Historic Sites of Manitoba: Hamilton Block and Merchants Bank Annex / Sidney General Store (South Railway Street, Sidney, Municipality of North Norfolk)

This two-storey brick building on South Railway Street in Sidney, in the Municipality of North Norfolk, was constructed in the spring of 1900 by businessman Hugh Hamilton. It had two commercial offices on the main floor and several residential apartments on the second floor.

The eastern office on the main floor was occupied by the Sidney New Era newspaper from 1903 while the west side was a confectionary and grocery store from 1907. At some point, the two spaces were combined in a single retail store. Storekeepers included Frank Stanley (1907-1916), George Goulding (1916-1920), Arthur Abrahamson (1920-?), George Dredge (?-1924), Isaac Raynor (1924-1944), Fred Peck (1944-?), ? Arnason (?-1946), Frank Dankesreiter (1946-1972), Tony Hoeppner (1972-1983), Henry Reimer (1983-1990), Dennis and Peggy Rothwell (1990-2003), Pearl Weiler and Amanda Wiebe (2003-2011), Brenda Riege (2011-2020), and Robert Smith (2020-present). A post office was opened in the store in November 1960.

A small annex on the east side of the building was initially used as a real estate and insurance office, becoming a branch of the Merchants Bank of Canada in 1909. After the 1922 merger of the bank with the Bank of Montreal, it was open two days a week until being closed permanently in 1930. Used as a flour and salt warehouse for the adjacent store, it was converted to a restaurant in 1947, then back to a salt warehouse, then to a coffee shop in 1991.

Hamilton Block and Bank of Montreal annex

Hamilton Block and Bank of Montreal annex (1920s)
Source: Robert Smith

Sidney General Store

Sidney General Store (August 2020)
Source: George Penner

Rear view of Sidney General Store

Rear view of Sidney General Store (November 2022)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.89885, W99.08186
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Manitoba Business: Merchants Bank of Canada

Manitoba Business: Bank of Montreal


This page was prepared by Robert Smith, George Penner, and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 26 November 2022

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