Historic Sites of Manitoba: Rice Knitting Warehouse / Israelite Press Building / Universal Printers / Sterling Glove Building (165 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg)
In 1921, this two-storey brick and masonry warehouse at the northwest corner of Selkirk Avenue at Austin Street North in Winnipeg, measuring 30 feet by 80 feet, was built by Arthur John Bonnett, at a cost of about $16,000, for the Rice Knitting Mills Company (RKM).
RKM was formed in February 1921, with the venture receiving its Charter of Incorporation via Letters Patent under the Companies Act. Its founding partners were Lester Rice (manufacturer, of Strathy House), Isidor Hart (Superintendent), Israel Freeman (Assistant Manager), Charles D. Corbould (accountant), and Clara Rice. All members served as Directors, with Lester as President. It held an initial capital stock of $150,000 with operations centred in Winnipeg.
Despite taking out a $100,000 mortgage in 1923, the firm had financial trouble which lead to it being seriously in debt. Bankruptcy proceedings were initated in 1924 which lead to the Court of Kings Bench ordering the RKM into bankruptcy proceedings under under the Winding Up Act. The National Trust Company served as liquidators, though the lengthy process would not be completed until October 1926. Lester also faced two civil suites in 1924.
In the midst of those legal proceedings, a second corporate entity was established. The Rice Knitting Company (RKC) Limited was formed under the Companies Act, receiving its Charter of Incorporation via Letters Patent in Septemer 1924. It was comprised of barristers Fletcher Samuel Andrews, David Lorne Bastedo, Herbert Andrews, and Owen Bryan, along with Jessie Geddes (clerk). Both Andrews and Bastedo served as its first Directors. Their company held a capital stock of $100,000 and sought to acquire the RKM factory and assets. The $70,000 acquisition was obtained from the National Trust Company in September 1924 and approved in chambers by Justice Macdonald.
The RKC carried on the former RKM business at this location into the late 1920s before relocating to 296 McDermot Avenue around 1929. This building was then occupied by the Israelite Press / Universal Printers into the 1960s. Since the early 1970s, the premises has been occupied by Sterling Glove Company Limited (founded in 1947, since operating as Klondike Sterling Glove Corporation).
Photos & Coordinates
City of Winnipeg Building Permit 3003/1921, City of Winnipeg Archives.
“Case on committment is being heard today,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 May 1924, page 8.
“$41,000 in cash was sent here, Rice testifies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 27 May 1924, page 6.
“Rice case adjourned,” Winnipeg Tribune, 31 May 1924, page 3.
“Will call for tenders,” Manitoba Free Press, 18 July 1924, page 5.
“Notice to creditors of Rice Knitting Mills Limited,” Manitoba Free Press, 19 July 1924, page 11.
“Judicial sale of assets of the Rice Knitting Mills Limited,” Manitoba Free Press, 19 July 1924, page 20.
“Court approves sale of Knitting Mills,” Winnipeg Tribune, 22 September 1924, page 5.
Winnipeg civil files (ATG 0012A), #146/24 Perry M. Williams vs Lester Rice and United States Fidelity & Guaranty Company, GR0276, Archives of Manitoba.
Winnipeg civil files (ATG 0012A), #152/24 Perry M. Williams vs Lester Rice and United States Fidelity & Guaranty Company, GR0276, Archives of Manitoba.
Court of Queen’s Bench Winding Up Act pockets (ATG 0015), 208/24 Rice Knitting Mills Limited, GR0195, Archives of Manitoba.
Winnipeg bankruptcy files (ATG 0071A), 79/24 Rice Knitting Mills Limited, GR0477, Archives of Manitoba.
Companies Office corporation documents (CCA 0059), 369R - Rice Knitting Mills Limited, GR6427, Archives of Manitoba.
Companies Office corporation documents (CCA 0059), 427R - Rice Knitting Company Limited, GR6427, Archives of Manitoba.
Orders-In-Council (EC 0003B), Order-in-Council No. 36079 & 42312, GR1530, Archives of Manitoba.
“Lester Rice, 59, prominent Jew in city, is dead,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 May 1932, page 3.
“42 - Help wanted - Blocker for leather work gloves,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 March 1973, page 44.
“450 - Factory help [Glove cutter for leather work gloves ...],” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 August 1979, page 37.
Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.
Preparation of this page was supported, in part, by the Gail Parvin Hammerquist Fund of the City of Winnipeg.
We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 23 March 2023