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The Carman Dufferin MHAC has a project under way to place signs on local business sites that have housed commercial operations since the early years of settlement. Some businesses, such as Carman Granite and Doyle’s Funeral Home, remained in the same family for many years; others sites have changed owners or functions over the years.

Carman Bakery: #8 - 1st Avenue SW

The sign reads: “This building has always housed a bakeshop. Several owners have operated the bakery since it opened. Hugh Bowie Sr. (Carman Bakery) 1911–16; James Christie (Christie’s Bakeshop) 1916–44; Hugh Bowie Jr. and Doug Bowie (Bowie’s Bakery) 1944–86; Roger and Lila Roy (1986–2003); Murray & Gladys Dunn (2003–05). Simon & Audrey Riedstra now operate it as Carman Bakery & Pastry Shop.

In the early years, bread was delivered by horse and cart. Loading was done in a covered
alley east of the shop and stables were located behind the building. The Reidstra family purchased two buildings east of the shop to provide a coffee shop as part of the premises. Their renovations incorporated the original alleyway into the building plan and connected the buildings with open archways.”

Mr. Bowie with horse and bread wagon

alt=""Carman Bakery 2013

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Optometrist’s Office: #32 - 1st Street SW

The sign reads: “ #32 -1st Street SW – This building was originally the Union Bank (1896–1925) until purchased by the Royal Bank. In 1942 the Royal bank closed.

Stan Cochran purchased the building to be used as an optometrist’s office. Stan had previously been in business with his father at various locations in Carman, the last one being the building next door. Dr. Reid Cochran worked with his father, Stan, who retired in 1959 after 50 years as an optometrist. Reid took over the business in 1959 with his daughter, Bonnie, assisting him as an optical technician. Reid retired in 1977 selling to Dr. Sultan Baloo OD who was here for 19 years. Dr. Doug Holroyd purchased the business in 1996.” Carman Vision Services, a branch of Focal Point Vision Care in Morden, MB, currently offer services at the site.


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Doyle’s Funeral Home

The sign reads: “Albert S. Doyle, a cabinet maker from Halifax, established a furniture business on Villard (now Main) Street in 1889. In about 1894 he expanded into the funeral business and in 1905, moved 1½ blocks north to a brick building at 80 Villard Street, where he continued to operate a furniture store and funeral business. In 1916, he purchased the furniture and undertaking business of Mr. Geo. Sills in Carman.

By 1928, Albert’s son Clarence joined the business. Clarence purchased the R.J. McConnell house in 1945 and renovated it into a funeral chapel at the present location. At the time of Clarence’s death in 1952, his son Don took over the funeral business. In 1971, Don Doyle sold to Ken Buchanan who operated it until 2010, when it was sold to Rick C. Wiebe.

A crematorium was added in 1988 which allows them to do cremations for several funeral homes in Manitoba and North Dakota. Over the years the funeral chapel also has been expanded.”

Doyle’s Funeral Home is now owned by Craig Johnston and Mark Reimer.

alt=""Doyle's 1947

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Drug Store: #66 Main Street

A drug store has been located on this site since 1898 when Joe Gordon of A.J. Gordon & Co. operated the Central Drug Store. In 1904, it was taken over by Pulford’s Drugs, a Winnipeg Company.

alt=""E.M. Sanders purchased the store in 1906 and operated it as Sanders Drug Store until 1950 when his son Barrie took over the family business. The building was two-story with living quarters upstairs until 1928 when fire reduced it to a single story. In 1954, the original building was moved back thirty feet and a new front section was added. The drug store sold to Ken & Barb Stevens in 1981 operated as Stevens Drugs until 2009. Paul & Wendy Clark are the new owners (2009–)

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Carman Granite and Marble Works: #66 Main Street S

The sign reads: “Joseph Billings started his career in the monument business in Ontario at the age of 14. In 1922 he took over the monument business in Carman from his brother-in-law, Howard Patchell. Joseph’s son, Howard, took over the business in 1947, followed by his son Murray in 1984. Since 2008, Sean Billing, Murray’s nephew, is the fourth generation of the Billing family to operate Carman Granite and Marble Works. It is the longest continuously run family business in Carman.

The first building was at 103 Villiard (now Main) Street from 1922 to 1972. In 1973, the former Carman Creamery building was purchased and moved 1 km south of the lights on Hwy #3 to be used as their new office building. It opened in 1974. With computer and engraving technology today the creative designs are endless.”

