Historic Sites of Manitoba: Northern Electric Building (65 Rorie Street, Winnipeg)
The Northern Electric Building was erected in 1928 as an office and depot for a large Montreal-based firm that manufactured and distributed telephone components, wire and cable, electrical apparatus, and radio sets. (It would later become Northern Telecom, and still later Nortel Networks.) The building replaced a small branch office that had been established in Winnipeg in 1908 and the expansion was necessitated by the phenomenal growth in the demand for the company’s products in the early 20th century. Plans for the three-storey brick building were drawn by the company’s own architect, in Montreal, in association with the Winnipeg firm of Pratt and Ross. Constructed at a cost of $150,000 by general contractors Carter-Halls-Aldinger, with components provided by Brown and Rutherford (lumber), A. McCaine Electric Limited (electrical), and Cotter Brothers (heating, plumbing, fire-suppression systems), the building was opened to staff and invited guests on 28 September 1928.
The firm relocated to an industrial park in the late 1950s and the building became home to a garment factory. Vacant by 1975, it was renovated as office space. Apparently, two additional floors were added around that time. The building is now a municipally-designated historic site.
“Electric Co. gets $110,000 permit for structure,” Winnipeg Tribune, 18 May 1928, page 7.
“Will be completed in September,” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 August 1928, page 4.
“New electric warehouse is opened here,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 September 1928, page 3.
“Opening the new Northern Electric Building in Winnipeg,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 September 1928, page 18.
Northern Electric Building (65 Rorie Street), City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, December 1984.
Page revised: 15 October 2017
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