Wednesday, July 26, 2017

724 Wellington Avenue - Tavistock Apartments

Place: Tavistock Apartments
Address: 724 Wellington Avenue (Map)
Built: 1912 - 13
Architect: Unknown

The Tavistock Apartments were built in 1912 -13. Amid the hustle and bustle of development elsewhere in the city, there was no mention made of its development in the newspapers.

An interesting feature of the building's early days was the suite numbering. There was suite 1 and 2, then letters from A to W.

It was a middle class block in a middle class area. Its 1914 roster of tenants, for instance, included: John Boyink an engraver at Bulman Brothers printing; Gordon Cannen, accountant; F Denno, chauffeur; Winifred Dunlop, a stenographer at Gaults Ltd.; Stephen McBean, stone cutter at R. Kelly and Sons; and Mrs. F Niblett, Eaton's clerk. There were also four teamsters, or drivers, for Crescent Creamery, Alex Allan, Herbert Way, Robert Stewart, and William Burns, who all shared suite 1. 

 A notable long-term tenant from were the Verdins, Albert and Eliza. They established Verdin's grocery, one of the West End's earliest stores, next door at 730 Wellington and lived at the Tavistock from about 1917 into the 1960s.

June 11, 1921, Winnipeg Tribune

One June afternoon in 1921, police constable G. H. Brown, who worked the night shift, was sleeping when he heard noises in the adjoining suite. He went to investigate and found a team of four robbers. He gave chase in his bare feet and that led to two men and two women being caught.

It turns out they had broken into a house on Victor Street earlier in the day. At the Tavistock, they assaulted the "lady of the house" and stole some brandy, a necklace and a watch.

The two men were convicted of assault and housebreaking.

January 2, 1926, Winnipeg Tribune

In 1926, there was nicer news when Kathleen, daughter of Mr and Mrs. Harold Hood, was born at 5:25 on January 1, 1926.

That made her the city's New Year's baby and earned her and her parents a basket of prizes donated by city retailers.

December 11, 1942, Winnipeg Tribune

Acting Lance Corporal Samuel Campbell was killed in action at Dieppe on August 19, 1942. 

Born in Northern Ireland in 1905, he worked for the Canadian Construction Company, which specialized in railway construction, at the time he enlisted. His wife, Martha, and son, Cecil, moved into the Tavistock after he went overseas.

Top: November 2013 Renter's Guide

In 1965, when the Verdins retired, they sold their store to the Tavistock's owner who subdivided it into four suites opening onto Beverley Street. It was known as the Tavistock Annex. (The name "Tavistock" disappears in 1978.)

In 2012, the owners got a rezoning application approved in order to build a new housing block on the site of the former grocery store. Demolition did not take place until 2016 and the land is still vacant.

In 2013, the building underwent a major interior and exterior renovation which saw its cornice removed, (above).

Related:
For more images of 724 - 730 Wellington Avenue

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