Historic Sites of Manitoba: Brown Block (902 Home Street, Winnipeg)
Located on Home Street in Winnipeg, this three-storey printing and publishing warehouse was commissioned in 1912 by James Brunless Brown (1876-1947) of the James B. Brown Company, with architectural plans acquired from Edgar Prain and construction managed by the Claydon Construction Company. The brick building was built to fit the trapezoidal-shaped property, with 40 feet of Home Street frontage to a depth of 100 feet, and following the side and rear lanes. It was completed and furnished at a cost of around $50,000.
The James B. Brown Company began operation at Winnipeg in 1899, initially based at 214 Notre Dame Avenue. In 1903, it expanded into a newly commissioned Brown Block at 323-327 Garry Street. In November 1918, the company Limited was granted a charter of incorporation under The Companies Act via Letters Patent, with its partners being Brown along with his wife Harriet Beatrice Brown, Henry George Latimer Strange, James Paterson Ewing, and Bessie Evelyn Kline. The company held an initial capital stock of $40,000 and operated at these premises into the 1930s.
In 2021, the building was sold and, as of a March 2022 site visit, was undergoing renovations.
Photos & Coordinates
“When a man talks business [ad],” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 November 1899, page 3.
“Job Printing [James B. Brown],” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 September 1900, page 5.
“Strike for the eight hour day,” Winnipeg Tribune, 19 September 1905, page 2.
City of Winnipeg Building Permit 1242/1912, City of Winnipeg Archives.
“A local manufactory,” Manitoba Free Press, 9 November 1912, page 13.
“Firemen rescue man in blaze,” Winnipeg Tribune, 19 December 1941, page 13.
“James B. Brown dies in hospital,” Winnipeg Tribune, 24 September 1947, page 48.
Companies Office corporation documents (CCA 0059), 88J - James B. Brown Company Limited, GR6427, Archives of Manitoba.
Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.
We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 16 October 2022