The long-established firm Malcom Construction began as Malcom Brothers – a contracting enterprise founded in 1900 by brothers David, John and William Malcom. In the 1880s, the three – in partnership with their two other brothers – had opened a brickyard in Owen Sound, Ontario, before moving to Winnipeg in 1892 to work as masons and bricklayers.
Early notable projects included Augustine United Church (444 River Avenue, 1902), a Gothic revival edifice constructed of Tyndall stone with extensive decorative embellishment. The building was designed by architect J. H. G. Russell (1863-1946) with whom the brothers worked frequently. During this era the firm was also responsible for the Richardsonian Romanesque brick Bole Drug Company Building (70 Princess Street, 1903), which originally featured an innovative system of speaking tubes for interdepartmental communication; the Winnipeg Lodging and Coffee House, 175-81 Logan Avenue, 1905 (demolished); All People’s Sutherland Mission (119 Sutherland Avenue, 1908), again by Russell; Augustine Presbyterian School (Pulford Street, 1909); the heavy, red brick with limestone Fort Rouge Methodist Church (525 Wardlaw Avenue, 1910); the addition to the R.J. Whitla and Company Building (70 Arthur Street, 1911; with Russell); the Edward Brown House (Wellington Crescent, 1912; demolished) and the Wilson House (Wellington Crescent, 1924). Many of these projects involved a substantial reliance on masonry, often of a highly intricate sort. This pattern appeared in the firm’s addition to Wesley College (515 Portage Avenue, 1912), later named Sparling Hall, which was likewise designed by Russell and shows a skilful use of brick decoration. A similar use of brick is found in the firm’s work on the two-storey Dawson Richardson Building (171 McDermot Avenue, 1921), designed by Charles S. Bridgman (1875-1965).
In 1908, William Malcom left Winnipeg to return to Owen Sound. Ten years later – when the Malcom Construction Company Limited was incorporated – brother David was the principal executive. After his 1935 passing, Malcom Construction was run by his son, Wilbert Guy (Bert) Malcom (1895-1980) until 1974. Maintaining such family connections, the company was owned and managed by Wilbert’s son David into the 1990s. By that later point, Malcom was the oldest family-owned construction firm in Manitoba and was responsible for structures across Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario and Western Canada, with a speciality in commercial and office buildings. Beyond its Winnipeg branch, for many years the firm operated a busy office in Thompson, Manitoba.
David Malcom was highly involved with the Winnipeg Construction Association and was made an honorary life member. The organisation also honoured him with a chamber given the name Malcom Room. Malcom also received the Robert Stollery Award for outstanding achievement as an individual from the Canadian Construction Association.
Amongst the many projects the firm completed in the years following the era of its founding partners were 14 two-storey, dual-purpose row-house residences at Royal Canadian Air Force Station Winnipeg in 1955; the high modernist Purves Motors Volkswagen Headquarters (136 Lombard Avenue, 1956), by architects Libling Michener; the International Style Mutual Life of Canada offices (1111 Portage Avenue, 1959), designed by Green Blankstein Russell; and, the Seven Oaks Centre for Youth (1983).