Virtual Heritage Winnipeg Vignettes

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Paris Building

The Paris Building was once described as Winnipeg’s “most elegantly clothed steel frame skyscraper”. The building was erected in two stages with the first five storeys in 1915, and the upper six in 1917. Designed by architects Northwood and Carey of Winnipeg and constructed by Carter-Halls-Aldinger, it was built at a price of $330,000.

The Paris Building features magnificent terra cotta ornamentation and striking architectural design. The rental office and retail space was graced with grey marble wainscoting and stairs, with elegant woodwork and glass partitions between the airy, well-lit rooms. The Paris Building was one of a group of office towers that gradually shifted business interests away from Main Street.

Dingwall’s Jewellers and Shea’s Custom Tailors originally occupied the first two storeys with the upper storeys housing a variety of businesses including a number of insurance companies and manufacturers’ agents. In recent years, many professional offices have occupied the building. For several decades, the Western Canada Insurance Underwriters’ Association leased the entire eleventh floor.

Over the years, the façade on the main floor and some of the interior features were modernized and altered, but today the Paris Building retains its same appearance from the 1915-17 period.