Thursday, November 26, 2015

316 - 318 Ross Avenue - The Boyce Carriage Block

Place: Boyce Carriage Block
Address: 316 - 318 Ross Avenue (Map)
Constructed: 1905 - 06
Architect: A and W Melville
Contractor: P. Burnett
Cost: $22,000

November 14, 1891, Winnipeg Tribune

Edward Boyce grew up in Kingston, Ontario, apprenticed as a carriage maker and after a few years in Toronto came to Winnipeg in 1878 at the age of 23. He worked for one of the only carriage makers in town before striking out on his own in 1880 with Boyce’s Carriage Works on James Street.

His firm manufactured a wide variety of buggies, wagons and buckboards and sleighs that were sold across the West. The company soon found niche in delivery wagons, ambulances and hotel buses.

The business was a success and he soon moved to larger premises at 325 Elgin Avenue. He continued to swallow up neighbouring properties on Ross Avenue and in 1904 decided to consolidate his operations.

August 5, 1905, Winnipeg Free Press

Boyce hired architects A and W Melville to design a new five-storey stone and brick building at 316 Ross Avenue. The Melvilles were well known local architects, most noted for their Winnipeg fire hall designs that were being built around the same time.

The tender for a contractor was first advertized in March 1904, but for whatever reason construction did not go ahead. It was advertized again the following summer and and P. Burnett was hired. In early August foundation work started and in September the Melvilles took out a $22,000 building permit.

September 25, 1915, Winnipeg Tribune

The building was constructed in two stages. The first 75 feet wide by 50 feet deep section was completed by the end of the year, while the second, similar sized section began construction in early 1906. It was connected at the rear to the 325 Elgin Avenue building which became their showroom. Once completed, Boyce had more than 45,000 square feet of space in which to operate.

The main floor was the blacksmiths shop. Each upper storey contained a number of electric hoists and trap doors to allow for their product to be moved throughout the complex.

Industrial Exhibition coin, Bank of Canada Museum

For a decade at this location Boyce was riding high. Sales were good and he employed about 60 people at the company's peak.

Boyce was a major player in the local manufacturing industry and was a member of the Board of Trade and supporter of the Winnipeg Industrial Exhibitions. He also appears to have been a private man. He rarely made the newspapers, finding a photo of him proved impossible, and appears never to have run for public office.

What is known of his personal life is that his first wife, Eliza Taylor of Ottawa with whom he had two sons, Wilfred and Norman, died in 1900. He remarried Ada Wilkinson in 1902.

February 1, 1915, Winnipeg Tribune

As automobiles became more popular, though, the company's fortunes began to wane. Though there was still a market for carts and wagons, especially in the delivery business, they were surely facing stiff competition from national and international automobile manufacturers that could sell you a truck, bus or ambulance version of their products “off the shelf”.

Boyce's business activities shifted to face some of these new realities. They got into the construction of custom truck bodies and did auto body repair, painting and detailing. The company made a last ditch effort to stay relevant in the automobile age when in February 1918 they unveiled a vehicle that they had built from scratch, with the exception of the engine. It did not attract investors or sales and in February 1919 the company ceased operations, (it is unclear whether it was closed, foreclosed upon or went bankrupt). The assets were auctioned off over the summer.

Edward Boyce, who first became ill in 1916, had been getting progressively worse. He spent more and more time in California, hoping that the warm, dry weather would improve his health. It didn't.

Shortly after the company closed, on May 24 1919, Boyce died at the Ross Avenue home of one of his sons.

The building then sat vacant until 1926, perhaps due to some sort of estate dispute. In 1927 the Paulin’s Company / McCormick Biscuits, which had a biscuit factory across the street, took it over as warehouse space. The following year it had a close call when a blaze broke out causing $60,000 in damage. The building survived, but tons of cookies did not.

In the 1930s the building was subdivided. The upper floors may have remained a warehouse but the second floor became a manufacturing space. In the early 1930s it was home to Jourard Furniture, a maker of upholstered chairs and chesterfields that also operated a factory retail outlet. From the mid-1930s to 1943 it was a production facility for the Constant Macaroni Company.

In 1945 the entire building became the warehouse to a one-time Winnipeg retail institution called Gender's Furniture, the name is still painted on the south side of the building.

