Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Chinatown's "We Teach..." building rises again

 Chinatown "We Teach..." Building "We Teach..." Building
"We Teach..." in 2009, August 2012 and early October 2012

After sitting vacant for decades, the redevelopment of the former Salvation Army Citadel on Rupert Street has been dangling just out of reach since 2002. Well, the project is finally underway and it means new life for the adjacent building at 216 Pacific Street as the two were linked as one parcel over a decade ago.

We Teach ...? Chinatown Chinatown

I call it the "We Teach..." building because they are the only two words that can be read on a painted sign at the rear of the building and I have never found another name for it. (If you can decipher more of the sign, please let me know!) 

Overall, it is an unassuming building that has stood in the shadow of the more decorative citadel building since its construction in 1903. Still, it has some great architectural features of its own such as the arched windows on the upper floors, wonderful decorative metal work and that great front window facing Pacific !

216 Pacific Avenue, Winnipeg 216 Pacific Avenue, Winnipeg
Left: Chinese Times (Canada), July 8, 1937
Right: Winnipeg Free Press, October 13, 1937

I am currently putting together a building history for my Winnipeg Downtown Places blog. With a few exceptions, "We Teach..." catered to the Chinese community and little was reported about its business or residential occupants in the English papers.

The one exception was the Chinese Free Masons / Chee Kong Tong who occupied the second floor through the 1930s. In 1937 they hosted a national conference that brought Chinese leaders from across the country to Winnipeg.

Citadel with "We Teach..." in background ca. 1903 (source)

I am looking forward to delving into a bit of Winnipeg's Chinese history and am looking forward to the former Citadel and "We Teach..." rise again !

Other Chinatown building posts:
271 Princess - Peace Tower Housing
238 King - Coronation Block


Anonymous said...

Anyone know what the plans are for that building yet?

mrchristian said...

A private group bought it last year - owners of a local cleaning company. They're renovating the two buildings. I haven't seen drawings for it or anything.