Historic Sites of Manitoba: Dingwall Building (62 Albert Street, Winnipeg)

Link to:
Photos & Coordinates | Sources

In 1910, local architect John Hamilton Gordon Russell was engaged by jeweller Donald Ross Dingwall to design a warehouse and factory for his growing business, D. R. Dingwall Limited, to be located on Albert Street. The six-storey building was erected in two stages: the first three storeys were built in 1910 and three storeys were added the following year. The top two floors were used for the manufacture of fine gold and platinum work, diamond settings, silver smithing, and watch repair. Dingwall’s wholesale and mail order trade was conducted from the third floor. At its height, the company employed 120 men between the factory and two retail stores, and was one of the largest and most successful jewellery businesses in Canada.

Some employees of the company who were killed during service in the First World War were commemorated in a 101st Battalion souvenir program dedicated to Colonel Henry Norlande Ruttan on 24 April 1916, or in a 144th Battalion military vaudeville held at the Winnipeg Theatre on 9-11 March 1916.

The lower two floors of the Dingwall Building were leased to other businesses: a ladies’ wear store was on the main floor and a leather wholesaler on the second floor. These businesses were totally destroyed during a major fire sustained in February 1921 but, as the building did not suffer structural damage in the fire, Dingwall resolved to rebuild. The original entranceway was removed, the interior was rebuilt by Carter-Halls-Aldinger, and the Dingwall Building reopened later that year. Dingwall’s business returned to the upper two floors, with the lower two floors being occupied by Babson Brothers, a wholesale and mail order supplier of Edison phonograph records, and Stockholm Cream Separators. Strain’s photography supplies was on the third floor.

Facing tough economic times during the Great Depression, the Dingwall firm amalgamated with Henry Birks and Sons of Montreal in 1933. Three years later, Henry Birks and Sons Manitoba Limited was incorporated with Donald Charles Dingwall as President, although Manitobans continued to refer to the business as Birks-Dingwall for many years, reflecting the strength of the Dingwall name.

The building is a municipally-designated historic site.

Photos & Coordinates

Dingwall Building

Dingwall Building (June 2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Dingwall Building

Dingwall Building (November 2020)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.89677, W97.14035
denoted by symbol on the map above

First World War Casualties





Birth Date

Death Date

Charles Augustus Aldridge
[Brandon Armoury, Masonic]

Jewelry Buyer

1st Canadian Mounted Rifles


17 November 1886

2 June 1916

Randolph Arthur Campbell
[Next of Kin]


8th Battalion, Canadian Infantry


4 August 1888

26 September 1916

Frederick James Dingwall
[Next of Kin]


60th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Lieutenant Colonel

29 April 1877

13 February 1918

Fred Marshall


43rd Battalion, Canadian Infantry


19 March 1890

13 August 1916

Harry McBain MM


43rd Battalion, Canadian Infantry


15 July 1892

8 October 1916

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites

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

Memorable Manitobans: Donald Ross Dingwall (1851-1913)

Memorable Manitobans: Donald Charles Dingwall (1909-1984)


Dingwall Building (62 Albert Street), City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, January 1984.

We thank George Penner and Darryl Toews for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 16 December 2023

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