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At the western end of the business district sits the Bay retail
store. It's a majestic limestone building
GERRY LOEB, BAY WINNIPEG STORE
The Bay is the world's longest continuing company and it was
incorporated May 2 1670 as the company of adventurers trading
into Hudson Bay. This particular store was opened in Nov 1926.
The store opened at 9: 00 am by one of the directors of the
company. Mr Galt opened the door with a golden key and, during
the day, 50,000 customers visited the store
The Bay viewed Portage Ave. as
very important because it was like a portal to downtown Winnipeg.
Looking at the store exterior you are struck by the architectural
highlights, the Tyndal stone, the very fact that this building
was built with an attention to detail. The people that had
this building built wanted it to be a signature building.
It was built to be 10 stories, it stopped at 6 stories.
This building is 675,000 sq.
ft. incorporating seven retail levels including the basement.
The building offers something for everybody starting with
the basement our newly expanded food market. To just a gorgeous
cosmetics department on the main floor. The second floor is
home to the men's assortment. Third floor of course anchors
the mirror room full of fashion. The fourth floor has housewares,
linen and china. Also on the 6th floor is the very historical
paddle wheel queen restaurant. I am sure that just anyone
familiar with Winnipeg has been in the paddle wheel at some
time. Where there is the actual paddle wheel ship with the
wheel that turns and the different murals of prairie life.
The paddlewheel restaurant's got a lot of memories in it especially
fond memories are in the 60s; when it was a meeting place
for teen agers the music scene was there. It's rumoured that
Burton Cummings would visit the paddlewheel quite often.
Something very interesting that
happened once was during one of our Bay day sales and they
were always famous for our clock specials that we had in the
food market. We had clock special limited time limited quantity
sale frozen turkeys. Well it turned out that they were down
to the last turkey and 2 women both had their hands on it
and were fighting over a frozen turkey. One woman took the
turkey hit the other woman over the head with the turkey and
knocked her unconscious. She's the one that kept the turkey.
NAR: Castles in the sky are certainly what Portage Avenue's
first builders had in mind. And there is no better example
than William Boyd's landmark building.
MURRAY PETERSEN, ARCHITECTURAL
One of my favourite buildings along Portage Ave. is the Boyd
building. Boyd made his money on confectionery. In 1912 a
national company bought him out; he used that capital to build
the Boyd building.
Mr Boyd decided that Portage
Ave. was the place to be and in fact he was right. By that
time Portage Ave. was really developing as the central main
thoroughfare of Winnipeg. He contracted JD Atchison who was
one of Winnipeg's most famous architects who had been trained
in Chicago. The Boyd building in its design and its construction
was a very important statement. Of course Winnipeg was trying
to do everything that Chicago was doing. They were trying
to mimic Chicago's development and its success. The economy
was booming just prior to WW1 there was lots of capital, it
was really a golden age for construction in Winnipeg and certainly
you walk down the street even today its one of the most magnificent
Portage Ave. buildings, the difference in colour the white
of the cream terracotta vs. the dark green of the interior
terra cotta. It's just a spectacular building and then when
you get up closer and you see the ornamentation and the detailing
in the terra cotta; it's just a magnificent building.
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