Historic Sites of Manitoba: Canadian Consolidated Rubber Company Warehouse / Dominion Rubber Company Warehouse / Equipment Depot Storehouse / Federal Grain Elevator (1569 Orange Street, Winnipeg)
The Canadian Consolidated Rubber Company—which dealt in a wide array of products, from tires to raincoats—was formed on 29 June 1906 by the merger of the Canadian Rubber Company, Granby Rubber Company, and Maple Leaf Rubber Company. Incorporated at Montreal, Quebec, the company established retail and office space for its Western Canada Division in a building at the corner of Princess Street and Bannatyne Avenue in Winnipeg. Licensed as an extra-provincial corporation on 9 February 1911, It supported branch offices at Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver.
In 1912, needing space for a warehouse and shipping centre, the company bought a tract of land measuring 447 feet by 322 feet, serviced by a spur line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, near the then-city limits, on the northeast corner of Dublin Avenue and Empress Street (now Orange Street). The Canadian Stewart Company was commissioned to design and construct the concrete and brick building. Excavation work for a 300 foot by 100 foot foundation began in November 1912. At first, only a basement and ground floor were built but plans allowed for future expansion, possibly to as much as nine storeys. The structure was finished by the year’s end at a cost of over $60,000.
Several thousand cubic yards of soil removed from the excavation were hauled across Empress and dumped on the bank of nearby Omands Creek. This would prove to be a poor decision. In April 1913, the creek experienced its worst flood since 1882, after which the provincial government had enlarged the waterway to 15 feet deep and 30 feet wide some two miles upstream from its mouth at the Assiniboine River. The excavated soil dumped on the creek banks acted as a dam, resulting in severe flooding of businesses (including the newly built warehouse), churches, schools, and hundreds of residences in the surrounding Weston area. The company was obliged to pay over $250,000 in damage claims.
The onset of the First World War delayed expansion plans so the warehouse remained at its single-storey height. Renamed the Dominion Rubber Company on 11 May 1926, this building was used until 1935 when it was rented (and later sold) to the federal government to serve as the Equipment Depot No. 2 of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Structural alterations and repairs began on 28 January 1935, with contributors to the renovations including Alexander D. Melville (architectural designs), C. D. Kirk & Company (plumbing), MacDonald Brothers (sheet metal and roofing), and J. B. Gass (general contractor). These improvements cost about $30,000.
In 1940, the land parcel was greatly expanded, becoming part of a complex for the newly renamed Equipment Depot No. 7 within the Air Training Command No. 2. Used as a parts storage warehouse for the duration of the Second World War, the building was declared surplus by the War Assets Corporation on 20 April 1946. It was purchased by Federal Grain, which in April 1946 had lost its seed storage elevator on Sutherland Avenue to a fire. The structure was expanded upward and renovated into a grain elevator to be used as a cleaning plant for the company’s Seed Division.
This building has since been converted into a self-storage facility.
Photos & Maps
“Consolidatitn [sic] of rubber companies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 November 1906, page 15.
“Erect huge warehouse,” Manitoba Free Press, 6 April 1912, page 21.
“Canadian tires,” Manitoba Free Press, 17 April 1912, page 11.
“Montreal market booms,” Manitoba Free Press, 28 June 1912, page 17.
“Large building permits issued,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 November 1912, page 9.
“Are building large warehouse,” Manitoba Free Press, 2 November 1912, page 13.
“Canadian Consolidated Rubber Co. Limited [advertisment],” Manitoba Free Press, 11 December 1912, page 16.
“Floods endanger comfort of city,” Manitoba Free Press, 3 April 1913, page 24.
“May take legal action,” Manitoba Free Press, 4 April 1913, page 3.
“Relief for Weston should come today,” Manitoba Free Press, 5 April 1913, pages 1 & 28.
“Worst of Weston flood is now over,” Manitoba Free Press, 7 April 1913, page 24.
“$250,000 damages being claimed by flood sufferers,” Winnipeg Tribune, 8 April 913, pages 1 & 11.
“Some Saturday afternoon scenes in Weston,” Manitoba Free Press, 9 April 1913, page 16.
“Seek relief for flood damages,” Manitoba Free Press, 9 April 1913, page 16.
“"Weston conditions improving,” Manitoba Free Press, 10 April 1913, page 26.
“Monster delegation,” Manitoba Free Press, 21 April 1913, page 9.
“Flood sufferers approach Council,” Manitoba Free Press, 22 April 1913, page 15.
“Must be in writing,” Manitoba Free Press, 25 April 1913, page 9.
“Weston flood claims not yet settled,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 November 1913, page 1.
“To ask Judge to arbitrate flood claims,” Winnipeg Tribune, 7 March 1914, page 1.
“Last of flood claims settled,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 March 1914, page 3.
“Weston flood claims settled,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 March 1914, page 6.
“Claims arbitrated,” Winnipeg Tribune, 11 April 1914, page 10.
“City to deny liability for Weston flood,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 July 1914, page 1.
“Weston floods,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 January 1935, page 3.
“J. B. Gass gets contract for R.C.A.F. quarters,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 January 1935, page 3.
“Building permit for $15,000 is issued,” Winnipeg Tribune, 2 February 1935, page 27.
“Building notes [Two sub-contracts on jobs ...],” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 February 1935, page 15.
“Building notes [General repairs and alterations],” Winnipeg Tribune, 19 January 1935, page 6.
“Building work already showing heavy expansion,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 February 1935, page 10.
“Fillip given construction industry here by Dominion ends five-year stagnation,” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 March 1935, page 3.
“Fire guts local grain elevator,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 April 1946, page 1.
“RCAF building offered for sale,” Winnipeg Tribune, 20 April 1946, page 1.
“This month 100 years ago [Dominion Rubber Company Limited],” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 June 1954, page 31.
Companies Office corporation documents (CCA 0059), 286C - Canadian Consolidated Rubber Company Limited, Archives of Manitoba.
Companies Office corporation documents (CCA 0059), 282D - Dominion Rubber Company, Archives of Manitoba.
Western Canada Fire Underwriters Association, H7 614.41 edc Series 2 Volume 6 - Winnipeg, Sheet #675, Archives of Manitoba.
Domion Rubber Company, University of Waterloo Special Collections & Archives.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 15 October 2017
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