Historic Sites of Manitoba: Northern Bank Building / Royal Bank Building (139 Main Street, Melita)

This two-storey brick and stone building on Main Street in Melita was constructed in 1906 for the Northern Bank, later known as the Northern Crown Bank. The building, designed by Winnipeg architects William Wallace Blair and George William Northwood, was the twin to a bank building at Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan.

The bank's first manager was R. R. Richards, who owned the town’s first automobile. Subsequent managers were J. O. Hettle (1908), W. H. Hambly (1909-1911), and C. H. L. Smith (1911-1919). In 1919, it was taken over by the Royal Bank of Canada and was a branch until 1968 when a new building was constructed elsewhere in town. This building continued in use as office space.

On the front wall of the building is a plaque recognizing the Arthur E.D. Agricultural Society for its 100 years of service, presented in 1986 by Minister of Agriculture Billie Uruski and Premier Howard Russell Pawley.

The former Northern Bank Building in Melita

The former Northern Bank Building in Melita (July 2016)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

The former Northern Bank Building in Melita

The former Northern Bank Building in Melita (September 2021)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Commemorative plaque on the exterior of the building

Commemorative plaque on the exterior of the building (September 2021)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.26991, W100.99049
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: William Wallace Blair (1852-1916)

Memorable Manitobans: George William Northwood (1876-1959)

Manitoba Business: Northern Crown Bank

Manitoba Business: Royal Bank of Canada

Manitoba Organization: Agricultural Societies


“Tenders,” Winnipeg Tribune, 2 June 1906, page 2.

Our First Century: 1884-1984 by Melita-Arthur History Committee, 1983, pages 207, 345.

Qu'Appelle Royal Bank Building, Canada's Historic Places.

We thank Rose Kuzina and Jordan Makichuk for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Ken Storie.

Page revised: 5 October 2023

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