/ The Exchange District
Great West Life
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Erected for one of Western Canada’s largest financial
institutions, this building is a fine example of the French
Beaux-Arts School style. Winnipeg businessman, J.H. Brock,
realizing that the majority of life insurance companies
operating in the city in the 1880s were foreign owned, and
that none were based in Western Canada, formed the provisional
Board of Directors of the Great-West Life Assurance Company
with many of the city’s business elite. Incorporated
in August of 1891, among this group were J.H. Ashdown, G.F.
Galt, J. Aikens and D.H. McMillan. The latter two subsequently
became Lieutenant-Governors of Manitoba. At their first
board meeting in 1892, Alexander Macdonald, the Mayor of
Winnipeg, was appointed President.