Historic Sites of Manitoba: Dingwall Building (62 Albert Street, Winnipeg)
In 1910, local architect J. H. G. Russell was engaged by jeweller D. R. Dingwall to design a warehouse and factory for his growing business, D. R. Dingwall Limited, to be located on Albert Street. The six-storey building was erected in two stages: the first three storeys were built in 1910 and three storeys were added the following year. The top two floors were used for the manufacture of fine gold and platinum work, diamond settings, silver smithing, and watch repair. Dingwall’s wholesale and mail order trade was conducted from the third floor. At its height, the company employed 120 men between the factory and two retail stores, and was one of the largest and most successful jewellery businesses in Canada.
The lower two floors of the Dingwall Building were leased to other businesses: a ladies’ wear store was on the main floor and a leather wholesaler on the second floor. These businesses were totally destroyed during a major fire sustained in February 1921 but, as the building did not suffer structural damage in the fire, Dingwall resolved to rebuild. The original entranceway was removed, the interior was rebuilt by Carter-Halls-Aldinger, and the Dingwall Building reopened later that year. Dingwall’s business returned to the upper two floors, with the lower two floors being occupied by Babson Brothers, a wholesale and mail order supplier of Edison phonograph records, and Stockholm Cream Separators. Strain’s photography supplies was on the third floor.
Facing tough economic times during the Great Depression, the Dingwall firm amalgamated with Henry Birks and Sons of Montreal in 1933. Three years later, Henry Birks and Sons Manitoba Limited was incorporated with D. C. Dingwall as President, although Manitobans continued to refer to the business as Birks-Dingwall for many years, reflecting the strength of the Dingwall name.
The building is a municipally-designated historic site.
Dingwall Building (62 Albert Street), City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, January 1984.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 1 July 2013
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