Last week I walked by this cool old building at 422 Notre Dame Avenue here in Winnipeg. I stopped and took some photos and was intrigued enough to do a little searching. I found out Frank Peters, the same architect who built the Ashdown Warehouse where I live, designed this structure in 1899 to house the Manitoba School of Pharmacy. In 1934 the Royal Canadian Legion bought the building and did renovations to turn it into a members’ club. Then in 1945 it was purchased by Nicholas and Mary Syzek who owned a brush company. They lived in a suite at the rear of the building with their two sons Andrew and Nicholas Jr. and manufactured and sold brushes and brooms in the rest of the building. Nicholas Sr. died in 1957 but Mary kept on running the business till around 1970 producing everything from stucco brushes and flour mill brushes to curling brooms and grain brushes.
Newspaper articles report that during the 1990s and early 2000s the Syzek’s son Alexander was still selling brooms on the front yard of his family property. The building was sold early in 2016.
Perhaps it is the new owner who had just had all the trees in the front yard cut down. I wonder what the plans are for the building. I hope it won’t be demolished. I’m glad I discovered it.