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Showing posts from June, 2016

The Bay Downtown: Part Two

After over a decade of delays, the Bay Downtown was finally getting underway.In 1925, the Hudson's Bay Company announce they would begin construction within two years, and open the building within three. But after years and years of setbacks and delays, the company was tired of waiting, and had a change of heart. They began construction that very same year.

Mayor Ralph Webb strongly encouraged HBC to use Tyndall stone, a type of limestone native to Manitoba. The use of Tyndall stone had come up earlier in the long process, and the company had declined. But after speaking with Mayor Webb this time around, they agreed to use Tyndall limestone on the exterior of the building. The use of Tyndall stone put $400, 000 into the local economy. Building the foundation of the store involved 300 men, 120 teams of horses, 20 trucks and two steam shovels to remove 150,000 tons of earth. One hundred and fifty-one concrete pillars were driven by hand down 52 feet to bedrock to support the store. T…

The Long Road to The Bay Downtown - Part One

The Bay downtown at 450 Portage Avenue was once one of the busiest, most popular department stores in Winnipeg. The store has scaled back dramatically over the years and there have been many discussions about how to best utilize this building, as each floor is slowly being vacated. Although architecturally, socially and culturally significant, this iconic heritage building does not have protected heritage status.
“The Company of Adventurers Trading into Hudson’s Bay,” or more commonly “The Hudson’s Bay Company,” or “HBC,” or “The Bay” is one of the oldest companies in the world. It just passed its 346th birthday this past May. The company was officially formed on May 2, 1670.Their main base of operation was Upper Fort Garry, near the meeting of the Red and the Assiniboine rivers. The Fort's back gate still stands at the corner of Main and Broadway.
 After the demolition Upper Fort Garry, the Hudson’s Bay Company moved its main operations in Winnipeg to a three story red brick build…