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MHS Resources: Manitoba Bricks and Blocks: Winnipeg Sandstone Brick Company / Winnipeg Brick Company / Winnipeg Brick and Fuel Company / Winnipeg Brick Company

A directory of brick-making in Manitoba

A directory of block-making in Manitoba

People involved in brick and block-making in Manitoba

A glossary of terms relating to bricks and blocks

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The Winnipeg Sandstone Brick Company (WSBC) was incorporated via Letters Patent under the Manitoba Joint Stock Companies Act on 31 August 1910. The firm held an initial capital stock of $400,000 and opened a head office in the Builders Exchange in Winnipeg. A brick manufacturing facility was established on the east side of Pembina Street [now Osborne Street], between Mulvey Avenue [now Mulvey Avenue East] and Fleet Avenue [since removed]. Its initial directors were accountants Ernest Bickendike Eadie and Robert Siderfin, and law clerks George Murray, William Dinwoodie Robertson, and David Howatson.

In early February 1911, the company entered into an agreement with Hugh Sutherland of the Lake Winnipeg Shipping Company, and he served as President for a few years. William Dymock Macfarlane was General Manager for most of duration in business. At some point during the venture’s first decade, it expanded to include a brickyard at Beausejour. As of 1920, the combined daily output capacity was a reported 200,000 bricks. Bricks were red, buff, slate, and white with WB imprinted in the frog. Beyond construction-related building materials, the company also offered sandbox sand for sale.

The WSBC rebranded itself several times, first on 11 April 1914, to the Winnipeg Brick Company (WBC) Limited. This lasted until 4 December 1923, when WBC changed its name to to Winnipeg Brick and Fuel Company Limited. That incarnation lasted less than a year, and on 8 September 1924, the company reverted back to the WBC, its second name, and thereafter remained as such. The last annual return filed with the Provincial Companies Office was for the calendar year ending December 1931, at which time its directors were W. D. Macfarlane, A. Y. Macfarlane, and Charles H. McFadyen, with G. R. Hale as Secretary-Treasurer. Operations appear to have continued into 1935, when in late June of that year, it was awarded a municipal contract to supply sand for the citys asphault plant during the summer season. The business closed later that year, and on 25 November 1935, its Letters Patent were revoked.







Hugh McKay Sutherland (1845-1926)




“New companies,” Manitoba Free Press, 19 September 1910, page 3.

“Committee held lengthy session,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 April 1911, page 4.

“Huge delivery of building material,” Manitoba Free Press, 24 June 1913, page 16.

“Winnipeg Sandstone Brick Co., Ltd.” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 August 1913, page 32.

“Building operations in Crescentwood and Fort Rouge total $2,000,000 [Mulvey Avenue],” Manitoba Free Press, 27 September 1913, page 12.

“City’s action in removing tracks under discussion,” Manitoba Free Press, 27 May 1914, page 3.

“Must have subway at Talbot Avenue,” Manitoba Free Press, 21 October 1914, page 16.

“Sand,” Winnipeg Tribune, 2 May 1918, page 5.

“Inch investigates brick plant fire,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 17 June 1919, page 2.

“Bricks [ad],” Winnipeg Tribune, 24 April 1920, page 7.

“The new brick hollow wall,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 March 1921, page 15.

“City accepts work tenders,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 April 1922, page 2.

“"Yeggs blow safe at Fuel Office; loss unestimated,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 April 1932, page 6.

“Improvements appropriation to be decided,” Winnipeg Tribune, 10 April 1933, page 14.

“City building shows signs of many projects,” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 April 1934, page 13.

“Tender approved,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 June 1935, page 28.

Orders-in-Council (EC 0003B), Order-in-Council #22720, #41234, & #42317, GR1530, Archives of Manitoba.

Companies Office corporation documents (CCA 0059), 295W - Winnipeg Sandstone Brick Company, GR6427, Archives of Manitoba.

Companies Office corporation documents (CCA 0059), 295W - Winnipeg Brick Company Limited, GR6427, Archives of Manitoba.

Companies Office corporation documents (CCA 0059), 295W - Winnipeg Brick & Fuel Company Limited, GR6427, Archives of Manitoba.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

We thank Shayne Campbell for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 12 December 2021

Leary Brickworks

Manitoba Bricks and Blocks

A history of the manufacture of bricks and concrete blocks in Manitoba, based on research by Randy Rostecki for the Manitoba Historic Resources Branch and supplemented by information compiled by Gordon Goldsborough of the Manitoba Historical Society. .

Bricks | Blocks | People | Glossary

We thank Hugh Arklie, Gordon McDiarmid, and Heather Bertnick for their help in the development of this online guide. Financial support of the Thomas Sill Foundation is gratefully acknowledged. Additional information was provided by Ina Bramadat, David Butterfield, Neil Christoffersen, Frank Korvemaker, Ed Ledohowski, Ken Storie, Lynette Stow, and Tracey Winthrop-Meyers.

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Randy Rostecki, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch, Gordon Goldsborough, and Manitoba Historical Society.
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