Earlier this year the Pollard family completed their extensive, almost three year, restoration of the Fortune and McDonald Blocks. For years the prominent heritage building sat unoccupied and in disarray, in need of significant time, money and energy to return it to its glory days. The Fortune Block had been vacant, the heat shut off to the 2nd and 3rd floors for almost 50 years, the only inhabitants; pigeons and mice.
The building itself has a storied history. The city was 10 years old and had a population of 7,900 when Mark Fortune completed the Fortune building. Upon completion, he immediately sold it to Alexander McDonald (one of the founder of the Manitoba Free Press, president of A. Macdonald & Co. grocers, president of Great-West Life Assurance Company, president of the White Star Manufacturing Company and president of the Canada Free Trade League). In 1910, Macdonald was listed as one of Winnipeg’s 19 millionaires.
Mark Fortune would go on to found the Winnipeg Real Estate Board and be a founding member of St. Charles Country Club before building 393 Wellington Crescent in 1911, the year before he lost his life upon the Titanic.
After our first walk through of the building we knew we had found a home for our showroom and studio space. We were excited to be the first tenants in the building and have been thrilled to see others join the space.
We will be posted up at 232 Main St within one of the Fortune Block’s retail/commericial spaces currently available for lease during the month of December. Come through, shop and check out the building (across the street from Earls on Main near the Forks).