Moe Genser was a leading Winnipeg musician from the 1890s to 1930s. He played the violin and clarinet in a number of orchestras, eventually becoming the house conductor of the Walker Theatre Orchestra, a position he held for 30 years. Genser was chosen to organize and conduct the 60-piece orchestra that played at the opening of the Manitoba Legislature in 1921. He is also credited as one of the key drivers in the creation of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Genser was also an astute businessman. In 1926 he opened a sheet music store on Portage Avenue near Fort Street. Soon after, he added both a furniture and an appliance store to his portfolio. In 1931 he combined them together in a single, 28,000 square foot store on Portage Avenue called Genser and Sons.

In the mid 1940s Genser wanted to serve the incoming wave of wartime immigrants and refugees and opened a number of satellite stores, especially in the North End. He purchased 316 - 318 Ross Avenue to be the chain's warehouse and repair shop.

In 1959 Genser opened a 30,000 square foot store in the new Polo Park Shopping Centre and their downtown store absorbed the buildings on each side of it. In 1961 Moe Genser died but is sons took over the business. They were about to embark on an ambitious suburban expansion when, in 1972, the company went into receivership.

The building was then subdivided again into 316 and 318 and was home to a number of  manufacturers. Clothing manufacturer S and S Sportswear took up the 318 portion from the 1980s to 2000s, operating a retail store on the main floor with warehouse and manufacturing space on the upper four levels.,project/62/316-ross-ave

In 2010 FRAME Arts Warehouse leased the building from the owner, 603562 Manitoba Ltd., opening a gallery on the main floor and up to 40 artists' lofts upstairs. In 2013 the Purple Room event space was added.

In 2014 architect Syverson Monteyne approached the city with plans to consolidate the existing building and loading dock / parking area plus a neighbouring empty lot into one lot for the creation a new mixed-use addition. A service agreement was reached with the city in July 2014.

The building was not zoned for residential use and in August 2015 the city had it closed for "considerable building, electrical, mechanical and plumbing alterations and construction performed without required permits."

My Flickr Album of 316-318 Ross

Monday, November 16, 2015

342 Nairn Avenue - Chalmers Blacksmiths

Written January 1915,-97.11066,3a,75y,184.25h,80.97t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sh7y1Z6PaC4eo6ftNy7fB_g!2e0

Place: Chalmers Blacksmiths / Chalmers Auto, Truck and Body Works
Address: 342 Nairn Avenue (Map)
Constructed: 1917*, 1946
Architect: unknown

Top: February 10, 1922, Winnipeg Tribune
Bottom: October 31, 1912, Winnipeg Free Press

This building, near the northern foot of the Louise Bridge, was the long-time home to the shop and residence of James Chalmers. A blacksmith by trade, he came to Winnipeg from the Orkney Islands in 1909 with wife Mary (Mainland) and children Barbara, Isabella and Jim. He opened a small blacksmiths yard, expanding it in 1910 to 342 Nairn Avenue.

The asterisk next to the 1917 date of construction that appears on the city tax rolls is because, as you will see below, I found three instances where the building should have been destroyed by fire: 1918, 1933 and 1946. This structure may have been an outbuilding on the larger Chalmers site that managed to survive, or perhaps a 1917 building moved to the site after the fire(s).

Riverside Hotel Fire, Elmwood, Feb 5, 1918
Nairn Avenue ca 1918

At the time of the Chalmers' arrival in 1909, Elmwood was booming. It had voted to join the city of Winnipeg in 1908 because it wanted "big city services" such as full-time fire and police services, as well as a streetcar line. Nairn Avenue at the foot of the Louise Bridge became a hub of the community with numerous retail buildings, banks, two hotels, residences and a commercial boat dock.

A January 1910 Tribune column about Elmwood notes that "James Chalmers, blacksmith, is another Elmwood business man who finds it necessary to enlarge his premises in order to keep up with the growing trade of the district." 

The Chalmers family lived next to the shop at 338 Nairn (now demolished.)

November 2, 1913, Winnipeg Tribune

Both James and the shop had a number of close calls over the years.

The first came in October 1913 when James was shot in the leg by a fellow business owner and spent weeks recovering in hospital. F. J. Wellwood, a firewood and coal merchant with depots around the city including one in Elmwood, was showing Chalmers a gun that he had bought for protection against the growing number of robberies at his business. The gun discharged.

The Tribune reported on the story a few days after the incident due to rumours swirling around the tight-knit community about what "really" happened that day.

December 13, 1946, Winnipeg Free Press

Fires were a fact of life for a blacksmith shop.