Carman Granite 2013

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Mountain Industries: #80 Main Street S

The sign reads: “Albert S. Doyle, a cabinet maker from Halifax, established Doyle’s Furniture Store in 1889 on Villiard (now Main) Street. In 1905, he moved the business 1½ blocks north to a brick building at 80 Villiard. The firm, which included a funeral business, was expanding so Clarence Doyle joined his father in 1928 to learn the trade. By 1942, Albert’s grandson, Don Doyle, was also involved.The funeral business section was moved to the present site of Doyle’s Funeral Chapel in 1946. Doyle's Furniture Store closed in May, 1961 after 72 years of operation.

alt=""Doyle's Furniture Store

In 1963, Tom and Gladys Bruce purchased the furniture store and were in business here for 8 years. They were succeeded by Mike and Gary Riopka in 1971. The furniture store closed in 1998 and the vacant buildings were purchased and renovated by Rory and Sheree Coulombe.
The “Stepping Stone”, a store that sells crafts produced at Mountain Industries has rented the building since 1998.”

alt=""Mountain Industries 2013

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Ryall Hotel

In 1906. E.J. Ryall purchased the Victoria Hotel on the SW corner of 1st Ave SW and 1st St. SW and renamed it the Ryall Hotel. A year earlier, Ryall had purchased another Carman Hotel, Starkey House, and had established a reputation for fine food and service.


The hotel was built in 1903 by William Clougher of Winnipeg, designed by architect Samuel Hooper and built by Carman contractor T. Miller. Built of white brick, the hotel featured oiled fir woodwork, painted metal ceilings and with the latest plumbing, heating and alarm systems. Each of the 34 bedrooms was carpeted and contained bathrooms and toilets. Downstairs featured a bar, billiard room and dining room seating for 50 guests. The adjoining river lots were used for lawn parties, later for dances and miniature golf.

In 1950, the Ryall was redecorated and refrigeration and fluorescent lighting installed. The hotel changed owners several times in later years. It burned in 2002. The site is now a park with a bandstand and toilet facilities. A commemorative sign was placed on the site by the CD MHAC in 2013.

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Leader Block – #71-Main Street S

This corner brick building was designed and built by architect Edmund Watson in 1897. It was the first of several buildings of this style built in Carman by Mr. Watson.

Leader Block in early years
This building housed the second post office in which his brother Johnston Watson was the postmaster from 1897–1912. The main floor also has housed the Bank of Hamilton, the Agricultural Office and presently, law firms. The second floor had dentists’ and doctors’ offices as well as other businesses.
A second brick building called the Leader Block was built for J.W. Jameson in 1897 by Edmund Watson. Jameson published the Dufferin leader from 1898 until his death in 1910.  The Dufferin Leader continued to be printed here until 1928 when it moved to 4th Ave. SW. Mrs. Jameson also operated a stationery and millinery shop, “The Bon Marche” in this building. In 1910 she purchased the corner building and it became part of the Leader Block.

Leader Block 2017
Throughout the years these buildings have held the Telephone Office (1911-1958), a tailoring business, accounting firms, chiropractic services, photographers, restaurants, and many other businesses.

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Clothing Stores – 40-1st Street SW
The original two-story building on this site dated from 1896. The second floor housed the Victoria Hall, a meeting place for town gatherings, political meetings, concerts and theater productions. 

Clothing stores occupied the ground floor. Among the early store owners were Frank Harris (1898) and Richard A. Hart (1906). In 1924, F.C. Harris, took over his uncle’s men’s wear business—then located on Maple Ave.—and moved it back to the Fournier St. address.

In April, 1946, the store was destroyed by fire when an explosion occurred in the rear of the adjoining drug store. Harris rebuilt the store and started carrying a line of footwear as well as men’s clothing.

During WWII, when apparel was on a quota, one-third of the store was rented to Hardy’s Dress Shop. Harris’ son-in-law, Roy Dunbar, became associated with the shop in 1959. In 1964, he purchased the store which he continued to operate until 1982.

For many years, Harris’ store provided quality men’s wear in Carman

The building was then sold and a women’s clothing store, Women’s World, moved to the site. Owner Shirley Thevenot closed the Women’s World shop 2010. Marge and Dale Warkentin purchased “Nine Lives Fashion” from Margaret Riddell and moved her clothing consignment business from 16-1st Ave. SW to this location. 

This popular store now sells women’s clothing on consignment

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