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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Casa Loma Building (644 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg)

Designed by Winnipeg architect John Hamilton Gordon Russell, this building at the southeast corner of Portage Avenue and Sherbrook Street was built in 1909 by the construction firm of Carter Halls Aldinger. Intended as an apartment block with retail space on the first floor, the four-storey brick building was an investment by Neil Thomas MacMillan and Robert Vollans.

A fire in the building on 14 April 1928 caused the deaths of five residents.

The building was owned from 1915 to 1930 by the City Securities Company which was managed by Vollans as of the 1920s. Business occupants have included the grocer Alex Hendry, G. H. Wood and Company, Alfonso’s Colour Centre, Linn Signs, Shodor Industries, and The Rosery florist shop. The building is a municipally-designated historic site.

A view from the top of Fire Hall No. 5, with the Manitoba Deaf and Dumb Institute at right and the Casa Loma Building in the background, behind the streetcar

A view from the top of Fire Hall No. 5, with the Manitoba Deaf and Dumb Institute at right and the Casa Loma Building in the background, behind the streetcar (circa 1910)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough, 2014-0330

Casa Loma Building

Casa Loma Building (April 2017)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.88839, W97.15833
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Casa Loma Building (Wasagaming, Riding Mountain National Park)

Memorable Manitobans: John Hamilton Gordon Russell (1863-1946)

Memorable Manitobans: Neil Thomas MacMillan (1877-1931)

Memorable Manitobans: Robert Vollans (1873-1937)

Sources:

“Fire death list mounts to five,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 April 1928, page 1.

Casa Loma Building, 644 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, December 2003.

We thank Taras Zaporozan for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and George Penner.

Page revised: 21 November 2020

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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Please note that inclusion in this collection does not mean that a particular site has special status or protection. Some sites are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

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