Manitoba Historical Society
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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ashdown Building (476 Main Street, Winnipeg)

In 1904, Winnipeg architect J. H. G. Russell designed a new foundation for an existing, three-storey 1880s building on this site, the store for merchant James H. Ashdown. A few months later, the building was destroyed by fire but two new storeys were built hastily on the undamaged foundation. Four more storeys were added to it in 1905.

A list of company employees killed during military service in the First World War was published in 1919.

A one-storey addition was made to the north side of the building in 1959, along with extensive exterior renovation, on designs by the architectural firm of Moody and Moody. The Ashdown store closed in 1970 and the building was sold to Big 4 Sales which operated here until 1992. The building was later renovated for use by a variety of businesses and cultural organizations. It is a municipally-designated historic site.

Ashdown Building

Ashdown Building (circa 1903)
Source: An Illustrated Souvenir of Winnipeg

Ashdown Building

Ashdown Building (June 2014)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Ashdown Building

Ashdown Building (April 2021)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.89787, W97.13908
denoted by symbol on the map above

Company Casualties of the First World War





Birth Date

Death Date

Norman Harold Bell
[Maryland Methodist]


78th Battalion, Canadian Infantry


26 January 1881

31 October 1916

Alfred Driver

Order Clerk

8th Battalion, Canadian Infantry


13 February 1894

10 November 1917

Cecil Hobday
[Next of Kin]


27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry


12 April 1895

15 September 1916

John Frances Hourihan

Invoice Clerk

78th Battalion, Canadian Infantry


11 January 1894

30 October 1917

John MacHenry


78th Battalion, Canadian Infantry


2 May 1885

9 April 1917

Andrew Gray Nicol
[Next of Kin, Westminster]


Canadian Railway Troops

Lance Corporal

19 August 1886

4 April 1917

Robert Spaul


78th Battalion, Canadian Infantry


23 June 1889

7 January 1917

Thomas White
[Next of Kin, Norwood Presbyterian]

Elevator Operator

8th Battalion, Canadian Infantry


12 April 1896

1 May 1915

Thomas Grant Roffey


27th Battalion, Canadian Infantry


3 January 1893

4 August 1918

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: James Henry Ashdown (1844-1924)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ashdown House (529 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ashdown Warehouse (167 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites


“Honor roll of the J. H. Ashdown Hardware Co. Limited,” Winnipeg Tribune, 8 September 1919, page 51.

Big 4 Sales (Formerly J. H. Ashdown Hardware Store), 476 Main Street, Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, March 1998.

We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Darryl Toews.

Page revised: 22 October 2021

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