Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Reubin [Rubin] Cohen (c1865-1955)


Born in Russia around 1865 to Jewish parents, he immigrated to London, England before moving to Canada in 1906. He and his wife Jessie Gurwin Cohen (c1866-1949) had four sons: Wolfe Cohen, Harry Cohen (1888-1982), Max Cohen (1893-1958), and Jacob “Jack” Cohen (1901-?). He settled in Winnipeg and immediately involved himself with the local Jewish community, helping to organize the Hebrew Sick Benefit Association (founded 25 October 1906), as a founding member of the Mount Carmel Clinic, co-founding the Chesed Shel Emes Chapel with his brother Abraham Cohen (c1876-1944), and was the long-time President (c1915-1955) of the Hebrew Free Loan Society. By 1911, he worked in real estate and was a building contractor into the early 1920s, with his structures including single and multi-unit residences and apartment blocks, many in the Crescentwood and Fort Rouge areas. Around the mid-1920s, he changed careers and aided his son Harry in his footwear business Standard Shoe Store (operating at 604 Main Street and 449 Portage Avenue). They resided in the North End including at 376 Magnus Avenue (1914-1921) and 241 Pritchard Avenue (1923-1955). He died at his Pritchard Avenue residence on 27 March 1955 and was buried in the Hebrew Sick Benefit Cemetery.

Some of his construction works in Manitoba included:





Rubin Block / Morley Apartments

270 Morley Avenue, Winnipeg




1911 & 1916 Canada censes, Automated Genealogy.

1921 Canada census, Ancestry.

“Building list still mounting [R. Cohen],” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 May 1912, page 10.

“Permits nearing $12,000,000 mark [R. Cohen],” Winnipeg Tribune, 8 July 1912, page 8.

“Local notes [R. Cohen],” Manitoba Free Press, 17 February 1913, page 15.

“Largest daily record this year,” Manitoba Free Press, 18 April 1913, page 9.

“Building operations in Crescentwood and Fort Rouge total $2,000,000 [R. Cohen],” Manitoba Free Press, 27 Sept 1913, page 13.

“Many building permits issued [R. Cohen],” Winnipeg Tribune, 23 March 1914, page 5.

“Permits grow [R. Cohen],” Manitoba Free Press, 24 April 1914, page 9.

“New apartment block,” Winnipeg Tribune, 25 April 1914, page 6.

“New type of block,” Manitoba Free Press, 30 April 1914, page 22.

“Standard Shoe Stores open on Portage Avenue,” Manitoba Free Press, 14 September 1929, page 6.

“Cohen store formally opened,” Manitoba Free Press, 22 October 1929, page 7.

“Clubs,” Winnipeg Tribune, 17 October 1931, page 14.

“Due to the death [...],” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 February 1949, page 3.

“Mrs. Reubin Cohen funeral rites held,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 February 1949, page 27.

Obituary [Mrs. Reuben Cohen / Jennie Cohen], Winnipeg Free Press, 16 February 1949, page 24.

Winnipeg estate file #40536, Jessie Cohen, Archives of Manitoba.

Winnipeg Bankruptcy files (ATG 0071A), No. 5/1952 - American Hide & Fur Company, GR0477, Archives of Manitoba.

“Reuben Cohen, 90, dies in Winnipeg,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 March 1955, page 8.

“Out of respect [...],” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 March 1955, page 16.

“Philanthropist, Reuben Cohen, age 90, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 March 1955, page 30.

“Out of respect [...],” Winnipeg Free Press, 12 February 1958, page 12.

Obituary [Harry Cohen], Winnipeg Free Press, 30 October 1982, page 38.

Hebrew Sick Benefit Cemetery burial transcriptions, FindAGrave.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

We thank Gordon Goldsborough for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 22 June 2019

Memorable Manitobans

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