Historic Sites of Manitoba: International Harvester Building / Public Cold Storage Building (1735 Pacific Avenue, Brandon)
In 1908, Brandon was selected as the Western Canadian headquarters of the International Harvester Company of America. The firm manufactured and sold agricultural equipment such as harvesting machines, tillage and seeding implements, gasoline engines, and threshers. J. F. Jones, the general manager of the Canadian division of the company visited the city in April 1910, and was quoted in the Brandon Weekly Sun as stating that “Brandon has advantages here for distributing houses possessed by no other city in Western Canada. Situated as it is in the very heart of one of the richest agricultural districts in the world and with railway connections to all parts of the west, Brandon has exceptional advantages.”
A five-storey brick building at the intersection of Pacific Avenue and 18th Street was built in late 1911 by the Winnipeg-based construction firm of Carter Halls Aldinger. The company remained at the site until at least 1959. The building was later used in a succession of ways, including a wholesale distribution warehouse (circa 1959), cold storage plant (1962-1967), and goose- and duck-processing plant (1969-1980s).
In 1999, a Winnipeg development company sold the building to a local retail furniture store for use as a warehouse, after abandoning an ambitious $4-million renovation plan that would have seen the building turned into 43 upscale condominiums. The building continues to be used for furniture storage.
“Brandon is good point,” Brandon Weekly Sun, 26 November 1908, page 1.
“Brandon will take rapid strides ahead,” Brandon Weekly Sun, 14 April 1910, page 2.
“New I.H.C. block,” Brandon Weekly Sun, 11 May 1911, page 2.
“New I.H. Co. building,” Brandon Weekly Sun, 1 June 1911, page 2.
“The city council,”Brandon Weekly Sun, 5 October 1911, page 6.
“Mr. W. A. Paterson,” Brandon Sun, 3 December 1959, page 8.
“Cold storage work underway,” Brandon Sun, 12 January 1962, page 1.
“Brandon Poultry Products Limited,” Brandon Sun, 3 September 1965, page 7.
“Brandon plant expands,” Brandon Sun, 29 April 1966, page 1.
“Another new industry comes to Brandon,” Brandon Sun, 25 November 1966, page 2.
Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.
“Poultry Products to be reactivated,” Brandon Sun, 23 September 1969, page 1.
“Condos for core stir imagination,” Brandon Sun, 5 January 1999, page 1.
“Developer scraps condo project,” Brandon Sun, 28 June 1999, page 17.
“Kullberg’s lands old duck plant,” Brandon Sun, 18 August 1999, page 34.
We thank Graham Street, George Penner, and Audrey & Duncan Waddell for providing additional information used here.
Page revised: 20 November 2020