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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Kirkwood Block (575 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg)

This two-storey brick building on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg was designed by local architect John D. Atchison and built in 1912 by Davidson Brothers for pharmacist William Kirkwood (1885-1967). It had four retail shops, including the Kirkwood Drug Store, fronting onto the street while the second floor hosted a Pentecostal Mission. Kirkwood retired in 1946. In February 1956, entrepreneur Harry Smith opened the Club Morocco nightclub on the upper level. After 33 years in business, it was renamed under new ownership in 1989.

The building was destroyed by fire on 2 February 2022.

Kirkwood Block

Kirkwood Block (May 2018)
Source: George Penner

Kirkwood Block

Kirkwood Block (February 2022)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.88952, W97.15611
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: John Danley Atchison (1870-1959)

Memorable Manitobans: Harry Smith (1913-1997)


“Club decorated in Moroccan motif,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 February 1956, page 7.

Obituary [William Kirkwood], Winnipeg Free Press, 25 October 1967, page 47.

“Pop beat,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 September 1989, page 35.

Kirkwood Block (Club Morocco), 575 Portage Avenue by Murray Peterson, Peterson Projects, February 2009.

This page was prepared by George Penner and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 February 2022

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