Winnipeg Architecture Foundation



1560 Main Street

Formerly:Former Perth's / Carlton's Cleaning Carousel
Address:1560 Main Street

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In 1961, a consortium of Prairie dry cleaning companies, including Perth's in Manitoba, Trudeau's in Edmonton and Nelson's in Vancouver, formed Carlton's Cleaning Carousel. Their plan was to invest up to $1 million in a chain of 100 "upscale" coin-operated laundromats across Western Canada.

The partner company provided an on-site dry cleaning counter and what was called laundry counsellors that could offer washing advice and/or do your washing for you. This building was one of the Carlton's Cleaning Carousel locations.

Perth's was an institution in Winnipeg. It was created by brothers J. M. and Nathan Portnoy in 1914 when they bought out a single outlet called Fort Garry Dyers and Cleaners. By 1950, it was a chain with 57 stores and a large plant on Good Street. In 2012, Perth's was sold to Tower Cleaners of Calgary.

Winnipeg architects Waisman, Ross and Associates created this unique design. Beneath the wavy roofline was a section of patterned glass and below that was a wall of windows that gave the stores a bright, airy feel. They also included a well-appointed reading lounge for customers to wait in.

It appears that this design was unique to Manitoba. Waisman was Perths' architect of choice, (here and here.) Examples found in Saskatoon and Kamloops had a more conventional retail look.

Over time, Perth's presence shrunk and other retail spaces were added. Perth's original sign was removed in late 2010 and its store closed in 2013.

Source:Christian Cassidy,Westend Dumplings

Design Characteristics