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Burchill Howey Block Heritage Site

Burchill Howey Block MB Historic Resources Branch

The Burchill Howey Block is now home to the Wildflower Cafe. Source: Manitoba Historic Resources Branch

Designed by notable Brandon architect, W.A. Elliott, this building is an integral part of an intact Victorian-era streetscape developed between 1890 and 1908 on Rosser Avenue.

Built in 1906, the three-storey commercial building is set among a series of similarly designed Romanesque Revival-style shops and offices.

With its brick construction and well-composed Romanesque Revival detailing, this substantial building reflects the confidence of Brandon’s business class at a time when the community was solidifying its position as the commercial centre of Western Manitoba.

Two prominent occupants are associated with the Burchill Howey Block.


The original owner, W. John Burchill, who operated a meat packing plant, butcher shop and other business ventures from 1884 to 1923, and Gooden’s Men’s Shop, a long-standing retail outlet.

Canada’s Historic Places

The design of the building is a study in elegant styling with arched windows, decorative brick and stone bands, and corbel tables set at the top of the parapet wall.

The interior includes an atrium and staircase with detail railing leading from the second floor to the third floor, and a skylight located on the roof of the third floor.

Only a portion of the original stone fence remains along the east and south borders of the block, but it remains an attractive enhancement to the surrounding properties and a unique characteristic of the downtown area.

The Burchill Howey Block is a Municipal Heritage Site.

Renaissance Brandon




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A slice of cityscape

Burchill House Heritage Brandon

Burchill House, 404 – 11th Street

Built in 1905, this was originally the home of William Burchill, co-owner of the Burchill & Howey Meat Market located in the Burchill Howey Block at 908 Rosser Avenue.


The distinctive cottage-like form of this Queen Anne house is created by a steeply pitched hip roof that flows down to cover an oval porch.

Neatly cut into this sweep is a small balcony.

A wooden version of this house is located half a block north at 322 11th Street.

Heritage Brandon



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Today’s Throwback

William John Burchill Heritage Brandon

William John Burchill. Source: Heritage Brandon

In 1882, William Burchill opened Burchill & Howey Butchers at 906 Rosser Avenue, with his brother Jason, and cousin, John Howey.

They also owned a cattle farm near Bradwardine.

During the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898, William Burchill and John Howey led a cattle drive to the Yukon.


There was a meat shortage for Dawson City gold-seekers and Burchill and Howey decided to ship their beef cattle there.

With a team of thirteen men they drove the live cattle by train, boat, and on foot, to Dawson City. The trip took four months.  [see Brandon and the Yukon cattle rush for a detailed account of this trek]

The following year the men participated in one more cattle drive to the Yukon.

With the money earned from these trips, they built the Yukon Block at 934 Rosser Avenue, in 1902, and the Burchill and Howey Block, at 908 Rosser Avenue, in 1906.

Source: Daly House Museum



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