The first fire to impact the business was the deadly Riverview Hotel blaze, located just a couple of doors away. In February 1918 a fire started in the hotel's kitchen. Fuelled by strong winds and with firemen hampered by the cold weather, there were soon eight separate fires along that stretch of Nairn that damaged or destroyed a number of buildings. Chalmers' shop likely would have been among them given its proximity to the hotel.

A December 1946 fire that started in the shop destroyed it and a neighbouring two-storey block. The exact cause was never determined. Hurt in the blaze was daughter Barbara who suffered first degree burns to her arm and face. 

The following month Beaver Construction began construction on a new shop.(Again, this may have been a garage or other outbuilding on the site that survived.)

Top: May 13, 1929, Winnipeg Tribune
Bottom: March 36, 1938, Winnipeg Tribune

Chalmers was a long-time member of the Manitoba Association of Blacksmiths, serving as its president in the early 1920s. It was a time of great transition for the industry as their traditional work of shoeing horses, making fences and repairing carriages was disappearing. Chalmers reported, though, that most of its members were doing well as many shops had introduced welding to their operations and got into the business of repairing automobiles and bodywork. 

Chalmers was one of those innovators. In the 1920s the company relocated to a defunct appliance manufacturing shop at 382 Nairn, on the east side of the LaSalle hotel, and formally changed its name to Chalmers Auto, Truck and Body Work. 

A January 10, 1933 Tribune story notes that property that Chalmers originally occupied was part of the Banfiled Estate that still had to be settled, so all of the buildings were sitting empty. That day, a fire destroyed "structure formerly occupied by the Chalmers Body Works."

The estate must have been settled later that year and a new building built, as later in 1933 Chalmers was advertizing his location as 342 Nairn and making a name for themselves as the makers of delivery vehicle bodies for the likes of Eatons and a number of dairies, breweries and ice cream companies.

Barbara Shepherd

Chalmers' daughter Barbara was a fixture at the business. She began working at the shop as a young woman, eventually managing the business side of things, while her father worked the shop floor. (Chalmers had anywhere from six to ten employees in a given year.) Barbara married Harry Shepherd and for a time they lived at the Chalmers residence at 338 Nairn.

Chalmers' in-laws were also involved with the shop. The Mainlands came from the Orkney Islands around the same time as Mary Anne but settled in Saskatchewan to farm. Archie Mainland worked there starting in 1942 and William in 1947. Both of these men, I believe, were cousins to Mary and worked there until the shop closed in 1978.

September 20, 1961, Winnipeg Free Press

James Chalmers retired in the 1950s and died in September 1961. The business continued under Barbara until 1978. She died in 1993.

Since the 1980s the building has been home to a number of auto-related businesses, including Andrushko Auto Body and Complete Auto and Radiators. Since 2007 it has been home to Pro-Fab Sunrooms. The mural on the west wall of the building was painted in 2008.

June 24, 1939, Winnipeg Free Press (best quality image I could get)


Friday, October 2, 2015

242 Princess Street - The Bathgate Block

242 princess Street over the decades

Built for businessman William Bathgate in 1882 - 83, the Bathgate Block at 242 Princess Street is one of the city's oldest commercial buildings. It is also one of the few remaining examples the work of prolific architects Barber and Barber, best known for their old "gingerbread" Winnipeg city hall.

I recently posted about it in at my blog West End Dumplings. Check out that post for more photos and background information and its current state.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

730 Wellington Avenue - Verdin's Grocery

Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg

Place: Former Verdin's Grocery / Tavistock Annex
Address: 730 Wellington Avenue (Map)
Built: 1909(?)
Architect: Unknown

There has been a grocery store at this corner of Wellington Avenue and Beverley Street since 1909-10, though its roots date back to a 1907 store called Verdin's Grocery at Wellington at Toronto, just a block away.

Albert George Verdin (1871 - ?) was born and raised in London, England. Wife Eliza Ida (nee Berthman, 1873 - 1961) was born and raised in Ontario. The family first appears in Winnipeg in the 1903 Henderson's Directory living on Beacon Street at Logan. Albert's occupation is listed as a shipper and butcher.

In 1906 the couple had a son, George, and were living at 857 Alexander with three other Verdins. There was George E., another butcher, and Fay, a bookkeeper, as well as Elizabeth, widow of Albert. Their son would have been a small child at this time so, presumably, this was Albert's brother, sister in-law and mother.

