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The Exchange District
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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.






Year Built Heritage Status Date Material Floors/Square footage
1909-1911 Provincial and Municipal, 1983, grade II Steel skeleton clad in kootney marble, rusticated lower level, paired corinthian columns, impedimented windows set in metal panels, and other classical elements 8 storeys/94,423 total floor space

Original Use Present Use Address Architect
Office building for insurance and financial concerns NA 177 Lombard Avenue J.D. Atchison





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