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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Canadian Bank of Commerce Building / Millennium Centre (389 Main Street, Winnipeg)

The present structure at 389 Main Street, constructed in 1910, is the third Bank of Commerce building to occupy the site. In 1893, on its arrival in Winnipeg, the bank leased space in the Bannatyne Block that once stood here and opened a branch under manager F. H. Mathewson. Six years later, the bank purchased then demolished the block and hired the Toronto architectural firm of Darling and Pearson, assisted by local architect Charles H. Wheeler, to design a replacement. Its first manager was John Aird, who later served in the bank’s senior management. By 1910, the building was no longer large enough so it was dismantled carefully and moved to Regina where it was re-erected. Adjacent properties had been purchased quietly so a new, larger building could be erected at a cost of about $750,000. It opened officially in October 1912, with public banking space on the main floor and administrative offices on the second to fourth floors. The bank’s solicitors, Machray, Dennistoun, Lock and Crawley, were on the fifth floor, and a caretaker’s suite, restaurant, and washrooms were on the six floor.

Relatively few renovations were made to the building through the years. In 1969, the bank relocated to the nearby Richardson Building and left this building vacant. Following public outcry, it was saved from demolition by the City of Winnipeg and, in 1979, became a municipally-designated historic site. In 2000, the building was donated by Marwest Management Canada Limited to the newly-formed 389 Main Street Heritage Corporation. With modest renovations supported by a donation from the W. H. & S. E. Loewen Foundation, the building was re-christened as the Millennium Centre. It now hosts weddings, banquets, and other events.

Bank of Commerce Building

The former Canadian Bank of Commerce building, now the Millennium Center (June 2014)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Bank of Commerce Building

Former management offices on the second floor of the building (May 2003)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Bank of Commerce Building

Lighting above the grand glass dome (May 2003)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Bank of Commerce Building

The vaults (May 2003)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Location (lat/long): N49.89666, W97.13846
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: John Aird (1855-1938)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites

Sources:

389 Main Street, The Canadian Bank of Commerce, Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, December 1980.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 25 May 2017

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Browse lists of:
Museums/Archives | Buildings | Monuments | Cemeteries | Locations | Other

Please note that inclusion in this collection does not mean that a particular site has special status or protection. Some sites are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

Site information is provided by the Manitoba Historical Society as a free public service only for non-commercial purposes.


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