Historic Sites of Manitoba: Casa Loma Building (644 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg)
Designed by Winnipeg architect John Hamilton Gordon Russell, this five-storey brick and stone building at the southeast corner of Portage Avenue and Sherbrook Street was built in 1909 by the construction firm of Carter Halls Aldinger. Intended as an apartment block with retail space on the first floor, the 91-foot wide by 112-foot deep building was an investment by Neil Thomas MacMillan and Robert Vollans.
The building was owned from 1915 to 1930 by the City Securities Company which was managed by Vollans as of the 1920s. A fire in the building on 14 April 1928 caused the deaths of five residents. Business occupants have included the grocer Alex Hendry, G. H. Wood and Company, Alfonso’s Colour Centre, Linn Signs, Shodor Industries, and The Rosery florist shop.
The building is a municipally-designated historic site.
City of Winnipeg Building Permit 520/1909, City of Winnipeg Archives.
“Fire death list mounts to five,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 April 1928, page 1.
Casa Loma Building, 644 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, December 2003.
Preparation of this page was supported, in part, by the Gail Parvin Hammerquist Fund of the City of Winnipeg.
We thank Taras Zaporozan and George Penner for providing additional information used here.
Page revised: 4 December 2021