Memorable Manitobans: Jack Levit (1927-2014)
Born at Winnipeg on 28 June 1927, son of William and Molly Levit, he attended the Peretz Folk School, Machray School, and St. John’s High School. He began working in his father’s Levit Sign Company, eventually growing it into one of Canada’s largest private neon sign companies. In 1964, he established the Lakeview Company and among its numerous building projects were the Courts of St. James, Lakeview Square, Colony Square, Intercity Gas Building, Royal Trust Building, and such residential, office, industrial, and retail complexes as the Towers of Polo Park, Moray Village, Kenaston Estates, and Kenaston Village Mall.
He built Winnipeg’s first skywalk in 1972 to connect Lakeview Square to the Winnipeg Convention Centre. He built the Hilton Suites Hotel, Sheraton Four Points, Winnipeg Grand Hotel, and the Lakeview Resort and Conference Centre at Gimli. He acquired the Canadian franchise for Country Inns and Suites and developed 13 properties under this banner. He then established his own hotel chain, Lakeview Inn and Suites, that included some 20 hotels. He built three 10-pin bowling alleys in Western Canada, and several Ichiban Japanese Steakhouses in Canada and the United States, including one in Winnipeg. He contributed to the development of the Winnipeg Convention Centre, Kinsmen RehFit Centre, Myles Robinson Heart Foundation, and the Asper Jewish Community Campus.
“Developer loved downtown,” Winnipeg Free Press, 18 November 2014, page B7.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 29 November 2014.
We thank Frances Kasper for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 30 November 2014
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