Historic Sites of Manitoba: Bell Block / Victoria Block / Daymin Court (1202 Rosser Avenue, Brandon)
This three-storey brick building on Rosser Avenue in Brandon was constructed in 1893 by contractor brothers James Bell and William Bell at a cost of about $25,000. It hosted commercial space on the main floor and offices and residential apartments on the upper floors. In 1914, its name was changed to Victoria Block.
In 1928, the building’s owner, the Mitrou Candy Company, undertook a major renovation by contractor Edwin John Turner. Apartments were gutted and reconfigured so there were fewer, larger ones, seventeen in total. A contest was held to select a new name for the building. Willingdon Court was the contest winner, but Daymin Court (suggested by the mother of Fred McGuinness, based on a rearrangement of the letters in Mitrou Candy) was a runner-up. To avoid confusion with an existing Willingdon Apartments elsewhere in Brandon, the latter name was chosen.
Businesses that occupied the main floor of the building through the years have included the Bell Grocery, physician Niven Agnew, Brandon Heating and Plumbing Company, piano merchant M. O. Hedley and Company, and Mitrou Candy Company. During the Second World War, the building hosted classes of the Brandon Normal School when they were displaced from its building by military personnel.
1891 Canada census, Ancestry.
“Name Brandon’s new apartments,” Brandon Sun, 1 June 1928, page 23.
“‘Willingdon Court’ wins title prize,” Brandon Sun, 6 June 1928, page 9.
“An explanation,” Brandon Sun, 11 June 1928, page 13.
“Message sparks childhood memories of Fleming’s well,” Brandon Sun, 7 February 1989, page 16.
1202 Rosser Avenue, Heritage Brandon.
We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 4 April 2023