Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 144 years

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Security Storage Building / Kromar Printing Building (725 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg)

This five-storey brick and stone building on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg was designed by local architect John Nelson Semmens and constructed in 1929 by contractor J. L. Guay for the Security Storage Company, under President George Hammill McKeag. Originally 820,000 square feet, it was built at a cost of about $250,000.

The interior of the main office area located in the centre of the main floor featured Italian marble counters, walnut trim, and designer furniture while the rear of the main floor had a garage large enough to hold all of the company's moving vans. The grounds behind had a gas station, mechanics garage, and paint room for vehicle repairs.

The south-east and south-west corners of the main floor contained retail spaces. To the east was W. S. Watson's Avenue Motors, a Plymouth dealership, that opened the same night as Security Storage. By 1931 the dealership was gone and it became a Maytag showroom.

In 1940, architect Semmens was called on to design a three-storey expansion. It was added to the two-storey garage at the rear of the building by contractors Couture and Toupin, at a cost of about $25,000, bringing the total storage space to one million square feet.

The company occupied the building until 1956 with Kromar Printing becoming its primary occupant in 1975.

Kromar Printing Building

Security Storage Building (1929)
Source: Winnipeg Tribune fonds, University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections

Kromar Printing Building

Kromar Printing Building (May 2018)
Source: George Penner

Kromar Printing Building

Kromar Printing Building (December 2022)
Source: Jordan Makichuk

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.88784, W97.16264
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: John Nelson Semmens (1879-1960)

Memorable Manitobans: George Hammill McKeag (1891-1964)

Manitoba Business: Couture and Toupin

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Security Storage Warehouse / Naval Reserve Depot (583 Ellice Avenue, Winnipeg)


City of Winnipeg Building Permit 1061/1929, City of Winnipeg Archives.

“Winnipeg now has the most modern storage plant and service in Canada,” Winnipeg Tribune, 22 July 1929, page 8.

Advertisement [Security Storage Building], Winnipeg Tribune, 22 July 1929, page 9.

“Service to public enhanced by modern structure,” Winnipeg Tribune, 22 July 1929, page 10.

“Formally open security storage building,” Manitoba Free Press, 23 July 1929, page 8.

“Canada’s finest furniture warehouse,” Manitoba Free Press, 23 July 1929, page 9.

“Receptions will inaugurate beautiful new structure,” Manitoba Free Press, 23 July 1929, page 10.

“Much work in sight for building trades,” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 March 1940, page 15.

“Security has big addition,” Winnipeg Tribune, 10 June 1940, page 25.

“31 years of progress,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 June 1940, page 7.

“An announcement by Geo. H. McKeag,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 September 1956, page 2.

Security Storage Building (Kromar Printing Building), 725 Portage Avenue by Murray Peterson, Peterson Projects, February 2009.

This page was prepared by Jordan Makichuk, George Penner, and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 20 March 2023

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. The information is offered for historical interest only.

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

Inclusion in this collection does not confer special status or protection. Official heritage designation may only come from municipal, provincial, or federal governments. Some sites are on private property and permission to visit must be secured from the owner.

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

Send corrections and additions to this page
to the MHS Webmaster at

Search Tips | Suggest an Historic Site | FAQ

Help us keep history alive!

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations

© 1998-2023 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.