Manitoba Historical Society
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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Duffin Block (474 Main Street, Winnipeg)

In 1881, photographer Simon Duffin commissioned a three-storey brick and stone building, designed by local architect T. H. Parr and constructed by R. D. Paterson, at the southwest corner of Main Street at Bannatyne Avenue in Winnipeg. Duffin operated a photographic studio on its second floor until 1888 when he sold it to photographers Steele and Wing, thereafter concentrating on the sale of photographic equipment and supplies. Following Duffin’s death in 1900, the business was carried on by his brother-in-law under the name of Duffin and Company. It operated until around 1928 when it was bought out by Eastman Kodak. The space on the main floor of the building was occupied by a variety of businesses, including a tobacconist and a stationer.

A fire in the early spring of 1956 destroyed the upper two floors of the building but the ground floor survived. In 1965, the building was taken over by Birt Saddlery, a retail outlet for tack and leather goods, and western wear, along with the main level of th adjacent Baker Block.

Duffin Block

Duffin Block (May 2018)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.89759, W97.13906
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Manitoba Photographers: Simon Duffin (1843-1900)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Baker Block / Home Investment Building (468 Main Street, Winnipeg)


Birt’s Saddlery (Former Baker and Duffin Blocks), 470-474 Main Street, City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, December 1983.

We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 22 December 2019

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