Top: Ad from April 1907. Bottom from June 1907

Verdin's Grocery first appears in the Henderson Directory of 1907 at 704 Toronto Street at Wellington. At the time the family, minus the in-laws and widow, lived at 680 Toronto Street. They also employed a driver, William Bragg of 699 Toronto Street.

Verdin proclaimed in his ads that his was the "oldest establishment in the West End", later updated to read "the oldest established meat and provision market in the West End". It is a claim hard to verify, but much of the West End was only subdivided for residential development in the couple of years prior to its opening. The first Wellington School, across the street, also opened in 1907.

Being a small store, Verdin's rarely advertized or made the news.

Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg

Around 1917 Albert and Eliza moved into suite B at the neighbouring apartment block, then called The Tavistock, at 724 Wellington Avenue. It was a place they called home into the 1960s.

In 1924-25 the store was either rebuilt or extensively renovated. This was just before Albert retired, then leased it out as a source of income.

August 19, 1932, Winnipeg Free Press

The first to lease it was John H. Bates and family who also lived at the Tavistock. In 1931-32 the store was run by H. Skinner, but the Depression seems to have taken its toll. The store closed and Verdin tried, unsuccessfully, to lease it out through 1932 and 1933.

Top: March 24, 1938, Winnipeg Tribune
Bottom: December 11, 1958, Helmskringla

In 1934 the store reopened as Westhome Grocery and Meats with Alex Malkin as the proprietor. He hired Eva Jones of 655 Beverley as a clerk. Malkin owned the store until around 1949, though Eva continued to work there through to the mid 1950s.

Following Malkin was Then came a string of short-term proprietors, including Thor and Kathleen Holm (1950) and Jack and Annette Flom (1952-53).
Top: Joe Riesenbach, ca unknown (source)
Bottom: outside store, ca Oct. 1963 (source - used with permission)

Joseph "Joe" Riesenbach and wife Ruth were the last proprietors of a grocery store at this location, from 1955 to 1963. 

Joseph's family were Polish Jews. During the Second World War, when he was ten years-old, they fled their home and spent two years in hiding in a root cellar. When the war was over, to escape continued anti-Jewish sentiment in Poland, Joseph came to Canada, arriving in Quebec in 1950.

Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg
November 16, 1963, Winnipeg Free Press

Joseph and Ruth took over Westhome Foods in late 1954 or early 1955 and in 1963 relocated across the street to 737 Wellington. The old store spent a couple of years up for lease until 1965 when it was converted into a duplex marketed as the Tavistock Annex. Each unit, numbered 705 and 709 beverley Street, contained four rooms plus a basement.

It is possible that Verdin could still have owned the building when the Riesenbachs moved and, when it didn't lease, sold it presumably the owner of the Tavistock who converted it into housing. (After five decades living at the Tavistock, he surely must have known the building's owner well !)

 724 Wellington Avenue, 

By 2012 the property, still part of the neighbouring Tavistock Apartments, was in disrepair. The owner had the former grocery store portion rezoned to multi-family residential in order to replace it with a new, seven unit, 3.5 storey apartment building.

In September 2015 the rezoning was extended for another two year period. An exact timeline for construction has not been set.


My photo album of 724 and 730 Wellington Avenue
For more about Joe Riesenbach 

Friday, August 28, 2015

277 1/2 River Avenue - Royal Oak Annex

Top: ca. 1960, 
Source: Archives of MB - Architectural Survey - River Ave

Place: Royal Oak Annex
Address: 277 1/2 River Avenue (Map)
Built: 1891? Demolished: August 2015
Architect: Unknown
Contractor: Unknown

Fort Rouge Park ca. 1910 (Source)

The recently demolished property at 277 1/2  River was built as number 277 River around 1891 on what was a heavily wooded and very rural looking River Avenue. At the time, there were only eight properties between Clarke and Osborne streets.

The following year, the city’s first parks board bought the neighbouring 4.85 acres to create Assiniboine Park,  which was renamed Fort Rouge Park in 1905 when the current Assiniboine Park was developed. A couple of 1895 newspaper articles noted that it was an easy park to create, just a matter of clearing the underbrush and removing a few of the densely packed trees to create paths and a small lawn area in which gardens were planted.

In 1900 the lawn was enlarged and a bandstand built. For years to come, the park featured regular concerts, picnics and other events.

November 7, 1903, Winnipeg Tribune

As this home was tucked away in a leafy suburb of the city, its construction didn't get any attention in the daily papers, so it is unclear who built it and exactly when. It appears that 277 River initially was a single family home but likely had servants quarters at the rear that were sometimes rented out.

