Historic Sites of Manitoba: Howard Block / Huron Block (907 Home Street / 864-866 Notre Dame Avenue, Winnipeg)
This two-storey brick and stone block at the southeast corner of Home Street and Notre Dame Avenue in Winnipeg, measuring 38 feet by 50 feet, was built in 1906 by Edward Jean of St. Boniface for owner Rene Chauviere. The structure contained two commercial suites along its Notre Dame frontage with the second floor dedicated to living quarters for a single dwelling. A private 1½ storey stable measuring 14 feet by 22 feet was also built at the same time and located at the rear. Work was completed at a cost of $5,100. Chauviere resided above and partnered with James E. Collon, opening a grocery in the commercial space on the ground level. The upstairs space was inhabited by Chauviere along with Collon and relative Juluis Collon, the latter who worked as their delivery driver. By 1909, the Chauviere-Collon partnership was dissolved, with all parties vacating the premises and Chauviere moving to 55 Margaretta [now Furby Street].
The building was next occupied by William Thomas Howard (1859-1930) who worked as a furniture dealer (1901) and resided there from 1909 until 1912 when he converted the upper floor into a four-suite apartment named Howard Block. Born at Ireland in August 1859, Howard immigrated to Canada in 1882. On 21 January 1885, he married Margaret “Maggie” Braden (1861-1939) at Winnipeg and they had two daughters: Annie Mae [May] Howard (1886-1948, wife of Henry Lorne “Harry” Benson [son of Edward Benson]) and Evelyn Lulu Howard (1889-?, wife of William Balgair Galbraith). Howard retired to Victoria, British Columbia, where he died on 22 May 1930. His ownership of the Howard Block, which had since been renamed the Huron Block around 1917, ended in 1930 with the property being sold to J. G. Moncrieff during the execution of his estate. He was buried at Ross Bay Cemetery at Victoria where Margaret was also interred after she died on 3 March 1939.
The Huron Block was demolished in the 1950s and replaced with the present (2022) structure by the early 1960s.
City of Winnipeg Building Permit 2146/1906, City of Winnipeg Archives.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
1911 Canada census, Library and Archives Canada.
Birth [Annie Howard] and marriage [William Thomas Howard & Maggie Braden - sic] registrations Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Marriage registrations [Annie Mae Howard & Harry Lorne Benson, Evelyn Lulu Howard & William Balgair Galbraith], British Columbia Vital Statistics.
Death registrations [William Thomas Howard, Margaret Howard, Annie May Benson, Harry Lorne Benson], British Columbia Vital Statistics.
Winnipeg estate files (ATG 0025A), 20239 - William Thomas Howard, GR0393, Archives of Manitoba.
“Unfurnished suites [Howard Block, Notre Dame Ave],” Manitoba Free Press, 22 June 1912, page 41.
“Unfurnished suites [Howard Block, Notre Dame Ave],” Manitoba Free Press, 26 June 1912, page 26.
“70 Suites, Unfurnished [5 RM. Ste. for rent in new bldg.],” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 August 1962, page 30.
Ross Bay Cemetery burial transcriptions, FindAGrave.
Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.
Preparation of this page was supported, in part, by the Gail Parvin Hammerquist Fund of the City of Winnipeg.
We thank Gordon Goldsborough for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 4 February 2023