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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Steiman Block / Merchant’s Hotel / Merchants Corner (541 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg)

This three-storey brick building on Selkirk Avenue in Winnipeg was designed by Max Blankstein and built in 1913-1914 for hardware merchant Robert “Bob” Steiman (1873-1953). He operated as the Robert Steiman Company Limited as well as the R. Steiman Hardware and Furniture Company, officially renaming to the Globe Hardware and Furniture Company Limited in July 1923, though other name variations were also used. He maintained a retail store on the main floor and offices on upper levels, with occupants including physicians Dr. J. P. Oshanek and Dr. Bernard J. Ginsburg (1894-1962). In 1933, he converted the building into the Merchant’s Hotel. He retired in 1947, sold the building to John Konosky, and moved to Los Angeles, California. The building was later purchased by the provincial government and was being redeveloped into a multi-use building focused on education with housing and retail components. While the work was underway in early May 2017, it sustained an arson fire.

Opened in 2018, Merchants Corner is an educational, student housing, and retail complex featuring 30 units of affordable housing. It is intended to be an educational hub hosting the University of Winnipeg’s Department of Inner-City Studies and CEDA-Pathways to Education program. It includes a common space, open to the community, in which literacy programming for preschoolers will be offered among other activities.

The Merchant’s Hotel

The Merchant’s Hotel (1960s)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Architectural Survey - Winnipeg, Selkirk Avenue, No. 13/70.

The former Merchant’s Hotel under renovation

The former Merchant’s Hotel under renovation (April 2017)
Source: George Penner

The former Merchant’s Hotel under renovation

The former Merchant’s Hotel under renovation (April 2017)
Source: Nathan Kramer

Merchants Corner

Merchants Corner (May 2018)
Source: George Penner

Site Location (lat/long): N49.91631, W97.14666
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Merchant’s Hotel (383 Eveline Street, Selkirk)


Death registrations, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

“An unusual event - first annual clearance sale,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 December 1914, page 11.

“Coyote frolics among chimney pots on roof,” Winnipeg Tribune, 10 March 1927, page 2.

“For Sale by,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 May 1929, page 2.

“Notice to creditors [In the matter of the bankruptcy of Robert Steiman Limited],” Winnipeg Tribune, 7 August 1935, page 2.

“Mount Carmel Clinic appoints Hechter head,” Winnipeg Tribune, 7 February 1936, page 6.

“Introducing to you --- [Great Improvements in Winnipeg Merchants Hotel],” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 July 1939, page 21.

“Mount Carmel Clinic hears annual reports,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 December 1940, page 2.

“Former city man Robert Steiman dies in Vancouver,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 August 1953, page 36.

Companies Office corporation documents (CCA 0059), 405R Robert Steiman Limited, Archives of Manitoba.

541 Selkirk Avenue, Merchants Hotel (Steiman Block), City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, February 2013.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer, Gordon Goldsborough, and George Penner.

Page revised: 16 January 2020

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