WINNIPEG — The iconic Hudson's Bay Co. building in downtown Winnipeg is to get a new life with a transfer to Indigenous leadership. Here is some background about the historical six-storey, 60,000-square-metre building:
— It was the flagship store for the Hudson’s Bay Company when it opened at 450 Portage Ave. in 1926.
— At the time, it was the largest poured reinforced concrete building in the country.
— The building was designed by Montreal architect Ernest Isbell Barott.
— The building was “Manitoba made” with local Tyndall limestone giving it its distinctive appearance, as well as local cement, gravel and reinforcing steel bars.
— The first purchases were made by then-mayor Ralph Webb. He bought a novelty bracelet for his wife and a tie for his son.
— The first parkade in the Prairie provinces was built onto the Bay building in 1954. It had room for 450 vehicles.
— The building had many changes and renovations throughout the years and included a library, an orchestra, the memorable Paddlewheel Restaurant and a Zellers, briefly, in the basement.
— The building received a heritage designation from Winnipeg city council in 2019.
— A valuation of Hudson’s Bay Co. real estate later that year found the downtown Winnipeg building was worth $0.
— The Hudson’s Bay Co. closed the store for good in November 2020.
— The Bay is Canada's oldest continually operating company.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 21, 2022.
The Canadian Press