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Drake Hotel (Benson Block)

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Originally called the Benson Block, this hotel was a twin of the Bawlf Block at 148 Princess, Joseph Benson had operated a livery stable on the site, and together with Nicholas Bawlf, financed the construction of the two buildings.  The wholesale grocery firm of Griffin and Douglas were the first tenants, however the interior basement foundations threatened to collapse under the weight of goods stored above.  This faulty construction is reflective of the material shortage at the time of its construction, along with contractor, Saul Brothers and Armit’s rush to complete the work. There was also a lack of skilled craftsman during the 1881-82 building boom.

The Benson Block hosted a variety of businesses over the years. Griffin & Douglas remained until 1886. It was renamed the Globe Hotel, the Market Hotel in 1904 and after 1937, “The Bank”. Its last function was as the Drake Hotel from 1944 to 1974. It was finally closed due to a number of health citations.



Room 312

Student Services




Year Built Heritage Status Date Material Floors/Square footage
1882 Municipal, 1979, grade III Neoclassical motifs, detailed polychromatic brick work, wood post and beam construction. 3 storeys/11,880 total floor space

Original Use Present Use Address Architect
Hotel and service provider to wholesale and manufacturing agents Red River College 146 Princess Street Barber & Barber





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