Virtual Heritage Winnipeg
Home Contact Sitemap Search Help
Virtual Tour Gallery Vignettes Links
The Exchange District

Vignettes / The Exchange District / Princess

Ryan Building

Enlarge text:  smaller  |  larger

Thomas Ryan (1849-1937), a native of Perth, Ontario, came to Winnipeg in 1874 and began a retail business. Initially in a partnership known as McFarlane and Ryan, within a few years he became the sole proprietor.  He established an import-wholesale business that extended from the Lakehead to the West Coast. His three brothers, Michael, James and George eventually joined him.

He was first based in a wood-frame shop on the west side of Main Street between present-day Bannatyne and William avenues.  In 1883 he built the first all stone building in the city on adjacent property at 492 Main. This building was also the first to have an electric passenger elevator. He sold his retail operation to George and moved the wholesale division west into the warehouse district.  A brief period was spent at Princess Street and Market Avenue before erecting a new facility at southwest King Street and Bannatyne Avenue in 1895. In 1906 W.W. Blair and G.W. Northwood designed a seven-and-one-half storey brick building at 44 Princess near Notre Dame Avenue. At the time of construction, it was the tallest wholesale block in Winnipeg.




Year Built Heritage Status Date Material Floors/Square footage
1906 Municipal, 1998, grade III

Red brick with stone trim, timber post and beam.

7 storeys/37,472 total floor space

Original Use Present Use Address Architect

Shoe wholesale warehouse and offices.

Retail 44 Princess Street

Blair and Northwood





about this site  :  credits  :  Français