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A.E. McKenzie Co. Building

30-9th Street, Brandon, Manitoba, R7A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1988/01/25

Main elevation, from the southeast, A.E. McKenzie Co. Building, Brandon, 2004.; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2004
Main Elevations
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Other Name(s)

A.E. McKenzie Co. Building
McKenzie Seeds
McKenzie Steel-Briggs Seed Company
Semences McKenzie

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1910/01/01 to 1911/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/08/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Visible for several kilometres, the seven-storey-plus A.E. McKenzie Co. Building is a notable feature of Brandon's skyline. The seed packing, warehouse and office complex, built in 1910, is a major physical presence on a commercial street in the north end of the downtown. The site's provincial designation applies to the 1910 building and the 12 lots on which it stands.

Heritage Value

The A.E. McKenzie Co. Building, designed in the Chicago School style by Brandon architect Thomas Sinclair, was the first reinforced concrete structure erected in the province outside Winnipeg, and for several years, with its 24-metre concrete seed bin addition (1918), was the tallest building in the Wheat City. Well-adapted to McKenzie Seeds' growing needs and shifting markets, the utilitarian building continues to house one of Brandon's largest industries and plays an important role in the city's economy. This enduring landmark also has significant connections to Dr. Albert E. McKenzie (1870-1964), an international businessman and philanthropist who operated the company until his death, developing it into the largest seed production and distribution business in Western Canada.

Source: Manitoba Heritage Council Minutes, January 24, 1987

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the site include:
- placement of the 1910 building on an east-west axis facing 9th Street in downtown Brandon

Key elements that define the exterior character of the A.E. McKenzie Co. Building include:
- the Chicago School style expressed through the seven-storey structural grid system of reinforced concrete and brick, flat roof, straight front and regular window arrangement
- the handsome red brick facade, its classical composition including four large ground-floor limestone piers rising to a second-storey cornice and seven upper-floor piers extending to the bold projecting cornice composed of moulded copper sheet metal; the stone band with keystones below the upper cornice and the subordinate decorative details such as the voluted shield capitals which support the second storey
- the front ground-floor openings with large plate-glass windows in metal frame and a recessed door, the upper-floor rectangular-shaped nine-pane windows, the rear nine-pane window openings; and side elevations with three- and six-pane windows
- the brown-coloured brick rear and side elevations accentuated with the exposed concrete structural grid and small horizontally oriented windows in each cell of the grid
- the building's name in raised brass letters on the entablature
- the 24-metre concrete seed bin with the company's name painted in large white letters on the north and south sides

Key elements that define the internal heritage character of the building include:
- the functional layout, features and finishes, including the main-floor front public space with a wide central staircase and marble floors, side offices and rear warehouse space with a south entrance; the second-floor metal staircase, hallway with terrazzo floors, front offices and rear warehouse; and the five upper floors with large open warehouse spaces supported by mushroom-shaped concrete columns
- the staircase on the south side of the building that connects the floors and the freight elevator located near the shipping and receiving area on the north-central side




Recognition Authority

Province of Manitoba

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services


Architect / Designer

Thomas Sinclair


The Brandon Construction Company

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

213 Notre Dame Avenue Winnipeg MB R3B 1N3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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