Historic Sites of Manitoba: Lyon Block / Aikins Block / Bate Block (221 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg)

This three-storey building at the northeast corner of McDermot Avenue at Albert Street in Winnipeg, with a façade of yellow-ochre brick with limestone capitals and a metal cornice, was constructed in 1883 for the pioneer grocery merchant William H. Lyon. In 1893, it was occupied by the grocery wholesale firm of Thompson, Codville and Company, becoming Codville and Company six years later under proprietor John James Codville.

From 1900 to 1905, the Manitoba (Winnipeg) Free Press occupied the building and, after the vacant building was purchased by James Albert Manning Aikins in 1905, it was renovated by architect John Hamilton Gordon Russell into office space with the addition of two storeys. After Aikins’ firm moved to a building on Portage Avenue, it continued to use this building for several years, afterwards hosting professional and service offices. In 1942, the drug wholesale firm of Bate and Bate bought the building, changed its name, and established its office and warehouse facilities there.

Now a municipally-designated historic site, a commemorative plaque is mounted near the southwest corner of the building.

Lyon Building

Lyon Building (June 2014)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Lyon Building

Lyon Building (November 2021)
Source: George Penner

Lyon Block commemorative plaque

Lyon Block commemorative plaque (2009)
Source: City of Winnipeg

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.89717, W97.14014
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: William H. Lyon (c1833-1897)

Memorable Manitobans: John James Codville (1851-1915)

Memorable Manitobans: James Albert Manning Aikins (1851-1929)

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

Memorable Manitobans: Ernest Hector Bate (c1886-1951)

Memorable Manitobans: Edward Guy Bate (c1898-1990)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Mackenzie and Powis Building (78-84 Princess Street, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites


Bate Block / Lyon Block / Aikins Block (221 McDermot Avenue), City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee.

Information for this page was provided by The City of Winnipeg’s Planning, Property and Development Department, which acknowledges the contribution of the Government of Manitoba through its Heritage Grants Program.

We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 28 April 2024

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