It’s been called our nation’s most famous intersection and has been a hub of commerce and a gathering place for celebrations since Portage and Main was created by visionary Henry McKenney in 1862, five years prior to the Canadian Confederation.
Over the years, the intersection has undergone multiple changes. After McKenney built his store at the northwest corner, which was nicknamed “Noah’s Ark” for the building’s two-storey hip-roof, because it reminded Winnipeggers of a sea-going vessel, business began to cluster around the corner. The First World War and the Great Depression brought commercial activity to a standstill at the intersection, but a revival came in 1969 when the Richardson Building, the first of three skyscrapers, was erected on the northeast corner. The Trizec Building on the southwest corner followed, then came the TD Centre on the northwest corner.
The southeast corner of the intersection is occupied by the Bank of Montreal, which was built in 1913, and remains a reminder of an earlier era of prosperity.