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Ashdown Store

211 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2001/05/23

Primary elevations, from the southeast, of the Ashdown Store, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
Primary Elevations
Contextual view, from the south, of the Ashdown Store, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
Contextual View
Secondary elevations, from the southwest, of the Ashdown Store, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2006
Secondary Elevations

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1904/01/01 to 1905/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/12/21

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Rising six storeys, the Ashdown Store, built in 1904-05, is a red-brick commercial building that is an important element in Winnipeg's Exchange District, a national historic site. The store, at the strategic corner of Main Street and Bannatyne Avenue, is part of an important section of the streetscape that still maintains a moderate level of integrity, with a variety of other historic buildings. The City of Winnipeg's designation applies to the building on its footprint and interior tin ceilings.

Heritage Value

The Ashdown Store is significant for its early departmental store function, its connections to J.H. Ashdown - a major figure in Winnipeg's development - and its location. The store was the local retail arm and head office for the Western Canadian hardware empire created by Ashdown and was an important fixture on Main Street when the thoroughfare still commanded a prominent role in the city's retail life. Ashdown, whose business, political and social interests made him one of the most vital figures in the city's formative years, was an innovator who capitalized on the burgeoning growth of the West. He not only developed wholesale operations (a common enough venture at the time in Winnipeg), but also a retail component that included catalogue sales. His store, designed by well-known Winnipeg architect J.H.G. Russell, is an example of Chicago-style precepts applied to a retail/office function. The building still retains visual connections to the massive Ashdown Warehouse further east on Bannatyne Avenue, and its prominent situation on Main Street recalls the retail activity the street maintained for many years, but which has diminished over time.

Source: City of Winnipeg Council Meeting Minutes, May 23, 2001

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Ashdown Store site include:
- its occupation of a corner lot with primary facades on Main Street and Bannatyne Avenue
- the historic and visual connections to the Ashdown Warehouse further east on Bannatyne and
- its contribution to an important Main Street streetscape that includes on both west and east sides a number of other buildings protected by the City of Winnipeg

Key elements that define the building's Chicago-style appearance and connection to Ashdown include:
- its six-storey height, box-like form (with angled southeast corner) and flat roof and the organization of the two primary facades (east and south) into a tripartite division marked by encircling bands
- the red-brick cladding on the east, south and west walls, with belt courses on the south and west walls
- the simple rectangular openings on all elevations, with larger examples on the main floor
- the decorative embellishments of the south elevation, including the Neo-Classical entrance carried out in Manitoba limestone, broad metal cornice with a section of decorative metal railing, limestone surrounds and belt courses outlining the sixth-floor windows
- the painted signage at the top of the west wall reading 'J.H. ASHDOWN HARDWARE CO.'

Key elements that define the building's interior features include:
- the tin ceiling elements found on various floors




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


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

15-30 Fort Street Winnipeg MB File: "211 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…


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