president of the Thistle Ladies Curling Club in 1938.

 
From: Prairie pride land, looking back

William and Constance Treble and their two sons lived here through the 1940s.

The Trebles were originally from Crystal City, Manitoba. While serving in World War I, William sustained gunshot wounds that shattered his left arm. After five months at various hospitals in England, he was invalided back to Canada in 1918.

William took over the family store and in 1926 married Constance Norris of Minnedosa and they had two sons. The family moved to Winnipeg in 1940.

William had numerous jobs while living here, including merchant, a clerk with the Manitoba Government, and by 1949 was a clerk at Deer Lodge Hospital. Around 1950, William got a job with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the couple moved to Strathmillan Road.


July 10, 2010 Winnipeg Free Press

The Burdon family were the next to live here.

Harry and Muriel Burdon were from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan where Harry worked at the newspaper and Muriel was a nurse. They married in 1947 after Harry returned from naval duty during the war and they had three daughters.

In 1951, the family moved to this house where they had two more sons.

Mr. Burdon was chief electrician at Affiliated Inspection Bureau, a division of the Grain Insurance and Guarantee Company that insured many grain elevators across the prairies. He was involved in athletics, having been a sports star back in Moose Jaw, and is mentioned often in curling news and as a member of the executive of Orioles Community Club.

Mrs. Burdon was also involved in numerous community organizations. After the children had grown, she went back into nursing at the Health Sciences Centre from 1966 to 1987.

Muriel Burdon died on September 13, 2011, at the age of 87. Harry Burdon died on April 22, 2012. It appears that they lived at 462 Arlington until their deaths.


House on April 16, 2022 (C. Cassidy)

The house was sold after the Burtons died. It appears to have been for sale again in 2020. This may have been after it suffered a fire in August 2020 that displaced a family of seven.

It was renovated and inhabited again through 2021 but vacant and boarded by April 2022.

On the night of May 22, 2022, the house suffered another, much larger, fire that sent one firefighter to hospital and will require its demolition.

UPDATE: The land at 462 Arlington went up for sale in June 2022 for $198,000

Sunday, April 17, 2022

1103 Corydon Avenue - Crescentwood Pharmacy

© 2022, Christian Cassidy


Google Street View, 2021

Place: Former Crescentwood Pharmacy
Address: 1103 Corydon Avenue (Map)
Constructed: 1946 (expanded 1955)


From: 1948 - 49 Kelvin High School yearbook

The building permit for 1103 Corydon Avenue was issued in 1946.

According to The History of Pharmacy in Manitoba, it was first home to Crescent Pharmacy owned by J. W. Gawne. Within a year, he sold it to Benjamin Kitzes and Sidney Jack Miller who renamed it Crescentwood Pharmacy. Kitzes had been a clerk at Broadway Pharmacy on Broadway and Miller was a druggist at Manitoba Drug Store on Selkirk Avenue.

At the time, this would have been the outer reaches of urban development along Corydon Avenue. The streetcar line ended at Wilton Street and it wasn’t until 1949 that Corydon was widened and paved to Cambridge Street allowing bus and trolley car service to continue further west.


From: Brown and Gold (U of M) yearbook, 1938

Ben Kitzes moved to Winnipeg from Inwood, Manitoba, where his family ran a general store, in the 1930s and graduated from the University of Manitoba's College of Pharmacy in 1938. He enlisted with the RCAF during World War II and was likely stationed at No. 4 Service Flying Training School in Saskatoon for the duration.

After the war, Kitzes returned to Winnipeg and moved in with his family who now operated St. Matthews Grocery a store at 657 St. Matthews Avenue and lived in the house behind. He worked at Broadway Pharmacy until he purchased 1103 Corydon Avenue.


From: Fort Rouge Through the Years souvenir booklet, 1974

Crescentwood Pharmacy became a hub of the community. Not only was it a pharmacy, it had a store that sold beauty and hygiene supplies, pens and personal shavers, a soda fountain, and a postal outlet. (The latter is likely what the 1955 rear extension was for.)

Kitzes wife, Mary (or Marie), was a long-time clerk behind the counter.

Miller left in 1958 to work at Murphy's Drug Store on St. Mary's Road.


Image from 1976 by Jim Walker
Winnipeg Tribune Collection, University of Manitoba Digital Collections

Kitzes was an avid baseball player and soon became involved in the Crescentwood Community Club, established in 1944, as a baseball player and coach. He was also a long-time member of the General Monash Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

In 1976, Kitzes announced that he and Mary were retiring. He told a Winnipeg Tribune reporter: "I've always wanted to be involved in a community-type business where you get to know everybody. It's the type of life I wanted, the type of life I love."

A community celebration was held for them at the Crescenwood Community Club and in 1977 he was awarded the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association's "Bowl of Hygeia" Award for outstanding community service.

Ben Kitzes died on October 26, 1992, after what his obituary described as a lengthy illness, and is buried in the Hebrew Sick Benefit Cemetery. His obituary concludes: “The world is a better place because Ben Kitzes passed this way”.

The store's long run as a pharmacy ended with Kitzes.

By April 1977, it was home to a Black and Armstrong Real Estate office and in September was Cambridge Insulation. From about 1978 to at least 1990 it was the Good Wool Shop, a knitting supply and sweater store.

It was home to Barks 'n' Bubbles Pet Spa from 2006 to 2016 and now is The Pawsh Dog.

Ben Kitzes' obituary (two parts):