For decades I can remember seeing the "Eyes Examined - Contact Lenses Fitted" sign that still exists on the second floor window of the Avenue Building. In recent years the portion with the doctor's name has fallen away but I can remember it: Dr. Finkleman.
Image: WFP 1981 March 14, 1981
Emanuel Marcus Finkleman was born in Winnipeg in 1909 and graduated from the U of M in 1930 before moving to Toronto to study optometry.
Ad: Winnipeg Tribune 1944
In 1932 he returned to Winnipeg and set up practice in a small office on the second floor of the original Kensington Building at Portage and Smith. After 40 years there, in December 1972, fire struck the top two floors of the building. Water and smoke damage sent him and his brother in search of a temporary location.
Ad: Winnipeg Free Press Dec 1972
The Finklemans moved two doors down to the second floor of the Avenue Building. The Kensington Building had to be torn down and the Avenue Building became their permanent home.
Dr. Finkleman was a leader in his profession, serving as the President of the Manitoba Association of Optometrists from 1953-1954 and led the Canadian Association in 1962. Outside of his practice he was a governor of the National Theatre School of Canada, a member of the board of the National Arts Centre and a member of the Jewish Historical Society.
In the mid 1990's the Avenue Building closed and after 50 years on Portage Avenue Finkleman moved to an office on Provencher Boulevard.
Finkleman practiced until the month prior to his death on March 21, 2001 at the Health Sciences Centre. At 92, he was the longest-serving optometrist in Canada. (See his obituary.)
I could not find more information about his brother who shared and office with his brother for most of his career.