First off, they have increased their online heritage presence exponentially with the Heritage Brandon website. It's still a work in progress but already an impressive index of heritage resources in the city.
The second bit of good news is that Brandon's CPR station, ca. 1912, has a new lease on life after sitting empty for a number of years. Westman Immigrant Services will be leasing the space which will allow the owner John Hooker (also the owner the now collapsed block just up the road) to renovate it. (See Brandon Sun and eBrandon.ca).
I thought I would take a look back at the building. One of just a few examples of Brandon's grand architectural past that has survived ....
Rosser Ave ca. 1914 (source: McKee)
Between 1900 and 1914 the city’s population grew from 5,620 to 13,839. The assessed value of buildings went from $9.4 m in 1909 to $11.6 m in 1912, a 23% increase. The Financial Post reported that 1911 would be Brandon's best year ever for new construction. Year on year between 1910 and 1911 the value of permits was up by 192%.
By 1910 Canada’s four major railways, Canadian Pacific; Canadian National, Grand Trunk Pacific and Canadian Northern already had a presence in and around the city. The 27 spur and branch lines running through the vicinity carried 348 passenger and 478 general trains every week.
Above: Prince Edward Hotel and CN Depot (source: Tribune)
Above: Manitoba Free Press, May 18 1912
Source: Brandon Daily Sun, Jul 12, 1911In July 1911 the CPR followed with a more modest $60,000 contract for its new passenger depot. It would be located beside the existing one at the foot of 10th Street.
Source: Brandon Daily Sun. (Above: Feb 17, 1911. Below: May 21 1906)The firm that built the depot was the Brandon Construction Company. Under General Manager T. M. Harrington it was one of the premiere building firms in the city at the time. Their first large project was the Christie Block and from 1900 – 1911 were responsible for construction of the McKenzie Block, Brandon's Courthouse, the 'Victoria Avenue Methodist Church' and the Asylum Powerhouse. They also worked further west, credited with building the Presbyterian Church in Swift Current SK.
Top: CP Depot, 10th and Pacific (ca. unknown). Source: Peel
The depot opened on May 1, 1912.
Period photos of Brandon's CPR Station - Hillman
$450k for Brandon's historic Exhibition building
Photos from April 2011