Wednesday, January 9, 2013

339 William Avenue - Lauzon's Block

Lauzons Block
Place: Lauzon's Block
Address: 339 William Avenue (Map)
Constructed: 1905
Architect: Johann Scwab
Contractor: Authus Cusson


The Lauzon Block was built for butcher Jean Baptiste Lauzon.

Lauzon was born in Montreal in 1858 and trained as a butcher's apprentice. He came to Winnipeg in 1876 to work in the meat trade and two years later opened his own shop in St. Boniface. 

The Voice, December 24, 1902

By the 1890s Lauzon's business was flourishing. Besides his shop he also owned a farm and abattoir on Athol (now Luxton) Avenue on the present-day site of Luxton School and branched out to operate a stall in the public market building behind Winnipeg's city hall. 

In 1896 he married Adelaine and built a house at 95 Luxton, across from the farm, where the couple raised their six children.

During this time Lauzon was also involved in politics. He was spent 13 years (1885 - 1898) as a St. Boniface alderman. He was elected MLA for St. Boniface in 1896 and for Provencher in 1907 and 1913.

December 21, 1906, Manitoba Free Press

In 1904 Lauzon sold his St. Boniface store to concentrate solely on his market business. He approached the city offering to rent out the entire market building but was turned down. The following year, he decided to relocate back to a retail shop and chose this site on William Avenue. 

The building was constructed in 1905 and opened on January 16, 1906.

For a short time there was another Lauzon Block on Nairn Avenue in Elmwood, (which became part of Winnipeg in 1908.) Owned by John Lauzon, it was destroyed in 1918's Riverview Hotel fire

June 19, 1944, Winnipeg Tribune

In 1943 Lauzon sold his house to one of his daughters and he and Adelaine moved into a suite located on the upper floor. The following year he fell ill while at work and was taken to Misericordia Hospital where he died on June 18, 1944. He is buried at St. Boniface Cemetery.

March 1956, Winnipeg Free Press

Over the next 40 years the retail space in Lauzon's Block has been home to numerous businesses. They ranged from a food shop, camera supply retailer, an early home of Kro-Mar Printing, a beauty shop, a pawn shop, a coin dealer and a furniture store. In the late 1980s to the early 2000s it was the Winnipeg Trading Post, an Aboriginal craft store. Since 2008 it has been home to Kay's Delicatessen.

The Year Past 1997 - 2000 Historic Buildings Committee (p 39)
339 William Avenue Winnipeg Building Index
Jean Baptiste Lauzon Manitoba Historical Society

 Circa 1908. Source

1 comment:

  1. Our family has enjoyed living at the J.B Lauzon House, as of 2000. We also have 6 children, three boys and three girls, same as what the Lauzons had. We are the first non-family to have owned the house, and have found it to be a wonderful place to live. We enjoy its special features like an upper balcony, some rounded corners, the water closet, the hand-painted mouldings, etc