Manitoba Historical Society
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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Royal Bank of Canada Building (460 Main Street, Winnipeg)

This building dates from 1900 when a three-storey structure was designed by local architect James H. Cadham and built by contractor Phil Burnett for wholesale merchant R. J. Whitla, extending an adjoining structure on Albert Street from the previous year. Known as the Imperial Dry Goods Block, it was purchased by the Royal Bank of Canada, which had arrived in Winnipeg in 1906 and had initially leased space on the east side of Main Street south of Bannatyne Avenue. The bank intended to redevelop the building immediately but was delayed in doing so by a recession from 1907 to 1908. By 1909, a four-storey design by architect J. H. G. Russell saw the erection of a steel frame and concrete structure using the stone foundation and brick shell of the preceding building. A dividing wall was used to split the earlier building, the original roof and front facade were removed from the Main Street structure, the foundation walls were reinforced, and a fourth floor was added.

The bank occupied the main floor and some of the upper floors, and leased the remainder to various tenants. It stayed at the site until the mid-1920s when it merged with the Union Bank of Canada and relocated to the latter’s office tower at the southwest corner of the Main and William intersection. By 1950, the property had been acquired by the insurance and real estate business of Aronovitch and Leipsic Limited. It was later owned by members of the Brown family. It is now a municipally-designated historic site.

A collection of photographs of the building by J. H. G. Russell is held at the Archives of Manitoba.

Royal Bank Building

Royal Bank Building (June 2014)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.89738, W97.13905
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Manitoba Business: Royal Bank of Canada

Memorable Manitobans: Robert James Whitla (1846-1905)

Memorable Manitobans: John Hamilton Gordon Russell (1863-1946)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Union Bank Building (504 Main Street, Winnipeg)


Royal Bank, 460 Main Street, City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, August 1982.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 10 March 2020

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