Photo of ghost signs on rear side of the Daylite building at 296 McDermot Avenue
Close-up photo of ghost signs at 296 McDermot Avenue advertising Victoria Leather

Pitchriders / Victoria

Address:296 McDermot Avenue
Original Use:Warehouse
Other Work:1904, addition
Architects:James Cadham (1899)
J.H.G. Russell (1904)

More Information

296 McDermot Avenue has been home to a variety of businesses over the years, however, most of the ones advertised on the rear of the building fall into the garment business. These include Gunn Garment, Made Well Garments, Canadian Shirt and Overall and Manitoba Pant and Sportswear. Two of the most prominent signs listed are for Victoria Leather Jacket and Pitchriders Denim Blue Jeans.

Victoria Leather was founded in 1913 by David Rosenberg in Hamilton, Ontario, and he established a Winnipeg branch in 1937. They produced a variety of leather outerwear and sportswear, eventually producing over 4,000 garments per week in the late 1950s and generating over $12 million in sales by the late 1970s. However, with overseas competition and the pressure of a recession the company went into receivership and closed their doors in 1982.

Founded in 1939 by Abraham Rich as Winnipeg Pants and Manufacturing, the company managed several brands, including Pitchriders Jeans, trademarked in 1952. They are known for their outerwear and work clothes and the parent company is still in operation today under the name Richlu Manufacturing.

Competing Sign Painters:

Generally, sign painting companies would leave their name on the bottom right or left-hand corner of their work. It would help to promote their company and attribute the work to an individual or business. Remis Sign Company painted the original Made Well sign on the building and left their name on the bottom left corner of the wall. These are were covered up in the 1960s by the Duchon Brothers, who not only painted over the original art, they painted their business’s name over the Remis name as well.

Design Characteristics

  • Ghost Signs remain on rear side of the building
  • Red brick and rough-hewn Tyndall stone exterior
  • Brick pilasters support decorative cornice
  • Arched window alcoves