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Telegram Building

70 Albert Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1980/07/14

Primary elevations, from the northeast, of the Telegram Building, Winnipeg, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism 2005
Primary Elevations
North elevation of the Telegram Building, Winnipeg, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism 2005
North Elevation
Detail view of the roofline of the Telegram Building, Winnipeg, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism 2005
Roof Detail

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1882/01/01 to 1882/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/30

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The lively Victorian-era facades of the Telegram Building front the narrow angled intersection of Albert Street and McDermot Avenue in Winnipeg's Exchange District, a national historic site. The four-storey brick structure, built in 1882, displays an Italianate style, which contrasts with the less ornate designs of adjacent buildings. The City of Winnipeg's Grade II designation applies to the building footprint and the following interior elements: cast-iron columns, fourth-floor water tank and post-and-beam system on the upper floors.

Heritage Value

The Telegram Building, with its enriched Italianate exterior and important interior elements, has few surviving parallels in the Exchange District. Designed by Ottawa architect William Hodgson, the structure's layered main facades are distinguished by their multiple arched windows, detailed brickwork and decorative entablature. The building is one of the oldest, largely intact warehouses from the Exchange District's pre-1890 development period. It also is noted for its association with Newspaper Row, a part of McDermot Avenue where early printing and publishing companies congregated, including the Winnipeg Telegram, which operated from this site from 1899 to 1920, succeeding the building's original occupant, dry goods wholesaler R.J. Whitla.

Source: City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee Meeting, August 18, 1978

Character-Defining Elements

Key features that define the heritage character of the site, and of its association with Newspaper Row, include:
- the tall, narrow form with long Albert Street (east) frontage and short McDermot Avenue (north) frontage

Key elements that define the Telegram Building's ornate and well-crafted Italianate style include:
- the symmetrical and coordinated design of the main facades, with vertical and horizontal divisions created by pilasters and belt courses at all levels and the angled corner bay that connects the two elevations
- the fenestration, including the round-headed windows, diminishing in size and increasing in numbers on upper levels and finished by drip moulding on the second and third floors
- the wealth of detailing, including slender pilasters with ornate capitals, voussoirs, richly detailed belt courses, ornate brickwork, entablature, etc.

Key elements of the building's interior integrity and heritage character include:
- the surviving original warehouse space on the fourth floor
- structural components, including ground-floor cast-iron columns and wood joist-and-column support system on the upper floors
- the massive iron water tank resting on steel I-beams located on the fourth floor
- the original wood flooring in areas of the third and fourth floors




Recognition Authority

City of Winnipeg

Recognition Statute

City of Winnipeg Act

Recognition Type

Winnipeg Landmark Heritage Structure

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment


Communications Facility

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

15-30 Fort Street Winnipeg MB File:"70 Albert Street"

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places

Aerial view

Exchange District National Historic Site of Canada

Exchange District National Historic Site of Canada is located in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba. The site consists of a densely built, turn-of -the-century warehousing and business…


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