Historic Sites of Manitoba: Bell Hotel (662-664 Main Street, Winnipeg)

This four-storey brick building at the northwest corner of Main Street and Henry Avenue in Winnipeg, measuring 40 feet by 120 feet, was designed by local architect Daniel Smith. It was built in 1906 by the construction firm of Derochers and Company for owner Joseph Bernhart at a cost of about $50,000.

The building’s shell was completed late in the construction season of 1906 and the interior finishing work continued during the winter months of 1907. The building originally contained 75 one-room suites in its original configuration, most with sinks, some with bathrooms on either side of a wide central hallway that also held tenant washrooms.

In 1912, the hotel was purchased and operated for five years by Samuel Bronfman. Around 1935, it became owned by the real estate, general financial, and insurance firm of Aronovitch and Leipsic which engaged the W. A. Irish and Company to make alterations to the building that year at a cost of $5,000.

In 2009, the vacant structure was purchased and converted into a supportive housing development with a café, offices, common rooms and counselling space on the ground floor, and 42 modern suites on the three upper floors.

Bell Hotel

Bell Hotel (1906)
Source: Manitoba Free Press, 6 December 1906, page 44.

Bell Hotel

Bell Hotel (February 2016)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Bell Hotel

Bell Hotel (April 2017)
Source: George Penner

Bell Hotel

Bell Hotel (September 2023)
Source: Jordan Makichuk

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.90383, W97.13521
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: Daniel Smith (1840-1913)

Memorable Manitobans: Joseph Bernhart (1853-1923)

Memorable Manitobans: Samuel Bronfman (1889-1971)

Manitoba Business: Aronovitch and Leipsic

Manitoba Business: Saul and Irish Construction Company / W. A. Irish and Company


City of Winnipeg Building Permit 1437/1906, City of Winnipeg Archives.

“Activity in city building,” Winnipeg Tribune, 23 June 1906, page 6.

“New Main Street hotel,” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 July 1906, page 6.

Winnipeg Fire Insurance Map #9, August 1906, Library and Archives Canada.

“J. Bernhardt’s new hotel,” Manitoba Free Press, 6 December 1906, page 44.

“Three Winnipeg hotels are sold,” Manitoba Free Press, 17 July 1912, page 28.

City of Winnipeg Building Permit 3449/1935, City of Winnipeg Archives.

“Better showing made in permits for city building,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 August, 1935 page 20.

Bell Hotel, 662 Main Street by Murray Peterson, City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings and Resources Committee, November 2015.

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

Page revised: 1 July 2024

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