Historic Sites of Manitoba: Breadalbane Block / Ambassador Apartments (379 Hargrave Street, Winnipeg)

This wedge-shaped five-storey building at the corner of Hargrave Street and Cumberland Avenue was designed by local architect John Woodman and constructed in 1909 by the construction firm of John McQuarrie and George McLeod. Known originally as the Breadalbane Block, its owners were James Fisher (who named it after his Scottish birthplace) and John D. McArthur. The original design provided 12 bachelor, one- and two-bedroom suites on each floor, with a janitor’s suite in the basement. Larger units had a drawing room, dining room, kitchen, and bathroom. Plans initially included a fifth-floor restaurant with a smoking room over the central balcony and small suites along Cumberland. Most of this space was converted to suites when the restaurant was not installed, but the smoking lounge was retained.

The building was sold to financial agent John McIvor around 1927. He installed suites in the basement and smoking lounge, bringing the building’s capacity to about 70 units, and renamed it the Ambassador in 1928. Largely vacant by the late 1980s, the structure was renovated around that time. It is a municipally-designated historic site.

Ambassador Apartments

Ambassador Apartments (April 2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Ambassador Apartments

Ambassador Apartments (May 2019)
Source: George Penner

Ambassador Apartments

Ambassador Apartments (January 2021)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.89589, W97.14600
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: John Woodman (1861-1944)

Memorable Manitobans: John McQuarrie (1849-1929)

Memorable Manitobans: Albert Robert “Ginger” Snook (1835-1926)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites


City of Winnipeg Building Permit 946/1909, City of Winnipeg Archives.

City of Winnipeg Building Permit 277/1928, City of Winnipeg Archives.

Apartment House Architecture in Winnipeg to 1915 by David Spector, December 1980.

Ambassador Apartments (379 Hargrave Street), Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, November 1985.

Preparation of this page was supported, in part, by the Gail Parvin Hammerquist Fund of the City of Winnipeg.

We thank Nathan Kramer and George Penner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 18 November 2022

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