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John Robertson Murray arrived in Winnipeg and continued his harness maker apprenticeship with the EF Hutchings company. In 1908 John started his own business which relocated to 180 Princess Street in 1909. The business evolved into inclusion of an auto top department in 1919 located at 280 James Street. In 1932, 180 Princess became the home of Murray Tent & Awning which continues in business in Winnipeg, today, at 653 Sargent Avenue.

     J. Murray & Co Shop on Parade Day

            Building is the McGregor Block at 180 & 182 Princess Street

On Float: John R. Murray-sitting (driver), Isabelle, Verna, Vivian standing at back of float

On street ladies left to right: Gladys, (unknown person), Hazel, Ruby, Julia

On street men: (unknown)


182 Princess

188 Princess

180 Princess

172 & 178 Princess

180 Princess JPEG.jpg

Princess Street Yesterday and Today

PRINCESS STREET looking South from Ross Avenue toward Elgin Avenue, Circa 1903.

(City of Winnipeg Historical Report and M. Peterson collection.)


180 Princess was the location of  J Murray & Co from 1909 until 1932 when this location became Murray Tent & Awning.

Princess Street today.jpg

The McGregor Block, 180-182 Princess, was still standing in 1965, and 180 was the location of Murray Auto Top Co. Unfortunately, 180-182 Princess is now a parking lot, along with the rest of the addresses from Elgin Avenue to Ross Avenue. However, many other buildings do remain, such as 188 Princess  shown above, on the right.

Click the Blue Button below for an aerial view of Princess Street today

Today, Murray Tent and Awning company in Winnipeg is the legacy of what was started by John Robertson Murray.

The house numbers on Syndicate Street changed over the years. For clarity, all addresses given here are the present day house numbers.

At Right: View of 160 Syndicate Street in 1898.

The Winnipeg Tribune newspaper article from February 4, 1948 can be seen by clicking the green button called "Tribune", below., which opens a Word.Doc. Similar to the article above, it contains an additional paragraph (third paragraph from end), but has the wrong year for Louisa's passing which was 1937 not 1930.

Left: Standing at the side of the Simmons’ home at 160 or 164 Syndicate Street, looking east across Syndicate.

Left to Right: Grandpa George Murray, Dad Thornton Simmons, Mam Louisa Simmons, Unknown woman, Gladys (middle back), unknown person in front,  Ruby with the child (second from the right), unknown person at end.

Above: Today, 160 Syndicate Street. Next door is 164 Syndicate Street, built in 1895.

Eventually 160 Syndicate (the packing crate house), as seen above, had a living room, dining room, kitchen, 5 bedrooms and 3 baths. In 1895, Thornton (Dad), Louisa and family built a new house next door at 164 Syndicate and moved into it, and a Wm. Harris moved into 160 Syndicate. Also in 1895, Thornton's son James and his wife Florence moved into 154 Syndicate, down the street, after they were married in 1891.

In 1896, Wm. Harris moved out of the packing crate house and Mrs. Workman, a widow, moved in. The same year, John and Julia Murray moved into a house down the street at 140 Syndicate and their first child, daughter, Gladys, was born. This is now a vacant lot.

In 1897 or 1898, John and Julia Murray and family moved into the packing create house at 160 Syndicate, being vacated by Mrs. Workman.

In 1902 John and Julia Murray vacated 160 Syndicate and moved into 148 Syndicate where they lived until 1914.

The son of Thornton Simmons, Thornton (Thorny) and his wife Maud (nee Loader), were married in 1902 and moved into 160 Syndicate in 1903


The house at 160 Syndicate was sold out of the family in 1940.

After Mam (Louisa Simmons) died, her sons Oscar and Owen lived in 164 Syndicate, until their deaths, with Sally Slater and for a while Winnie Bowlay. Then Sally  continued to live there until January of 1974 when she became ill.  The home of 164 Syndicate was sold in June 1974 to Rosemary Hiller, wife of Bruno Christopher Hiller.  Oscar Edgar Thornton Simmons was the Administrator of Estate appointed October 1, 1963.  He died on November 6, 1965, and his son LeRoy continued to administer the property until it was sold in June of 1974.

Above: The brown house in the middle is 148 Syndicate Street. This was the home of John R Murray, his wife Julia, and children Gladys, Geordie, Ruby, and Hazel from 1902 until about 1914

128 Syndicate.jpg

Above: 128 Syndicate Street. This is "the big house on the corner" as Gladys (Mom) Campbell described it. She told me she had already moved out (married in 1913 and moved to Cardinal, Ontario) by the time her mom and dad and siblings moved into this house which appears as 1916 in Henderson's Directory. She also told me the long building at the end of the street was a blacksmith shop. This house, then, was the home of John R Murray, his wife Julia, and children, Geordie, Ruby, and Hazel, from 1916 until 1920, when they all moved over the harness shop at 180 Princess. In 1920, this home is occupied by a James Lindsay.


This house (128 Syndicate Street) had been the residence of the Battershill family from 1901 until 1912, and then Mrs Caroline Ross from 1913 until 1915. The Battershills immigrated from England around 1888. Amelia Battershill grew up in this house, and then she married Frank E. Simmons (Julia Murray's brother) in 1910. In 1913 the Battershill family was living at 151 Helmsdale, in East Kildonan, Winnipeg.

In dedication to Private George William Battershill, who died from a wound at the battle of Vimy Ridge, a special page has been prepared. Please   CLICK HERE   for that page.

In Construction:

Syndicate Street was home to many interesting people. This space will mention: Stevenson, Tait, Morefield, and Loader

294 Ellen Street, Winnipeg


Until 1901, this was the home of George and Elizabeth (nee Thom) Murray and family.


Son and daughters living with them included:

George (the tinsmith)



Robertson (Robin)

Margaret (Nellie)

and Mary Ury.

294 Ellen Street is now a multipurpose building.

photo-294 Ellen-57622c9223f620ef86e5f9af
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