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Hill's Drug Store

200 Saskatchewan Avenue East, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2009/12/14

Oblique view, from the southeast, of Hill's Drug Store, Portage la Prairie, 2009; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2009
Oblique View
Primary elevation, from the south, of Hill's Drug Store, Portage la Prairie, 2009; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2009
Primary Elevation
Brick detail work on Hill's Drug Store, Portage la Prairie, 2009; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2009

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1901/01/01 to 1901/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/03/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Set in the historic business district of Portage la Prairie, Hill's Drug Store, built in 1901, is a small attractive two-storey structure of buff brick in a commercial Romanesque style. The municipal designation applies to the building on its footprint.

Heritage Value

Hill's Drug Store is at once an excellent example of the kind of small commercial establishments that lined any Manitoba main street around the turn of the twentieth century, as well as a rare example that has maintained its original function for more than a century, having opened as a pharmacy in 1901. The original owner, J. K. Hill, whose name still defines the building, commissioned a structure that is a textbook expression of the Romanesque style that was employed on so many of Manitoba's commercial buildings, but which is becoming increasingly rare through redevelopment. With is corner location, and enduring presence, Hill's Drug Store is an important landmark in the community's downtown core.

Source: The City of Portage la Prairie By-law 09-8454, 14 December 2009

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Hill's Drug Store site include:
- its landmark status on the northeast corner of Saskatchewan Ave. E and 2nd St. NE, in the heart of Portage la Prairie's original business district
-together with the Newman Block of 1902 on the far corner, Hill's Drug Store bookends an entire block full of small retail buildings of compatible scale, design, age and function

Key elements that define the commercial Romanesque style exterior of the building include:
- its overall form, two storeys in height, flat roofed and extending in stepped sections back from the main street face
- its masonry construction with two finished walls (south and west) and two plain walls, built flush to the sidewalks south and west and sharing a wall with the building on the east side
- its carefully designed main facade and west elevation, defined by round-arched windows and animated by lively brickwork including a parapet carried out in a fret motif, strawbasket brick spandrels and arched mouldings around the window openings that transform in classical pilasters that frame the windows

Key interior elements that define the building include:
- an ornate ceiling of pressed tin on the first floor
- an apartment extant on the second floor, featuring original hardwood flooring and millwork, especially in the staircase and window trim, chair railings and wainscoting, as well as wall sconces




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (MB)

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Portage la Prairie 97 Saskatchewan Avenue East Portage la Prairie MB R1N 0L8

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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