Historic Sites of Manitoba: Victoria Court (471 William Avenue, Winnipeg)

This three-storey brick and stone building on William Avenue in Winnipeg, measuring 46 feet by 110 feet, was designed by local architect Pall Melsted “Paul” Clemens and built in 1910 by day labour for owner Joseph Johnson at a cost of $40,000. Construction consumed 40 cords of stone for the basement walls, 200,000 red and amber bricks for its 13-inch-thick exterior walls, 5,000 square yards of plaster for its interior lathe-and-plaster walls and ceilings, and 80 cubic yards of concrete for its footings and basement floor. The interior floors were constructed of wood and nine-inch-thick interior walls were made of bricks. The building contained 21 apartments heated by steam generated by a basement boiler, full electric service, sewer connections, and running water. When it opened in late 1910, a few of its apartments had telephone service.

In 1934, underpinning to the building was completed by the construction firm of Fraser and MacDonald at a cost of about $1,700.

Occupied until at least 2014, the building was vacant at the time of a late 2019 site visit. It had sustained fire damage on its third floor and was boarded up although vandals had broken into it periodically. It was reopened and occupied in late 2022.

Former residents of Victoria Court included Edgar Prain (1911).

Victoria Court

Victoria Court (September 2019)
Source: George Penner

Victoria Court

Victoria Court (December 2019)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Victoria Court

Victoria Court (September 2022)
Source: Jordan Makichuk

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.90209, W97.14845
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: Pall Melsted “Paul” Clemens (1870-1966)

Manitoba Business: Fraser and MacDonald

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Abandoned Manitoba


City of Winnipeg Building Permit 1530/1910, City of Winnipeg Archives.

“Building permits,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 June 1934, page 11.

Boarded-up apartment block has become a drug den residents want cleaned up,” CBC News, 24 July 2019.

Traces of hope under the ‘hood,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 December 2019.

Preparation of this page was supported, in part, by the Gail Parvin Hammerquist Fund of the City of Winnipeg.

We thank George Penner, Nathan Kramer, and Jordan Makichuk for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 October 2023

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