Manitoba Historical Society
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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Bell Block (813-815 Main Street, Winnipeg)

Link to:
Photos & Coordinates | Sources

This two-storey brick building on Main Street in Winnipeg began in 1901 for baker Richard Joseph Bell. It began as single-storey kitchen that measured 12 feet frontage along Main to a depth of 18 feet and built by mason-contractor [and neighbour to the Bell family on Ellen Avenue] James J. Priel (1872-?) at a cost of $300.

In 1901, the structure was expanded southward with an additional 18 feet of frontage to a depth of 28 feet, adding both residential quarters and bakery storefront. This two-storey addition was designed and built by carpenter Frank J. Clements for $1700.

Two expansions to the premises occurred in 1905. That summer saw the brick addition that measured 14 feet wide by 36 feet deep along with a 12 feet by 18 feet second storey atop the 1900-built section. Construction was undertaken by contractor John Dolmer and completed at a cost of $2800. In late December, a iron-clad woodshed measuring 10 feet by 20 feet built by J. Macleod at a cost of $100 was added to the rear of the property.

It contained two commercial spaces on the main floor while the second floor dwelling quarters converted into two residential apartments, with an addition on the back constructed later. The building was eventually renovated into eight apartments.

Formerly a municipally-designated historic building, it was de-listed in 2010 and, on 4 March 2023, it was destroyed by fire.

Photos & Coordinates

Bell Block

Bell Block (August 2021)
Source: George Penner

Bell Block

Bell Block (March 2023)
Source: Jordan Makichuk

Rear of the Bell Block

Rear of the Bell Block (March 2023)
Source: Nathan Kramer

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.90730, W97.13354
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: Richard Joseph Bell (1859-1939)

815 Main Street - R. Bell Block” by Christian Cassidy, Winnipeg Places, 8 March 2023.


City of Winnipeg Building Permit 43/1900, City of Winnipeg Archives.

City of Winnipeg Building Permit 337/1901, City of Winnipeg Archives.

City of Winnipeg Building Permit 1260/1902, City of Winnipeg Archives.

City of Winnipeg Building Permit 3348/1905, City of Winnipeg Archives.

City of Winnipeg Building Permit 172/1941, City of Winnipeg Archives.

City of Winnipeg Building Permit 369/1941, City of Winnipeg Archives.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

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

The Year Past 2010: Annual Report of the City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, page 16.

‘Our Main Street strip is decimated’: Main Street hit with massive blaze Saturday,” CTV News, 5 March 2023.

This page was prepared by George Penner, Nathan Kramer, Jordan Makichuk, and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 17 April 2023

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