Historic Sites of Manitoba: Guest Block (596-598 Main Street, Winnipeg)

This three-storey brick building on Main Street in Winnipeg, measuring 22 feet by 70 feet, was designed by local architect James Chisholm and built in 1902 at a cost of about $9,000 by Davidson Brothers for fish merchant William John Guest.

In its original configuration, the building contained a single retail space on its main floor and 15 residential apartments split between the two upper floors. In 1903, a one-storey brick addition, measuring 22 feet by 40 feet, was constructed at the rear at a cost of about $1,500.

In 1909, a three-storey brick addition, measuring 15 feet by 70 feet, was designed by architect George William Northwood and built at a cost of about $5,500 on the south side of the building along Main Street by contractor James Gerald Latimer.

In 1934, repairs to the building were completed by contractor William James Lailey at a cost of about $500.

The building was destroyed by fire on 8 March 2024.

Guest Block

Guest Block (1902)
Source: Manitoba Free Press, 12 November 1902, page 8.

Guest Block

Guest Block (January 2018)
Source: George Penner

Guest Block

Guest Block (March 2024)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.90204, W97.13665
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: James Chisholm (1841-1920)

Manitoba Business: Davidson Brothers

Memorable Manitobans: William John Guest (1852-1940)

Memorable Manitobans: George William Northwood (1876-1959)

Memorable Manitobans: James Gerald Latimer (1842-1927)

Memorable Manitobans: William James “Jim” Lailey (1879-1951)


City of Winnipeg Building Permit 422/1902, City of Winnipeg Archives.

“New fish warehouse for W. J. Guest,” Manitoba Free Press, 12 November 1902, page 8.

City of Winnipeg Building Permit 1151/1903, City of Winnipeg Archives.

City of Winnipeg Building Permit 1941/1909, City of Winnipeg Archives.

“Building notes,” Winnipeg Tribune, 5 May 1934, page 2.

Guest Block, 596-598 Main Street, Winnipeg Historical Buildings & Resources Committee, October 2015.

Building in downtown Winnipeg expected to be a complete loss after Friday night fire,” CBC News, 8 March 2024.

This page was prepared by George Penner, Nathan Kramer, Jordan Makichuk, and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 10 March 2024

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