Historic Sites of Manitoba: Canadian General Electric Building / Greater Winnipeg Gas Company Building (265 Notre Dame Avenue, Winnipeg)
This five-storey building was one of the few privately-funded building construction projects to proceed in downtown Winnipeg during the early years of the Great Depression. Designed by local architects George Northwood and Cyril Chivers, the structure was constructed in 1930 for the Canadian General Electric Company, a Toronto-based manufacturer and distributor that began operating in Winnipeg around 1893. Intended to provide a showroom, warehouse, and offices for sales and engineering staff, the building was erected by the Carter-Halls-Aldinger Company at a cost of about $250,000. Excavation of the site was complete by mid-May 1930 and foundation work began in July. The exterior is composed of limestone quarried at Garson and bricks manufactured at Claybank, Saskatchewan.
The Canadian General Electric Company moved into the building on 1 February 1931 and stayed there for 23 years, vacating it in 1954. It was then occupied by the Winnipeg and Central Gas Company, later Greater Winnipeg Gas Company, and several smaller businesses. From 1958 to 1965, it was owned by the Canada Life Assurance Company. The building sat vacant for several years after the gas company left it but was later renovated for new occupancy. It is a municipally-designated historic building.
“General Electric Building may make Notre Dame into one of main thoroughfares,” Winnipeg Tribune, 19 April 1930, page 11.
“Building notes,” Winnipeg Tribune, 10 May 1930, page 9.
“Building notes,” Winnipeg Tribune, 19 July 1930, page 21.
“Shows faith in the West,” Winnipeg Tribune, 31 January 1931, page 13.
“Change of address,” Winnipeg Tribune, 2 February 1931, page 2.
“Canadian General Electric extends congratulations,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 September 1931, page 31.
Greater Winnipeg Gas Building / Formerly Canadian General Electric Building (265 Notre Dame Avenue), City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, November 1987.
We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.
Page revised: 28 January 2020
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