Tuesday, February 23, 2021

545 Arlington Street - Former Telesky Taxidermist

© 2021, Christian Cassidy

Place: Former Telesky Taxidermy
Address: 545 Arlington Street
Constructed: ca. 1912
Architect and Contractor: unknown

1912 was a period of great development round Arlington Street from Portage to Notre Dame avenues. The streets around had recently been subdivided into residential lots and in 1909 a single street car track was added to provide a loop connection to Sherbrook Street. 

Arlington Street was expected to become the city's second major north-south corridor stretching from River Heights to West Kildonan thanks to the Brown and Brandt Street Overpass (known today as the Arlington Street Overpass) and the Arlington Street Bridge that was to cross the Assiniboine River in Wolseley.

The bridge to the north opened in 1912 but never saw streetcar traffic, (one of the main reasons for building it), due to its steep slope and the latter was eventually scuttled after repeated protests from Wolseley residents. (For more about the plans for Arlington Street.)

August 31, 1912, Winnipeg Free Press

In early 1911 there were no addresses listed on Arlington Street between St. Matthews Avenue and Sargent Avenue, but that began to change in 1912.

This address first appears in classified ads in August 1912 looking for a boy to work at the grocery store of Peter Ballantyne. He lived at 480 Notre Dame Avenue and had worked as a warehouseman at A. Macdonald and Co. on Market Street, (what became Macdonald Consolidated), before deciding to go into business for himself.

By 1918, Ballantyne had moved on to another store at 679 Ellice and in the early 1920s to yet another store at 704 Toronto Street. In 1919, this store's name changed to Climax Grocery under John McCrady and then to Cameron’s Grocery under Albert Cameron who also lived in the rear.

April 3, 1926, Winnipeg Free Press

The building's owner, John B. Bell, a salesman for H. J. Heinz Ltd., died in 1926 and the property was sold off. Cameron's store only lasted a couple more years until it closed.

With such a poor history as a grocery store it's not surprising that the building's occupants became more industrial in nature.

In September 1928 the Capitol Carpet Company began advertising at this address. They were carpet and rug manufacturers that also offered a service that was popular at the time: rug recycling. In the early 1930s, company shifted its focus and became Capitol Cleaners and Dyers. 

Lögberg, December 23, 1937

It wasn’t until 1936 that the building got its first long-term owner with Stanley H. McLean Sheet Metal Works.

McLean, a longtime resident of 669 Beverley Street, was born in Palmerston, Ontario, and came to Winnipeg in his late teens around 1900. He began working as a tinsmith in 1902 and his shop operated from several addresses over the years. The last location before moving to 545 Arlington Street was 366 Lipton Street.

Stanley’s son, Lorne, joined him in business in the mid-1940s and it was renamed S. H. McLean and Son. Around back of the building was A. M. Anderson's Winnipeg Saw which manufactured and repaired saws.

The elder McLean retired in 1950 at the age of 66 and the son took the company further into the heating business as a dealer and installer of natural gas furnaces and other appliances.

Lorne sold up around 1961 and went to work for Heating Industries (Western) Ltd. in St. James. The building then became home to a North End business called Alexander Heating. Alexander Klym and M. Ratushniak were the proprietors.

Anderson's Winnipeg Saw continued to operate from the back.

In 1969, another long-term business moved to 545 Arlington when Ron Telesky moved his Strathcona Street taxidermy workshop here. His zoning hearing to open the shop and erect a 6 foot by 4 foot illuminated sign over the pavement was heard on October 14, 1969.

Telesky died in 1999 and the business was taken over by David and Jim Baxter. The shop closed in 2020. (For more about its years as a taxidermy shop see my West End Dumpling post.)

The building, which still retains it original pressed tin ceiling, will eventually be sold. The lot has been rezoned as residential, so it is likely that the building will be demolished for housing or converted into a residence.

My photo album of 545 Arlington Street.
Farewell Telesky Taxidermist West End Dumplings

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