1150 Rose Street
W.G. Downing and Company Building
Links and documents
1914/01/01 to 1914/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
1150 Rose Street is a Municipal Heritage Property which comprises nine commercial lots in the City of Regina’s historic Warehouse District. The property features a four-storey reddish-brown brick-and-stone building known as the W.G. Downing and Company Building, which was constructed in 1914.
The heritage value of 1150 Rose Street resides in its status as one of only a few remaining buildings in Regina’s historic warehouse district constructed specifically for manufacturing or processing purposes. The pre-eminent Regina architectural firm of Storey and Van Egmond designed this property in 1914 for the W.G. Downing and Company of Brandon, Manitoba, manufacturers and wholesale distributors of boots and shoes. Construction of this building coincided with a severe downturn in the prairie economy and the start of the First World War, and the building quickly changed hands. Subsequent tenants included the Williams Shoe Company, Prairie Biscuit and Confectionery Company, and Western Motor Supplies. The Ford Motor Company occupied the building from 1920 until 1943. The building was purchased by the Province of Saskatchewan in the mid-1950s and functioned intermittently as government office space until the early 1990s. The building has since been converted into condominiums.
The heritage value of the property also lies in its association with the pre-World War I practice of “bonusing.” The practice pitted Regina against communities such as Moose Jaw and Saskatoon in offering inducements for industrial and commercial developments. By 1911 Regina had more manufacturing establishments and a larger industrial work force than any other city in the province. Two years later, Regina handled more than half of Saskatchewan’s wholesale business. By the eve of the First World Wa,r Regina’s burgeoning population had witnessed a marked increase in retail trade and construction activity and the city had become a major shipping and distribution point. Whether bonusing contributed much to Regina’s modest industrial growth during this period, the practice became self-defeating and, in 1914, the provincial government placed a complete ban on this activity.
The heritage value of the property also lies in the property's contribution to the architecturally and historically significant commercial streetscape along 6th Avenue in Regina’s Old Warehouse District. The building’s early appearance in the area established a precedent for later buildings in terms of scale, height and appearance.
The heritage value of the property also resides in being a representative example of pre-First World War industrial architecture. The building’s utilitarian design, which is reminiscent of the simplified architecture of the Chicago School, is expressed through the property's flat roof, rectangular window pattern, subtle pilasters with stone caps, and conservative decorative elements such as the crenellated roofline with a “1913” front datestone, stone band, and Tyndall Stone window sills and main entrance. The building’s exterior remains essentially unaltered.
City of Regina Bylaw No. 10187.
The heritage value of 1150 Rose Street lies in the following character-defining elements:
-those elements which contribute to defining the character of Regina’s historic warehouse district, such as the building’s scale, height and massing, as well as, its position on its original location along 6th Avenue;
-those elements which reflect the simplified architecture of the Chicago School, such as flat roof, rectangular window pattern, subtle pilasters with stone caps, and conservative decorative elements such as the crenellated roofline with the “1913” front datestone, and horizontal Tyndall Stone band, window sills and main entrance.
Local Governments (SK)
Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)
Municipal Heritage Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
- Commerce / Commercial Services
Architect / Designer
Storey and Van Ecgmond
Location of Supporting Documentation
Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation
Heritage Resources Branch
1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK
File: MHP 2029
Cross-Reference to Collection