Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

People

Developers

Jack Levit

Biography

Jack Levit was a prominent developer and businessman who shaped a significant portion of Winnipeg over his career. Born in Winnipeg's North End, Levit attended the Peretz Folk School, Machray School and St. John's High School. Levit began his career with work in the sign and advertising business in partnership with his father; over time their firm evolved into one of Canada's largestneon sign firm, introducing the use of lighted plastic signs to Western Canada.

From this basis Levit entered into the real estate and development business, purchasing under-utilized land and assembling the necessary means to instigate building. Among the first of the large-scale developments he led was the Courts of St. James, a complex featuring three apartment towers and an attached shopping centre. Subsequent projects included the massive Lakeview Square project, which transformed a full city block with a scheme featuring five tall modernist structures. Other projects from this period include Colony Square, the Intercity Gas Building, the Royal Trust Building, the Towers of Polo Park, Moray Village, Kenaston Estates, Kenaston Village Mall and as well as many other residential, office, industrial and retail projects. Levit was also an important figure in spear-heading the start and growth of Winnipeg's downtown skywalk system.

Later in his career Levit and his firm would also develop a large number of hotel projects across Canada, as well as pursuing many other entrepreneurial undertakings. Contributing in the non-profit sector, Levit was involved with the Winnipeg Convention Centre, the Kinsmen RehFit Centre, the Myles Robinson Heart Foundation and the Asper Jewish Community Campus.

Photographs