Clients lament demise of quirky store – Winnipeg Free Press

Longtime customers of Dominion News are lamenting the impending closure of the quirky store as the sad decline of magazines and downtown Winnipeg.

In pre-internet times, the Portage Avenue mainstay, which will close at the end of this month, was the place to find publications with news and information from around the world.

Whatever a person’s interest, Dominion News probably had a newspaper or magazine for it.RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESSIn pre-internet times, the Portage Avenue mainstay was the place to find publications with news and information from around the world.

“It had the best magazine section in town. Seeing it close is a disappointment,” said Harold Dyck, a customer for more than 40 years. “It’s just another sign of the decline of downtown. It used to be the heart of the city. Now, people don’t want to come here.”

Christian Cassidy, a historian and Free Press columnist who has a blog called West End Dumplings, would buy magazines from his family’s native Ireland.

“It was a fascinating place to look around. The strangest hobby someone could possibly have, they would have magazines about it,” he said. “You have to give kudos to an independent retail store that has stuck around for 98 years. That’s two-thirds as long as the city has been around.”

In a single visit, professional photographer Ian McCausland would spend up to $40 on photography magazines.

“(The closure) is a sad indicator of how things have changed and how people consume news and pursue their interests differently now,” said McCausland, a customer for more than 30 years.

The Winnipeg Architecture Foundation hopes the building at 262 Portage Ave., which doesn’t have heritage status, will be reused in a way where it is accessible to the public.

Built for Hurtig Furs in 1935, it is one of the few Art Deco buildings in the city, said Jeffrey Thorsteinson, a historian with the foundation.

“It was a cutting-edge style at the time,” he said. “The future of the building is tied to the future of downtown. The real threat is retail has evaporated from the downtown core.”

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Chris Kitching
Reporter

As a general assignment reporter, Chris covers a little bit of everything for the Free Press.

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