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Jens Munk at Churchill
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Manitoba History No. 89

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This Old Elevator
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Memorable Manitobans: William Bruce (1852-?)


Born at Caithness-shire, Scotland in August 1852, son of John Bruce and Ann Christian, he attended Haldene Academy at Glasgow after which he apprenticed in architecture then practiced as an architect at Edinburgh, Glasgow, and London. He designed buildings in Leeds and Yorkshire, was a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts, and the Edinburgh Association of Science and Arts.

He emigrated to Winnipeg in 1906 where he continued his architectural practice. Few records survive of the buildings that he designed. In 1912, he unveiled an ambitious plan for a large urban center, dubbed Roblin City, at the mouth of the Churchill River on Hudson Bay, site of present-day Churchill. He also championed a native Manitoba stone for building purposes that he called Manitobite. He formed a company, Manitobite Stone Works Limited, to market the stone.

He was married to Anne Edward (1852-1915). They had no children. In 1911, the couple lived at 302 Langside, Winnipeg. No records of his whereabouts after 1919 have yet been found.

His architectural works in Manitoba included:





Minnewaska Court / Chateau Apartments

74 Spence Street, Winnipeg



British and Foreign Bible Society Building (Ukrainian Cultural Centre)

184 Alexander Avenue East, Winnipeg



Russell School No. 273



Demolished (?)

See also:

Roblin City: A Gleaming Metropolis on the Bay by James Burns and Gordon Goldsborough
Manitoba History, Number 68, Spring 2012


1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

“Deaths and funerals,” Manitoba Free Press, 18 February 1915, page 32.

Winnipeg Building Index.

Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, 1800-1950 by Robert G. Hill, Toronto.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 15 November 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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