7 8 9
NAR: George Richardson heads up Winnipeg's Richardson family.
His grandfather started life as a tailor in Kingston Ontario,
but discovered a more profitable business.
Very soon he found it was more fun to trade grain than to
make clothes. In the early days Portage Ave. was thought to
be the crossroads of western Canada. It just became obvious
if you are going to be in the grain business then this is
the place to be.
In the 20s my father was very
desirous of building a building at the corner of P&M.
And obtained the property, had the building designed, and
actually started the excavation. They were well down the excavation
when the crash came. My father thought this was not the time
to build a building so he cancelled the project, paid off
the contractors, filled in the hole and turned the corner
into a parking lot. It was never if a building was to be built,
it was simply a matter of when.
NAR: Finally in 1964 Winnipeg's
first true skyscraper started to rise
JAMES RICHARDSON & SONS
The building is just over 400 feet…600,000-sq. ft. The
exterior of the building is precast Manitoba granite. The
fondest memory of the building, probably the completion, the
topping off of the building. We'd finally made it.
We are still in Winnipeg because
if you are going to be in the grain trade it's the only place
to be. There is a big advantage to Winnipeg; it has all the
amenities of life. It's the centre of North America and the
only place really to be.
COMMODITY EXCHANGE TOWER
NAR: The next tower to rise at Portage and Main was the Trizec
tower built in 1979 at the Southwest corner.
FRANK SHERLOCK, BUILDING MANAGER
The Commodity Exchange Tower is comprised of the Tower, the
shops of Winnipeg Square, the parking garage and the Bank
of Nova Scotia. The tower itself is 535,000 sq. ft, 31 storeys.
Anodised aluminium and glass.
have quite a variety of tenants... law firms national accounting
firms, stock brokers, of course the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange.
When people come into work they can park underground, do their
shopping, go for lunch, and stay inside. The merchants in
these shops of Winnipeg Square are doing very well. The reason
these shops do well is because of traffic. Those number 100,00
people a week.
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