Though a streetcar service was in place as early as 1890 linking Main Street and Osborne, it would be another decade before residential development really took off as river lots were subdivided into hundreds of residential lots.

Margaret Brough, ca. 1930s 
August 18, 1892, Manitoba Free Press

Looking back through the Henderson Directories, the first resident of 277 River was Richard "Dick" Brough and family. He came to Winnipeg in the late 1880s as the assistant postal inspector for Manitoba. In 1886 he was promoted to assistant postmaster for the province, one of the highest paying civil service jobs in the region at $2,000 per year.

His wife, Margaret (nee Gentles), was originally from Moose Jaw and they raised at least two children. By 1895 they had moved to a home on Kennedy Street.

The next owner was lawyer William A. Taylor. In 1882 he was called to Manitoba Bar. The following year was elected secretary of the Law Society of Manitoba and was president of the Winnipeg Literary Club. In 1886 Taylor worked on the first editions of  the Manitoba Law Reports, the predecessor of the Manitoba Law Journal, and became librarian of the Law Society.

J. B. Allan, ca. 1920s

From 1903 to 1905 it was home to John B. Allan, his wife Margaret, their four children and presumably his mother, Mrs. M. Allan. Allan's father was a , whose father was a military man nd he followed in his footsteps, coming to Manitoba as part of the 1870 Wolseley Expedition. He then stayed as a member of the North West Mounted Police. 

Allan was a veteran of the U.S. Civil War, the Fenain Raids, the North West Rebellion and the Boer War, eventually attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He also served as an MLA in the 1880s.

January 4, 1908, Winnipeg Tribune

Around 1897, Allan inherited a large sum of money and went into the land business as president of the Canada West Land Company. In 1908 he sold his land holdings, which included tracts of Saskatchewan farm land, some houses on Osborne Street and "...another (residence) situated on River Avenue, valued at $16,000" to the First National Realty Company for more than $200,000. 

Soon after, he and his wife retired to British Columbia.
River Avenue, ca. 1910 (Source)

By this time, the neighbourhood was much more densely populated. The above image shows the view looking west from what would have been near the driveway entrance to 277 River. Moxam Court, foreground, was constructed in 1906- 1907 and the Congress Apartments, in the distance, opened in 1910.
Top: J B Henderson, ca. 1911 (source)
Bottom: December 30, 1908, Winnipeg Tribune

It seems that the president of First National Realty, James B. Henderson, couldn't help but scoop up the River Avenue property for himself. He allowed the current renter, Dr. Robert G Watson to remain until 1908, then he and his family moved in.

Henderson was a businessman from Carberry, Manitoba. In the 1890s he ran a general store there, established The Carberry News newspaper, was president of its first Board of Trade, served on its first municipal council and was elected as the town's second mayor. In 1902 he started a land company in Portage la Prairie and soon moved to Winnipeg, partnering to create the First National Realty Company.

He married Martha Riesberry in Harriston, Ontario before coming to Manitoba in the 1880s. Together, they had five daughters: Edna, Blanche, Ruby, Leila (Lillia?) and Stella, some were in their teenage years by the time they lived on River Avenue. (In one online genealogy site, it mentions a son, James Riesberry Henderson, but I can find no mention of him in newspapers or the Manitoba Vital Statistics database.)

One of J. B.'s big land deals involved  the subdivision of an estate in what is now Wolsleley and he named Ruby Avenue for his daughter.

December 8, 1908, Winnipeg Free Press

Mrs. Henderson entertained a great deal at the home for her daughters and church functions. In some newspaper notices it is referred to as "Eldersley Grove, River Avenue".

The Hendersons lived at 277 River until around 1922. During that time, there were often renters listed at the same address. This could have been their married daughters and their husbands getting their start, or staff, as one of the renters in 1920 is Charles Mitchell, chauffeur.

When the Henderson's left, it was briefly home to lawyer Alex J H Dubuc and his wife Yvonne, newlyweds from Montreal. From 1925 to 1927, it was home to Dr. and Mrs. Jasper Halpenny. He was an combination of land developer, professor and surgeon, previously a secretary and a president of the Manitoba Medical Association. He retired his medical practice in 1926.

