Historic Sites of Manitoba: Dominion Business College Building / Mall Plaza Apartments / Abbott Clinic (274 Osborne Street North, Winnipeg)
In 1927, the Cooper Institute of Accounting (CIA) and Dominion Business College (DBC), under the joint banner of the Cooper Education Institute, announced the acquisition of land for a new home at the southwest corner of St. Mary’s Avenue at Memorial Boulevard in Winnipeg, the first structure to be placed along The Mall after the building of the Hudson’s Bay Company store. Purchased from the city at a cost of $26,500, five residences on the land were demolished to clear the 58 feet by 137 feet footprint for construction.
Excavation work was contracted to James Reid, with piles driven some 50 feet to bedrock, after which work was handled by contractor W. A. Cameron. Construction of the three-story stone building began in August 1927 and was completed in only a few months. The college was built largely with local suppliers, including Gillis Quarries (Tyndall stone), Charles D. Kirk (plumbing), Carbo Combustion Engineering Company (furnaces), Brown and Rutherford (lumber), Vulcan Iron Works (boilers), C. A. Durham Company (furnace pumps), Winnipeg Paint and Glass Company (glasswork and doors), G. F. Stephens’ Paint Company (paint), John Davidson (plastering), Arctic Ice Company (electric refrigeration), E. N. Moyers Company (school supplies), Office Specialty Company (office supplies), United Underwriter Company, Remington Typewriter Company, and the Winnipeg Typewriter Exchange.
The building was opened formally on 30 December 1927 with a ceremony attended by Education Minister Robert Alexander Hoey and Manitoba College Principal John Alexander Mackay. The main floor was reserved for CIA and DBC classes, office space, reception area, gymnasium, lunch room, and cafeteria. Some classrooms had folding walls to allow the space to be adjusted as enrollment required. The two upper floors, known as the Mall Plaza Apartments, consisted of 22 apartment suites, all of which were uniquely designed.
From 1950 to 2006, the building was home to the Abbott Clinic, operated by a medical ownership group including brothers William Frederick “Fred” Abbott and Albert Clifford Abbott. The Abbott Clinic began as Fred’s medical practice at the Boyd Building in 1920, later joined by Clifford prior to their move into the Powers Building in the 1930s. After relocating to this site, they occupied the main floor, and also later the basement. The Abbott Clinic operated with around a dozen specialists at its peak, later dwindling to around five doctors before closing its doors on 17 February 2006. The building was subsequently sold and renamed the Sussex Realty Building.
Photos & Coordinates
“Chartered accountancy classes,” Manitoba Free Press, 9 October 1909, page 2.
“Wanted - bookkeepers, accountants [..., Dominion School of Accountancy and Finance],” Manitoba Free Press, 25 August 1910, page 14.
“Opening announcement [Dominion School of Accountancy and Finance],” Manitoba Free Press, 26 August 1911, page 10.
“Ways and means,” Manitoba Free Press, 2 September 1911, page 10.
“Building permits,” Manitoba Free Press, 11 September 1911, page 11.
“Cooper Institute of Accounting and Business Administration,” Manitoba Free Press, 12 March 1918, page 14.
“Be an accountant,” Manitoba Free Press, 16 October 1920, page 26.
City of Winnipeg Building Permit 3735/1927, City of Winnipeg Archives.
“New building to be erected on Mall site,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune Home Edition, 15 June 1927, page 1.
“Dominion Business College opens new home, December 30,” Manitoba Free Press, 28 December 1927, page 5.
“Suites in Mall Plaza to have many conveniences,” Manitoba Free Press, 29 December 1927, page 8.
“Foreign countries are interested in Cooper Institute,” Manitoba Free Press, 29 December 1927, page 8.
“Students are keen on amateur sport,” Manitoba Free Press, 29 December 1927, page 8.
“New Dominion Business College, first structure on Memorial Boulevard, formally opens Friday,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 28 December 1927, page 11.
“Rise of David Cooper parallels city’s growth,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 28 December 1927, page 2.
“College students annex honors in open competition,” Manitoba Free Press, 28 December 1927, page 7.
“Branch of College located in Elmwood,” Manitoba Free Press, 28 December 1927, page 7.
“College started as outgrowth,” Manitoba Free Press, 28 December 1927, page 7.
“Business College will open St. James Branch,” Winnipeg Tribune, 25 August 1928, page 3.
“City Junior Girls basketball champions,” Winnipeg Tribune, 20 April 1929, page 25.
“Dominion Business College provides improved facilities,” Manitoba Free Press, 23 August 1929, page 4.
“Local firms supply material equipment,” Manitoba Free Press, 23 August 1929, page 4.
“The Dominion Business College announces the opening of its new buildings in Elmwood and St. James,” Manitoba Free Press, 23 August 1929, page 4.
“The Cooper Institute of Accountancy, started in small way, has seen 25 years of progress and prosperity,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 4 August 1934, page 36.
“Dominion Business College is splendidly situated,” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 August 1934, page 36.
“Students play their parts in amateur sport,” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 August 1934, page 36.
“Landmark medical office closes,” Winnipeg Free Press, 18 February 2006, page B8.
We thank Jordan Makichuk for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 11 August 2023