Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ogilvie Flour Mill (Higgins Avenue, Winnipeg)

The Ogilvie Flour Mill was built in 1881, making it the first large-scale mill in western Canada. Fitted with the latest equipment, it used the “Hungarian process” that combined stone and gradual reduction rollers to grind grain into previously unattainable fine flours. Additional buildings were added over time so, by the early 21st century, the site included buildings of varying age including the original 1881 six-storey brick mill with metal-clad mansard (a seventh floor was added later), a brick boiler, a massive 60-foot chimney (built in 1882), and an eleven-storey concrete cleaning house.

The mill burned on 27 July 1967. In 1993, the Canadian Wheat Board suggested redeveloping the site into a World Grain Centre including grain-related tourism and business but the idea was never implemented. After another fire at Halloween 1997, much of the original 1881 building’s interior was destroyed. In 1999, the City of Winnipeg took over ownership and demolished the large mill building in an impressive early-morning implosion on 21 August 2005.

A portion of the facility remained at the time of a 2018 site visit.

Postcard of Ogilvie Flour Mill

Postcard of Ogilvie Flour Mill (circa 1910)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough, 2012-0086

Ogilvie Flour Mill

Ogilvie Flour Mill (August 2005)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Demolition of the Ogilvie Mill (21 August 2005)
Source: City of Winnipeg

Ogilvie Flour Mill

Ogilvie Flour Mill (May 2017)
Source: George Penner

Ogilvie Flour Mill

Ogilvie Flour Mill (August 2018)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.90273, W97.11919
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

The Flour Milling Industry in Manitoba Since 1870 by John Everitt and Roberta Kempthorne
Manitoba History, Number 26, Autumn 1993

Manitoba Business: Ogilvie Flour Mills Company


We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Maria Zbigniewicz and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 14 January 2023

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