Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

Places

Buildings

Credit Foncier Building

Address:286 Smith Street
Use:Offices
Original Use:Mixed Commercial
Constructed:1962-63
Other Work:1963, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1972, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1990, Renovations
Architects:Macleod Reimer and Webster
Contractors:G.A. Baert Construction Co.
Credit Foncier Franco-Canadien (Developer)

More Information

Described at the time of its opening as a “new ultra modern” facility, 286 Smith Street was a strikingly contemporary addition to Winnipeg downtown’s in the early 1960s. Built by Credit Foncier Franco-Canadien, a large financial Franco-Canadian firm founded in Quebec during the 1880s, the building was designed by the firm of Macleod Reimer and Webster. Its design represents a mix of luxe materials, balance and a modern energy conveyed in subtle details such as the angled Tyndall limestone façade sections. Beyond Tyndall limestone (sourced by Garson Limestone Company Limited, of Winnipeg) the Smith Street elevation features richly toned charcoal American marble and gold anodized aluminum window frames. The building was constructed by G.A. Baert Construction, with piles and cassons fabricated by Subterranean (Canada) Ltd. The $700,000, 28,000 square foot structure was officially opened on 6 December 1963 by Manitoba premier Duff Roblin.

Design Characteristics

  • Square footage: 73 feet north-south facing Smith Street and 120 deep (east-west)
  • Approximately half the ground floor houses a covered single storey parking area
  • Across the building’s elevation four limestone panels are set between five narrow pilasters
  • Each window is trimmed in gold anodized aluminum, a material which also punctuates the ground floor windows and the main entrance
  • Building plans show elegant designed twin door handles, also in gold, set in with door pulls of heraldic crests
  • To demonstrate in a visual capacity the coming-together of French and Canadian partners, the building's door crests featured three gold leaves on an emerald background alternating with three royal blue fleur-de-lis on a gold background

Sources

  • "Premier Roblin Opens Credit Foncier Building." Winnipeg Free Press. 7 December 1963.
  • "The fight for Credit Foncier." Winnipeg Tribune. 18 December 1978. 16.

Locations of Supporting Information

  • City of Winnipeg Archives