Historic Sites of Manitoba: Bank of British North America Building / Royal Trust Building / Newmac Building (436 Main Street, Winnipeg)
This three-storey structure on Main Street is the only surviving pre-1914 building between Portage Avenue and McDermot Avenue. Built in 1903 for the Bank of British North America, it replaced various leased premises that the bank had occupied since arriving at Winnipeg in 1886.
A one-storey rear addition, designed by local architects Pratt and Ross, was built in 1914 by the construction firm of Hazelton and Walin at a cost of about $40,000. Four years later, the bank merged with the Bank of Montreal and a subsidiary, the Royal Trust Company, took over this space as its western headquarters. Some unused offices were leased to private firms and government departments.
Royal Trust moved out in 1964 and, two years later, the building was purchased by the law firm of Newman, McLean and Associates, which restored it. They leased space to other lawyers, the City of Winnipeg, residential development companies, and the Banque Canadienne Nationale. After the firm merged with Taylor McCaffrey in the early 1990s, they vacated the building.
It is a municipally-designated historic site. In front of the former bank building is a plaque commemorating Robert Atkinson Davis.
City of Winnipeg Building Permit 1742/1914, City of Winnipeg Archives.
“$40,000 bank for Main St.,” Winnipeg Tribune, 5 May 1914, page 20.
The Bank of British North America, 436 Main Street, City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, August 1982.
We thank George Penner and Jordan Makichuk for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 28 May 2023