Saturday, September 13, 2008

Commodity Exchange Tower/Winnipeg Square Part 1

From The Second City Book Lorimer p 107 and posted on Flikr and credit to Mr. Christian who has some great pictures.

Winnipeg Square was built in 1979 by Trizec Corporation. In the desperation to have some good economic news back in the 1970s, the city agreed build a three level underground parking lot and re-routed to an underground concourse to feed into a mall that was integral to a two tower project at Portage And Main.

As everyone knows now the project ended up. Today there is only one tower, one mall, the city owned parkade and the concourse. I'm not going to go over the history of how much the city ended up on the hook for in getting the one tower built. You can see the details on the West End Dumplings site which has some great pictures, one which I have posted here.

There are a few selections to read in Google books as well on the subject.

My impression of the tower shortly after it was built was how forlorn it looked for many years following its completion in 1979. For quite some time many floors were unoccupied.

Today, the tower is home to numerous law firms including giant Aikens MacAulay high up on the 30th floor with it nearly 100 lawyers. Down on the 17th is Fillmore Riley with over 50 lawyers.

Head back up to the 25th floor at it is Pitblado with around 60 lawyers.

Two floors of the tower are devoted to storage and mechanical equipment.

One of the main tenants of the Commodity Exchange Tower is of course, the Commodity Exchange. In keeping with the commodity theme, other tenants in the building com from a variety of grain companies and brokerages.

At the time of construction, Scotiabank had indicated they wanted to take up residence in the building and they remain a part of it but rather than the 360 Main Street address, they have a low rise banking center fronting Portage Avenue. The 200 Portage address is what is observed at the corner of Portage and Main while the tower sits farther back on Main Street.

The Free Press has recently reported that the new owners of Winnipeg Square and the Commodity Exchange building. The building will be renamed 360 Main Street.

(to be continued)

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