The Utility Building consists of two restored four-storey facades of a retail-office block built in 1892, expanded by one floor in 1902 and now part of the Red River College Princess Street Campus
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The Utility Building consists of two restored four-storey facades (east and north) of a brick retail-office block built in 1892, expanded by one floor in 1902 and now part of a modern educational facility in Winnipeg's historic Exchange District. The City of Winnipeg designation applies to the east and north walls on their footprints.
The Utility Building is significant as the northern anchor of a rare pre-1900 streetscape preserved in situ in facade form to recall the type of early commercial development that occurred near Winnipeg's City Hall in the Exchange District National Historic Site, including the central role played by the agricultural industry. The mixed-use structure, Classical in its composition and subdued detailing, was the first purpose-built headquarters of the Winnipeg Grain and Produce Exchange, which became one of the major markets for grain in the world. Designed by C.A. Barber, whose firm planned two earlier buildings at the south end of the streetscape, the structure was given a more modest exterior than its neighbours, but was finely appointed within to accommodate the exchange's trading floor, offices and display space for farm implement dealers. It was the first of two buildings (the other being 160 Princess Street) erected for the exchange by one of its founders, Nicholas Bawlf. The surviving facades, which retain their original openings and details, now form the highly visible northeast corner of Red River College's downtown campus.
Source: City of Winnipeg Committee on Environment Minutes, June 18, 1979