Home / Accueil

Ashdown Warehouse

167 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1985/09/16

View of the main (south) elevation of the Ashdown Warehouse, Winnipeg, 2004; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, and Tourism and Sport,2005
South Elevation
View of the east elevation of the Ashdown Warehouse, Winnipeg, 2004; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
East Elevation
No Image

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1895/01/01 to 1911/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/02/07

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The massive Ashdown Warehouse is one of the largest structures of this type in Winnipeg. Built between 1895 and 1911, the Richardsonian Romanesque-style facility extends upward six storeys and outward to occupy nearly half a block in the Exchange District, a national historic site. Adjacent development consists of a mix of post-1960 and historic buildings. The City of Winnipeg's Grade II designation applies to the building on its footprint.

Heritage Value

The Ashdown Warehouse is an impressive example of the kind of massive warehouse that has come to define Winnipeg's Exchange District. The muscular qualities of the Richardsonian Romanesque style, and inside of heavy mill construction, are eloquently expressed in this building. Built in several stages, beginning with S. Frank Peter's 1895 design for the original eastern section, and then added to over the years (1899 to 1911) with complementary sections designed by J.H.G. Russell, the building also illustrates in its great size, as it stretches down Bannatyne Avenue, the enlargements that often attended these operations, as business expanded rapidly in the early 1900s. The building, which still boldly bears his name in two-metre-high letters, was the product of hardware dealer James Henry Ashdown (1844-1924), whose retail empire ultimately stretched across Western Canada and made him one of Winnipeg's early millionaires. The Ashdown Warehouse retains its visual connection to the Ashdown Store, a block further west at Main and Bannatyne, which was the company's important local retail outlet.

Source: City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee Meeting, August 8, 1985

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Ashdown Warehouse site include:
- its location at the northwest corner of Bannatyne Avenue and Rorie Street, adjacent to a former railway spur line right-of-way along its north side
- physical and visual connections to other warehouses along the north side of Bannatyne Avenue, creating a nearly seamless wall of brick, and also to the Ashdown Store which is visible on the west side of Main Street a block away

Key elements that define the complex's original use by J.H. Ashdown include:
- signage that extends almost the entire length of the Bannatyne face reading: 'THE J.H. ASHDOWN HARDWARE COMPANY LIMITED.'

Key elements that define the Richardsonian Romanesque style and mill construction methods as applied to the Ashdown Warehouse include:
- the massive rectangular form of the structure's largest (eastern) section, with the high basement clad in rusticated stone and walls of solid brick minimally ornamented by rusticated stone sills, lintels and belt courses, brick voussoirs and belt courses, arcaded brickwork along the cornice, etc.
- the multiple, rhythmically grouped windows on all exposed elevations, including the three-storey arched bays encompassing straight-topped and round-arched openings on the Bannatyne and Rorie facades
- numerous loading facilities, including an interior driveway on the south face and large elevated delivery openings on the east and north sides
- the complementary, but distinctive, front of the 1899 building at the west end of the complex, including a large round-arched window in the middle bay of the fourth floor, decorative brick panels, mouldings and cornice, etc.
- the heavy interior timber framing (beams and posts) and exterior brick walls left exposed in what are now residential suites




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

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Multiple Dwelling


Commerce / Commercial Services

Architect / Designer

S.F. Peters



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

15 - 30 Fort Street Winnipeg MB File: "167 Bannatyne Avenue"

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…


Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places