Sunday, July 1, 2012

350 - 354 Portage - The Carlton Building

ca. 2002 (source: Historic Buildings Committee)

Place: The Carlton Building
Address: 350 - 354 Portage Avenue (Map)
Architect: J. D. Atchison
Contractor: Sutherland Construction
Built: 1912


December 21, 1912, Winnipeg Free Press

December 17, 1912, Winnipeg Free Press

The Carlton building was constructed in 1912 for Real Estate investment firm
Oldfield Kirby and Gardner. Unique along Portage Avenue's retail strip for its use of terra cotta, it opened in December 1912 with retail space on the main floor and offices on the top two floors.

Initial tenants included the Investors Land and Security Co., Dr. Jaeger Sanitary Woolen Systems, (which sold wool undershirts and underwear), and the House of Hobberlin / Story and Story. The Clothes Shop came in 1914.

House of Hobberlin was a Toronto-based men's clothing chain that offered fashionable dress wear at affordable prices. Their slogan was "Tailors to the Canadian Gentleman."

Hobberlin had corporate stores in a number of Canadian cities and a network of 900 stores that carried their clothing line. The local affiliate that they teamed up was Story and Story, a tailor shop run by H. P. Story
. The store was opened on opened Jan 15 1913 by A. M. Hobberlin from Toronto. (Here's the company's Edmonton Avenue store interior ca. 1924.)

1912 ad

The Carlton Building is likely best known as home to Holt Renfrew.

The retailer began in Quebec City in 1837 as W. S. Henderson, a fur retailer. They entered the Winnipeg market in 1910 when the company, by then called Holt, Renfrew and Co., absorbed furrier Hammond, Dunlap and Cooke. They took over its 430 Main Street salon.

In 1913 the retailer branched out into clothing and accessories for men and women.

Top: March 3, 1917, Winnipeg tribune
Bottom: February 28, 1917, Winnipeg Free Press

In February 1917 Holt Renfrew moved into the Carlton Building, alongside House of Hobberlin, the Clothing Store and Jaeger's. Their fur factory moved into the third floor. The offered a large clothing and accessries section for ladies, a smaller one for men and,of course, the fur salon.

Though they
were a higher-end retailer, their motto for a time was "exclusive, not expensive". they offered layaway plans for furs and advertized regularly in The Voice, a local labour paper.

Portage Avenue Postcards 60's
Carlton Building, right - centre

Eventually they occupied the entire main and second floor of the building, making up part of the formidable south side of Portage Avenue that included department store chains such as Eaton's, Kreske's, Zellers, Marks and Spencer, Metropolitan and the Bay.

June 30, 1942, Winnipeg Tribune

In 1942 the store underwent a major redevelopment by Moody and Moore Architects. It included covering the main floor with Tyndall stone, closing in some of the windows and adding an elevator to the second level. Men's and ladies' wear were on the main floor while the millinery, fur department and offices were on the second. It reopened to the public on July 2nd.

1923 ad

When Portage Place was built in 1985, Holt Renfrew signed on as an anchor tenant. The Carlton Building was bought by Cadillac Fairview, owner of the mall and it was again subdivided into multiple retail spaces. Salisbury House, Black's Photography and Willson Stationers moved in.

Portage Avenue

In 2002 the North Portage Development Corporation signed a ten-year lease for the Carlton Building with the owner (by that time Consolidated Properties) and began a $2 million renovation on the building. When it reopened in 2003 the new tenant lineup was Warehouse One, Urban Autopark, Global Fine Foods, an event management company, the North Portage Development Corporation and engineering firm Crosier Kilgour and Partners.

The North Portage Development Corporation and David Penner, Architect received a 2004 Preservation Award for their redevelopment of the building.

354 Portage Avenue Winnipeg Historic Building report (long)
354 Portage Avenue Winnipeg Historic Building report (short)
354 Portage Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

May 26, 1913, Winnipeg Free Press


1923 (source)

1929 ad

October 15, 1943, Winnipeg Tribune

May 1944

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