Historic Sites of Manitoba: Clarendon Hotel / Clarendon Block (307-311 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg)
In 1883, the five-storey Clarendon Hotel was built at the northwest corner of Portage Avenue and Donald Street in Winnipeg, on a design by local architect James Chisholm. In 1920, owner Fred W. Leistikow (son of William W. Leistikow) demolished the original structure and hired architects James Chisholm and Colin Campbell “Cam” Chisholm to design its replacement, a two-storey structure built by the construction firm of Carter-Halls-Aldinger.
In February 1923, the building was heavily damaged by fire. The repairs were designed by Colin Campbell Chisholm and built at a cost of about $80,000. After the building reopened, cafe owner Michael Baroni hired Chisholm to design a new interior that was subsequently built by W. A. Irish and Company. Further renovations were made by Irish in 1930 and, in 1935, alterations to the ground floor storefronts were made by the Malcom Construction Company.
After having various occupants through the years, the building closed in the summer of 1998 and sat vacant for several years before being used as a music store and exhibition space. In mid-2011, the City of Winnipeg approved its demolition, and the adjacent Mitchell-Copp Building, to make way for a new hotel, office complex, and parkade on the site. Demolition began in March 2012 and the new structure opened in the fall of 2015.
“Portage landmark gone,” Manitoba Free Press, 7 August 1920, page 24.
“Clarendon Hotel transformed to modern business block,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 December 1920, page 14.
City of Winnipeg Building Permit 1311/1920, City of Winnipeg Archives.
“$300,000 fire guts Clarendon,” Manitoba Free Press, 28 February 1923, page 12.
“Building permits since January total $437,850,” Winnipeg Tribune, 20 April 1923, page 20.
City of Winnipeg Building Permit 2271/1923, City of Winnipeg Archives.
City of Winnipeg Building Permit 2420/1923, City of Winnipeg Archives.
“Baroni’s new cafe,” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 September 1923, page 6.
“A bright spot in Winnipeg’s theatre and shopping district,” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 September 1923, page 7.
“Baroni’s to open Saturday evening with supper dance,” Manitoba Free Press, 22 September 1923, page 8.
“Work on block,” Manitoba Free Press, 1 November 1930, page 28.
“Alteration work increasing with close of season,” Winnipeg Free Press, 19 October 1935, page 37.
Clarendon Block / Clarendon Hotel (311 Portage Avenue), City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, January 1999.
Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.
Page revised: 4 September 2023