Monday, February 22, 2010

Downtown Places - The Winnipeg Clinic

Around Downtown
Place: The Winnipeg Clinic
Address: 425 St. Mary Avenue (Map)
Opened: October 1942
(1942) Waisman and Ross Architects 
Contractor: (1942) Frank Lount Construction


Source: CMAJ

The Winnipeg Clinic was created in 1938 by esteemed Manitoba physician Paul H. T. Thorlakson after his Maclean - Thorlakson Clinic outgrew its Medical Arts Building space.

Land was purchased on Vaughan Street at St. Mary, across from the Winnipeg Auditorium, but the war delayed construction plans. In early March 1942 a building permit was taken out for the two storey, $60,000 complex

 Source: Wpg Tribune Feb 28, 1942

The design was 'modern and sleek' with smooth tyndall stone and a glass block wall but had to take into account wartime constraints and use no structural steel in its construction. The central office, X -ray room and laboratoires were located on the main floor while the upper level was doctors offices and observation rooms.

The building was open for business in October 1942 but it appears that  thre was no formal opening ceremony.

In 1943 the Manitoba Institute for Medical Research, later renamed the Winnipeg Clinic Research Institute, was created. The ownership of the building was transferred to this new entity. 

The Winnipeg Clinic was built in three stages. 

A five storey addition to the east was constructed in 1946 (above) and an additional six storeys were added to the east building in 1959 (below) which gave the clinic it's "Jetsons" look and creating a unique landmark for downtown. 

The medical partnership that created the Winnipeg Clinic incorporated in 1949. Today, over 50 doctors practice out of the facility and research is still a key part of their mandate.

Winnipeg Clinic

425 St. Mary Avenue Winnipeg Building Index
425 St. Mary Avenue Winnipeg Architecture Foundation 
The Progress of an Idea: The Story of the Winnipeg Clinic CMAJ (1966)
Dr. Paul H.T. Thorlakson Collection University of Manitoba


  1. Is there a reason the skywalk from the parking lot across Vaughn does not connect to the Winnipeg Clinic?

    1. I'm so glad that it doesn't. It would have completely destroyed that corner of the building. It already get's in the way and is a hideous sight to behold.

  2. Please take that dreadful skywalk away from the front of the clinic! Just cross the street, and walk for a minute in your own weather, fellow Manitobans.