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Vintage Photos: Now and Then

The 2020 photograph of this location shows the currently unoccupied site, until recently the home of a local car dealership. The Leader Block, a Heritage Certificate Site, remains visible in the background. Hover your cursor over the image to see what was once there.

Anyone passing the corner of Villard (Main St.) and Walnut (2nd Ave. SE) between 1928 and 1958 would have viewed this massive rink on the east side of the street. Rinks have long been a central feature of winter sports in Carman. The first Carman rink was built in 1898 on Fournier St. (1st. St SW) near present location of Toews Printing (The History of the R.M. of Dufferin in Manitoba 1880-1980, p.278). The second rink, shown in this photo, was the local focal point for hockey, skating and curling from 1928 to 1958 when the roof crumbled under the weight of snow.

Some buildings change more in function than in appearance. This impressive building located at 77 2nd Ave. SW in Carman is now the Bell Aura Bed and Breakfast/Bistro. To see the original building, built as a church in 1898-99, move your cursor over the image.

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church was designed by architect Edmund Watson and built by local contractor, R. McKinney and mason George McCormick. Services were held here until 1941, when the congregation joined what is now the Carman United Church. The building was sold in 1945 to the Church of Christ. In recent years it has housed the popular Walnut Street Tea Room and is now home to the Bell Aura B&B/Bistro. The steeple was removed and, along with the bell from an earlier Presbyterian Church, is preserved on the grounds. Based on its architectural features and historical significance, the building has been designated a Heritage Certificate Site. For further details see The History of the R.M. of Dufferin in Manitoba 1880–1980, pp. 202-4; Carman Dufferin Leader, 1989-09-22.

Main St. & 2nd Ave., Carman

For many years, the building on the NW corner of Villard St. and Walnut Ave. (Main & 2nd) housed a grocery store. Around 1909, A. E. Hill sold the store to R.D. McKee, the owner when this photo was taken in 1912. Other occupants over the years include the Carmania (groceries and restaurant), Red and White Store (groceries) and Carman Radio & TV. It is now Evensong gift shop. Apartments occupy the upper floor and back of the building.

Until recently, the second building housed furniture stores (Doyle’s, 1905–61; Bruce’s, 1961–71; Carman Furniture, 1971–98). Doyle’s Funeral Home was located here as well from 1905 to 1945 when it moved to the present location. Aspen Winds now operates a craft outlet at this site.

In the early 1900s, J.H. Haverson’s law office occupied the small building next door. Wm. Smith operated a barber shop here from 1928–52 when the building was demolished. Knockabouts clothing store is now at this site.


Corner 1st Street and 1st Avenue SW

From 1896 until 1946, a two-story building occupied this site at what was then known as the corner of Fournier St. and Maple Ave. The Victoria Hall, on the second floor, was a busy venue for meetings and other events such as theatre productions. The main floor housed clothing stores. Among the early owners were Frank Harris (1898) and Richard Hart (1906). In 1924, F.C. Harris took over his uncle’s men’s wear business—at that time located on Maple St.—and moved it back to this site. When the building was destroyed by fire in 1946, F.C. Harris rebuilt the store and started carrying a line of shoes as well as men’s clothing. This is one of several Carman sites C/D MHAC has recognized through our Business Sign project.

1st Ave. SW (formerly Maple Ave.)

During the 1940’s, the Canadian Forces actively recruited in towns across Manitoba. A mobile recruitment unit set up booths at local fairs and organized mixed entertainment shows in community halls. Military parades stirred the patriotism of the community and the pride of the many Carman/Dufferin families who sent their sons and daughters off to serve in WWII. This photo was taken prior to 1946, the year when the two-story Victoria Hall burned and was replaced by the one-story building now on that site. The building on the near right is the Carman Hardware. It was moved in 1914 from its former location on the corner of Fournier St. and Maple Ave. when the Post Office building was constructed.