Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Downtown Places - 310 Donald Street

Building demolished Spring 2012. See Centrepoint Development
Place: The Donalda Building
310 Donald Street
Completed: 1951


310 Donald first appears in the newspapers around 1911 as Winnipeg Garage Ltd. It repaired motor vehicles, sold Franklins and Stoddards and were one of Canada's first known importers of Cadillacs.

In 1913 Stag Billiards took over the space, opening a 45 table pool hall. Soon, two additional storeys were added to accommodate 7 bowling lanes. By 1949 it was known as the Gibson Recreation Building and also included Murphy's Café and a barber shop on the main floor.

In 1949 - 1951 a number of changes took place along that stretch of Donald. The pool hall and bowling alley relocated to 316 Donald (see Saratoga Building) and 310 Donald was torn down to make way for the present Donalda Block. The main retail tenant of the building was The Orchid Florists, which relocated from the retail section of the Capitol theatre located right across the street.

The Orchid Florists was created in 1921 by Harry Scott. Now deceased, it was son Victor who opened this new location that they billed as 'Canada's largest flower shop'. A third generation of Scott, Victor's son Tammas, who attended Chicago's Bright School of Floriculture, returned to be the store manager.

Today a fourth generation,
Tammas Scott Jr., runs the company.

ca. 1950s (source)

The upper floors of the Donalda Building contained offices. Longer term tenants from the 60s and 70s included the Commercial Credit Corporation, Toshack Bros & Turple Realty and the Insurance Agents Association of Manitoba. Also in the 70s, Okaley Optical joined The ORchid as main floor retail tenants.

The Orchid moved from Donald Street around 1994. Retail tenants since then have included High Brow Books, Genysys Computers and Urban Planet.

By 2010 the building was vacant and owned by
CentreVenture. In 1912 is scheduled to be demolished to make way for the ALT Hotel development.

My photo album of the Donalda Buidling
Demolition Underway Winnipeg Free Press (March 2012)

Donalda Building
March 31, 2012

1 comment:

  1. If you look closely at the photos provided, you will notice the building had not been replaced in 1951, Just updated. The steel structure seen in your demo pics matches that in the 50's photo you provided(showing a c.1910 bldg), and you can see the old fascade too in the smae photos. Hope this helps! :)