Friday, March 10, 2017

285 Beverley Street - Private Residence

Place: 285 Beverley Street
Address: 285 Beverley Street (Map)
Constructed ca.1908
Architect: Unknown
Contractor: Unknown

August 7, 1911, Manitoba Free Press

According to the city, the building permit was as issued for this two-storey, 1,474 square foot house in 1907, though it appears that it wasn’t lived in until 1909.

The first owner was Thomas Hodgson, a bartender at the Criterion Hotel. He rented out a number of rooms to folks such as Christina McInnis, stenographer at Diamond Flint Glass Co.; Jean McLean, clerk at T Eaton Co.; and M. McLean an engineer for the CPR.

By 1911, the owner was William Smith, an assistant superintendent at Prudential Insurance Co.. He, too, rented out rooms to the likes of: John Dand, bricklayer; J Dand, labourer at Arctic Ice; Christina McInnis stenographer; and Kate McLean, widow.

The string of short term owners with three or four lodgers lasted until 1920 when the Cann family moved in.

January 31, 1936, Winnipeg Tribune

Thomas Cann was born at Little Britain, Ontario in 1863. He married wife Nora at Lindsay, Ontario in 1886 and the couple came west three years later. Initially, they settled on a farm at Sydney, Manitoba and had two children, Horace and Edna. It is likely that they also raised nephews Sifton and George as well as niece, Grace.

The Cann family came to Winnipeg in 1918, first moving into the house next door at 283 Simcoe Street. In 1919 or 1920 they moved to number 285. For most of their time there they rented out one room.

July 19, 1935, Winnipeg Tribune

Cann eventually got into the commercial sign erecting business. Initially, the company must have been a small affair as it rarely advertised or was mentioned in the newspapers until the mid-1930s when it became known as Thomas Cann and Son.

On September 25, 1935, the home was the scene of the wedding of the Canns' niece, Margaret, to William Casson.

Thomas Cann lived in the house until about 1943 and died in 1948. It is unclear when Mrs. Cann died.

The company lived on through son, Horace and then his son, Don. The company's greatest claim to fame was that it was the installer of the Three Wise Men atop the Great West Life building from the time of their debut in 1973 to the mid 2010s.

 https://billiongraves.com/grave/Sylvester-McCarthy/6615111#/
Source: BillionGraves

Renting the suite in 1940 - 41 was the McCarthy family: Sylvester, Mary and teen-aged daughter Lucy (1926 - 2012).

Sylvester, born in Ireland,was a sergeant in the army. It is unclear where he served, though he is listed as living at the house in 1941 and would have been about 40, so he was likely not overseas.

On August 8, 1941, Mary, 36, died at the King George Hospital. As this was an isolation hospital, she may have contracted influenza or tuberculosis before her death.

It was a bad week for Sylvester as on August 1, 1941, his father also died at the Ottawa General Hospital.

It appears that the McCarthys did not stay at the house long after Mary's death. Sylvester survived the war, never remarried, and died in 1965.

October 1, 1964, Winnipeg Free Press

The house had a rather quiet existence in the decades after the war.

Through most of the 1950s the owners were the Henkels; Samuel, a carpenter, and wife Christina. They rented out two or three rooms at a time.

In the early 1960s, it was owned by Adolph Ludwig, a carpenter, and his wife Alma, a fabric cutter at LaSalle Furniture manufacturing. He died in 1961 or 1962 and Alma continued to live there until at least 1965, though she had briefly listed the house for sale in 1964.

In the early 1970s the home was home to the Rodrigues family; Domino, Odelia and their four children. They had come to Winnipeg form Portugal in 1960. In 1972, Domingo Rodrigues died at the home.


The past couple of decades have not been kind to the house.

In 1996, it was foreclosed on and sold at auction.

In 2011, it was closed down after it was found to be home to a marijuana grow operation.

The house was purchased but the necessary renovations were not done and it went up for sale again in 2013. A second renovation job was never completed and the house was sold at mortgage auction in early 2017.


The new owner has received planning permission to replace the home with a four-unit apartment building. Demolition is expected to start in Spring 2017.

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