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Exchange Building

160 Princess Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1979/06/18

Primary elevation, from the east, of the Exchange Building, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
Primary Elevation
Contextual view, from the southeast, of the Exchange Building and other buildings that make up the Red River College Princess Street Campus, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
Contextual View
Detail of the Exchange Building, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006

Other Name(s)

Red River College Princess Street Campus
Exchange Building
Exchange Building II
Chambre de commerce
Collège Red River campus de la rue Princess
Chamber of Commerce
Édifice de la Bourse II

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1898/01/01 to 1898/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/05/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Exchange Building is the restored four-storey east facade of a brick and stone office block erected in 1898 in the commercial district near Winnipeg's City Hall and now attached to a modern college complex. The City of Winnipeg designation applies to the east wall on its footprint and elements of the third floor.

Heritage Value

The Exchange Building, the second purpose-built home of an important economic institution, the Winnipeg Grain and Produce Exchange, is one of five contiguous pre-1900 facades preserved in situ to represent one of the oldest business streetscapes in the Exchange District National Historic Site of Canada. The structure's grand design by Samuel Hooper also is illustrative of the aesthetic transitions occurring in commercial architecture at the turn of the twentieth century. Its bold, eclectic exterior display of Classical and Romanesque influences was once matched inside by well-appointed offices and a trading floor, all in keeping with the exchange's lofty function and rapid growth as the principal marketplace for prairie crops. Today this structure and the facade of the exchange's preceding headquarters at 164 Princess Street are part of Red River College's downtown campus, a complex that exhibits another aesthetic transition, the creative integration of historic and contemporary construction.

Source: City of Winnipeg Committee on Environment Minutes, June 18, 1979

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the site character of the Exchange Building include:
- its location on the west side of Princess Street, across from the civic precinct and flush to the public sidewalk
- its historical and physical relationships with four designated facades to its north and south, including the structure at 164 Princess Street
- its two-dimensional profile, distinguished spatially, architecturally and materially from the modern construction to which it is attached

Key elements that define the facade's imposing transitional design include:
- its robust, symmetrical form, four storeys high, with a flat roof and deep brick parapet
- its six bays divided vertically by pilasters and horizontally into two distinct halves of rough-cut buff limestone below and vivid red brick with contrasting limestone coping, belt courses and lintels above
- the Classical articulation of the centre two bays, projected slightly in a pavilion beneath a large raised pediment, and including stone arch and oculi highlights over the fourth-floor windows, the words 'EXCHANGE BUILDING' carved on stone panels, a wrought-iron balcony and stone detailing, etc.
- the fenestration offered by abundant windows, some with transoms, and by large storefront openings, all vertically aligned
- the asymmetrical arrangement of doorways within a main-floor arcade of stone arches, including the double-bay main entrances recessed at the north end and the single-bay entrance to the south
- the quality of the wall details, richly layered, including terra cotta patterning motifs, decorative mouldings, stringcourses and other brickwork in the spandrels, entablature and parapet, etc.

Key interior elements retained in the reconstruction include:
- the large entrance vestibule with its golden oak wainscotting, interior doors, quarry tile floor laid in geometric patterns with a marble border and baseboards, etc.
- in new situations, mainly on the new third floor of the complex: golden oak partitions, wainscotting, a built-in bench, doors, hardware, radiators, vault doors stencilled with pastoral scenes, etc.




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
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Post-Secondary Institution


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building

Architect / Designer

Samuel Hooper



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

15-30 Fort Street Winnipeg MB

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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