Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ryan Block / Banfield Block / MacDonald Shoe Store (492 Main Street, Winnipeg)

This two-storey building on the west side of Main Street in Winnipeg, between Bannatyne and William avenues, is a much-renovated remnant of a four-storey stone structure constructed in 1883 for shoe retailer and wholesaler Thomas Ryan. In 1893, Ryan relocated his business to another site in the Exchange District, while his brother George maintained a shoe store here until around 1900 when the property was purchased by Armine F. Banfield, a dealer in household furnishings. Banfield extended the building west to Albert Street then rebuilt it following a fire in 1903, using local architect Joseph Greenfield for the design work.

Following another fire in 1933, the upper two floors of the front section of the building, facing Main Street, were removed and a new roof and facade were added to the remaining two floors. Architectural work for the renovations was done by the firm of Northwood and Chivers. The upper floors of the rear portion, facing Albert Street, were removed in 1939.

The building was occupied for a prolonged period by the Macdonald Shoe Store Limited, operated by Thomas Ainslie MacDonald, and subsequently by other businesses and an urban development corporation. It is now a municipally-designated historic site.

The former Ryan Block / Banfield Block

The former Ryan Block / Banfield Block (June 2014)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

The former Ryan Block / Banfield Block

The former Ryan Block / Banfield Block (April 2017)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.89844, W97.13915
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ryan Block (44 Princess Street, Winnipeg)

Memorable Manitobans: Thomas Ainslie MacDonald (1892-1963)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites


Former Macdonald Shoe Store (Former Banfield Block; Former Ryan Block), 492 Main Street / 131-133 Albert Street, City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, January 1996.

We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 6 May 2023

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