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Manitoba Historical Society
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Manitoba Business: Kelly Brothers / Manitoba Construction Company / Kelly Brothers and Mitchell / Thomas Kelly and Sons

This Winnipeg-based construction firm was founded in 1881 by brother Thomas Kelly, Michael Kelly, and Martin Kelly. It was responsible for building many buildings, bridges, and other structures around the city. From 1900 to 1905, they undertook the initial construction work on the St. Andrews Locks. They constructed the substructures of several bridges across the Red and Assiniboine Rivers and completed two of the more difficult contracts on the Shoal Lake Aqueduct: the crossing of the Red River from Tache to Pacific Avenue, and the crossing of the Brokenhead River and slough.

They built several public schools around the city, including the first Normal School at the corner of Kate Street and William Avenue. They put down the first block paving in Winnipeg. When asphalt became popular as a paving material, they constructed the first plant and paved the first asphalted street in Winnipeg, McDermot Avenue.

In 1903, the firm merged with several other companies to form the Manitoba Construction Company with Thomas Kelly as President and General Manager and George Andrews Mitchell as Secretary-Treasurer. After two years this firm became Kelly Brothers and Mitchell Limited with Thomas Kelly as President and Manager. In 1908, he formed the firm of Thomas Kelly and Sons Limited.

Some of the Manitoba buildings that the firm constructed:

Building

Location

Year

Status

Dominion Post Office Building

Winnipeg

?

 

Grain Exchange Building

Winnipeg

?

 

Free Press Building

Winnipeg

?

 

Imperial Bank

Winnipeg

?

 

Bank of Toronto

Winnipeg

?

 

Maw Block

Winnipeg

?

 

Stanley Block

Winnipeg

?

 

Manitoba Law Courts

Winnipeg

?

 

Boyd Building

Winnipeg

?

 

Codville Company Block

Winnipeg

?

 

Campbell Brothers & Wilson Block

Winnipeg

?

 

Bank of Nova Scotia

Winnipeg

?

 

Canadian Pacific Railway Shops

Winnipeg

?

 

Canadian Northern Railway Shops

Winnipeg

?

 

Leckie Building

216-220 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg

1900

 

Greenshields Warehouse

Winnipeg

1903

 

Foley, Lock and Larson Warehouse

Winnipeg

1903

 

Campbell Brothers and Wilson Warehouse

Winnipeg

1903

 

McNab and Roberts Warehouse

Winnipeg

1903

 

Percy Crump Warehouse

Winnipeg

1903

 

Shea Brewery

Winnipeg

1903

 

Carlton School

Graham Avenue, Winnipeg

1903

 

Winnipeg Land Titles Building

433 Broadway, Winnipeg

1903-1904

 

Boyd's Bakery

Winnipeg

1903

 

Winnipeg General Hospital

Winnipeg

1903

 

Vulcan Iron Works

Winnipeg

1903

 

Drewry Brewery

Winnipeg

1903

 

Strang Block

Winnipeg

1903

 

Forman Block

Winnipeg

1903

 

Thompson Block

Winnipeg

1903

 

Dingle House

Winnipeg

1903

 

Havergal College (addition)

Winnipeg

1903

 

Manitoba Cold Storage Warehouse

Winnipeg

1903

 

Canadian Moline Plow Warehouse

Winnipeg

1903

 

Winnipeg Brewery (addition)

Winnipeg

1903

 

Kelly Building

181 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg

1904-1905

 

Christie Block

245 Notre Dame Avenue, Winnipeg

1906

 

Grain Exchange Building

167 Lombard Avenue, Winnipeg

1906-1908

 

Imperial Bank of Canada

441 Main Street, Winnipeg

1906-1908

 

Phoenix Block

388 Donald Street, Winnipeg

1910

 

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: Martin Kelly (1855-1925)

Memorable Manitobans: Michael Kelly (1844-1923)

Memorable Manitobans: Thomas Kelly (1855-1939)

Memorable Manitobans: George Andrews Mitchell (1857-1909)

Sources:

“The Manitoba Construction Company,” Winnipeg Tribune, 19 December 1903, page 20.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 15 September 2022

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