Historic Sites of Manitoba: George Gale and Sons Building (97 Higgins Avenue, Winnipeg)

Link to:
Photos & Coordinates | Sources

This site in Winnipeg was owned by the George Gale and Sons (GGS) Limited which, in the early 20th century, was the oldest Canadian manufacturer of beds, mattresses, and box springs. The company, which commonly operated under the shortened name of Geo. Gale & Sons Ltd., was founded by George Gale (1824-1892) at Waterville, Quebec. It expanded to Winnipeg around 1909 and operated a warehouse at 126 Princess Street.

In late February 1911, the firm acquired this 66-feet frontage on Higgins Avenue from P. A. Anderson of the Merrick Anderson Company at a cost of $22,000 and began erecting a $45,000 factory designed and built by carpenter Smith Toye. A building permit was acquired in June and construction of their new factory commenced. GGS was later incorporated nationally on 4 February 1914 with Montreal residents Edgar Reginald Parkins (advocate), Alexander Campbell Calder (manager), William Taylor (accountant), and students-at-law Shirley Greenshields Dixon and William Cedric Nicholson serving as initial directors. The firm was granted standing in Manitoba as an extra-provincial corporation in March 1914. GGS maintained a presence here into 1918 before moving to new quarters at 129 Gomez Street.

The building was next acquired by the Todhunter-Mitchell Coffee Company (TMCC) with intent to use it for the manufacture and distribution of their products in western Canada, with local resident George Harris Campbell (?-1924) serving as Managing Director. The company was formed by the manufacturing partners of Thomas Benjamin Greening, William Sharp Greening, James Crawford Jamieson, and sales manager Charles Raspin Cherry, all of Toronto, and G. H. Campbell of Winnipeg. It was incorporated in September 1918 and, within a month, it was granted an operating license in Manitoba. The TMCC operated at this site until surrendering its license in March 1922. The firm’s assets were fully liquidated by January 1926.

Other early occupants of the building included the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company of Canada Limited (1920s-c1950) and the Arnett Manufacturing Company (c1926-?), the latter of which designed and produced office and vendor equipment. Subsequent occupants including the Western Flood Coverings Limited (1950s) and the National Lamp Manufacturing Company Limited (1958).

Photos & Coordinates

The former George Gale and Sons Building

The former George Gale and Sons Building (July 2018)
Source: Nathan Kramer

Site Location (lat/long): N49.90351, W97.12466
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: Smith Toye (1858-1953)


“Campaigning for Western Canada [The members],” Manitoba Free Press, 27 June 1909, page 9.

“To let,” Manitoba Free Press, 20 September 1909, page 2.

“Factory site purchased,” Winnipeg Tribune, 27 February 1911, page 7.

City of Winnipeg Building Permit 1499/1911, City of Winnipeg Archives.

“Half-million in building permits,” Manitoba Free Press, 5 June 1911, page 15.

“Half million in permits issued,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 June 1911, page 5.

“Warehouse to let,” Manitoba Free Press, 2 November 1911, page 2.

“Geo. Gale & Sons,” Manitoba Free Press, 15 July 1913, page 4.

“Notice,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 2 April 1914, page 6.

“Company entertains,” Manitoba Free Press, 12 March 1919, page 5.

“Increase output at local factory,” Winnipeg Tribune, 6 September 1919, page 12.

“Former Winnipegger dies at Minaki, Ont.” Winnipeg Tribune, 6 October 1924, page 5.

“Arnettize your store,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 10 June 1926, page 6.

“Arnettize your store,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 3 September 1926, page 5.

“Four appear in court on theft charges,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 February 1946, page 3.

“Announcement,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 October 1956, page 20.

Orders-in-Council (EC 0003B), Order-in-Council #38522, GR1530, Archives of Manitoba.

Companies Office corporation documents (CCA 0059), 213G - Geo. Gale & Sons Limited, GR6427, Archives of Manitoba.

Companies Office corporation documents (CCA 0059), 141T - Todhunter Mitchell Coffee Company Limited, GR6427, Archives of Manitoba.

Companies Office corporation documents (CCA 0059), 285A - Arnett Manufacturing Company Limited, GR6427, Archives of Manitoba.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 24 January 2022

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