Historic Sites of Manitoba: Telfer Block / Estabrooks Block (156 Lombard Avenue, Winnipeg)

Link to:
Photos & Coordinates | Sources

Located on the south side of Lombard Avenue in Winnipeg, this five storey warehouse was designed by architect James Henry Cadham and built in 1904 by contractors W. Hodgins and J. Gervine at a cost of $20,000. It measured 35½ feet of frontage to a depth of 120 feet and featured railway access at the rear of the building via a spur of the Winnipeg Transfer Railway. It was owned by the Telfer Brothers, one of whom was Frank Hartley Telfer (1877-?), operators of a biscuit and confectionary business. Upon its completion, they leased two floors within the building to other commercial ventures.

Frank Hartley Telfer was born in Ontario on 26 July 1877 to Frank F. Telfer (1853-?) and Mary M. Telfer (1851-?). He lived at Collingwood and married Teressa Elizabeth Russell (c1881-?, daughter of William Francis Russell) at her parents’ Fern Villa residence at Waubaushene, Ontario on 25 June 1903. Later that year, they settled at 246 Spence Street at Winnipeg and he opened a wholesale business presence at 333 Elgin Avenue prior to commissioning the building on Lombard. He later lived at the Guelph Apartments (1921-1926).

In 1911, the T. H. Estabrooks Company, founded in 1894 and federally incorporated via Letters Patent under The Companies Act of Canada in May 1911, acquired space in the Telfer Block. The company’s founding members were merchant Theodore Harding Estabrooks (1861-1945), tea master Walter Russell Miles, accountants Walter Archibald Harrison and Herman Sullivan, along with Louis Cameron Armstrong; all of Saint John, New Brunswick. They developed the Red Rose Tea and Red Rose Coffee brands, operating as an import and blending business, and held an capital stock of $500,000. In August 1911, the company applied for an operating license in Manitoba and was granted approval the following month. Estabrooks, Miles, and Harrison all served as its initial directors. To oversee operations in Winnipeg, their local managers included George L. Palmer (beginning August 1911), Lowell McQuarrie (beginning August 1922), and Kenneth S. Davis (beginning February 1927).

The Telfer Brothers and T. H. Estabrooks Company occupied the building into the 1920s along with other businesses including the Grange Stationery Company, Watson & Truesdale, and James Stewart Manufacturing. Around 1925, the Telfer Brothers sold the property to T. H. Estabrooks Company and the building was renamed the Estabrooks Block. It was occupied until around 1965 and then demolished.

Photos & Coordinates

Telfer Block

Telfer Block (1904)
Source: Manitoba Free Press, 30 May 1904, page 7.

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.89585, W97.13661
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: James Henry Cadham (1850-1907)


1901, 1906, and 1911 Canada censuses, Automated Genealogy.

“Telfer Bros. warehouse,” Manitoba Free Press, 30 May 1904, page 7.

“Mammoth new mercantile blocks,” Manitoba Free Press, 24 November 1904, page 18.

Winnipeg fire insurance map, #203 December 1917, Library and Archives Canada.

1921 and 1926 Canada censuses, Library and Archives Canada.

City of Winnipeg Building Permit 544/1904, City of Winnipeg Archives.

Death registrations [Mary Molly Alice Telfer], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Fonds ID4466 - T. H. Estabrooks Company Limited, New Brunswick Museum.

Companies Office corporation documents (CCA 0059), 74 - T. H. Estabrooks Company Limited, GR6427, Archives of Manitoba.

“Telfer - Russell,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 30 June 1903, page 5.

“Telfer - Russell,” Manitoba Free Press, 3 July 1903, page 8.

“Tenders,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 12 April 1904, page 12.

“Premier exhibition for the West,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 12 May 1904, page 4.

“To let,” Manitoba Free Press, 17 August 1904, page 2.

“Canada’s tea king,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 3 September 1904, page 3.

“Storage,” Manitoba Free Press, 7 November 1904, page 2.

“Warehouse space,” Manitoba Free Press, 8 December 1917, page 2.

“Warehouse to rent,” Manitoba Free Press, 29 May 1917, page 2.

“[Ad] A tribute to the hardest worked merchants in our country,” Manitoba Free Press, 15 February 1919, page 10.

“For sale - Ford Coupe,” Manitoba Free Press, 14 November 1921, page 20.

“Estabrooks new plant preparing product for trade,” Manitoba Free Press, 23 July 1927, page 23.

Obituary [Mrs. Kenneth Davis], Winnipeg Tribune, 17 October 1940, page 15.

Obituary [Mrs. F. H. Telfer], Winnipeg Free Press, 25 November 1947, page 12.

Death notice [Mrs. Frank Hartley Telfer], Winnipeg Free Press, 26 November 1947, page 21.

“New ears for old?” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 February 1965 page 2.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Henderson Directories Limited, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

Preparation of this page was supported, in part, by the Gail Parvin Hammerquist Fund of the City of Winnipeg.

We thank Gordon Goldsborough and Jordan Makichuk for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 13 January 2024

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