Top: September 22, 1928, Winnipeg Tribune
Bottom: October 27, 1931, Winnipeg Free Press

In 1927 - 28 the property was purchased and redeveloped by the Mutual Mortgage Company. The Royal Oak Court apartments were built to the south of 277 River, facing River Avenue. It boasted "its own park" extending 500 feet down to the Assiniboine River.

The house at 277 was renamed Royal Court Annex and in September 1928 a $5,000 building permit was issued for renovations. It appears that it was formally divided into at least two suites, one having six or seven rooms, the other three.

The Henderson Directories would often refer to it as "277 – rear", though the legal address would become 277 ½.

November 1932 election ad, Winnipeg Tribune

The president of Mutual Mortgage and vice president of the construction firm that built Royal Oak Court, John Gunn and Sons, was Cecil H.  Gunn. Though the house became a rental property, Cecil and wife  Jean (nee Dingwall) were long term residents of the smaller suite 2.

Son of pioneer builder John Gunn, Cecil was born and raised in Stonewall, graduating from the University of Manitoba as an  engineer. One of his first jobs was with the Greater Winnipeg Water District and he was prominent in the construction of the Point du Bois Generating Station. During World War I he was wounded twice, receiving the Military Medal.

November 1935 election ad, Winnipeg Free Press

Gunn sat on dozens of boards and committees relating to business, sports and community issues. He was a president of the Winnipeg Builders Exchange and the Canadian Construction Association. In the early 1930s he was a city councillor and ran unsuccessfully in the 1935 mayoralty race.

Gunn fell ill in 1940 and was spending the summer at his Kenora cottage to recuperate when he died in July 1941 at the age of 46. His widow continued to live at suite 2 until the early 1950s.

 William Evanson

There was another prominent resident of 277 River at the same time as Gunn lived there, who also died in 1941.

The retired William Evanson was the City of Winnipeg’s Comptroller, sort of a chief financial officer, from 1913 to 1929. He also took a shot at the mayor’s chair, but lost. An avid curler, Evanson was honorary president of Manitoba Curling Association at the time of his death, in suite 1,  in 1941.

Evanson Street in Wolseley is named for him.

March 8, 1941, Winnipeg Tribune

The city's historic building overview report for Royal Oak Court notes that the building was sold in 1947. Given its proximity and the fact that the Royal Oak would lose access to its park and the annex would be landlocked, I assume that both were sold together.

The new owners were Sol Kanee and Aaron Bricker. Bricker, who lived on Elm Street, was the owner of United Garments, which took up the fifth floor of the Whitla Block on Arthur Street, now the Artspace Building.

Kanee was a lawyer with Shinbane Dorfman Kanee, a forerunner to Thompson Dorfman Sweatman, one of the city's largest law firms. He was also president of Kanee Grain Company, which later became Soo Lines Flour Mill. For his business acumen and his charitable work, he was named to the Order of Canada and is in the Winnipeg Citizens Hall of Fame.

In the late 1960s it became home to the Kamienski family.

Jan Kamienski was a high school student when the Nazis invaded Poland. Jan as a member of the Polish Underground, began working at a film studio in Dresden, Germany, which allowed him access to BBC broadcasts and to see footage of Nazi campaigns and plans. 

After the war, he left Europe with his wife, arriving in Winnipeg in April 1949 with 35 cents in his pocket. The following day he found employment in an art studio. Within a few years, he had established Winnipeg's first animation studio and was a successful commercial artist and painter. (Kamienski's autobiography, Hidden in the Enemy's Sight: Resisting the Third Reich from Within was published in 1958).
Source: Dundurn Press

In the late 1950s he was the art critic for the Winnipeg Tribune and in 1958 became its editorial cartoonist. He drew over 7,000 images for the Tribune before its closure in 1980. In 1963 he won the Canadian National Newspaper Award and first prize at The International Salon of Caricature and Cartoon for his work.

In 1957 his father, Lucjan (Lucian) Kamienski visited his son and ended up settling in Winnipeg for a time. He was a Polish academic, author and composer.

 February 7, 1959, Winnipeg Free Press

In 1959 Oakton Manor was built to the north of the house. It was by the same owner as the other two properties as the caretaker for both Oakton Manor and Royal Oak Court lived in the annex, likely an additional basement suite that was added in the 1950s.

In subsequent years, the Annex did not appear in the papers very much, aside from the odd brief obituary and classified ad.


In summer 2015 the site is undergoing an extensive renovation, including the interiors of both Oakton Manor and Royal Oak Court. The Annex was torn down in mid-August 2015.