Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Built in 1895, this building was originally called the Kirchhoffer Block. It was named after Senator John Nesbitt Kirchhoffer, a prominent lawyer and politician. Throughout his political career, Kirchhoffer served as mayor of Souris, Reeve of Glenwood, chairman of the Western Judicial Board, and president of both the Glenwood Agricultural Society and the Brandon Agricultural Society. He also practiced law in Brandon. From 1886 to 1888, Kirchhoffer represented Brandon West as a member of the Manitoba Legislature. He was appointed to the Senate in 1892, serving this role until his death in 1914.

The storefront of the Kirchhoffer block frequently changed ownership. Businesses that once occupied the block include a barber shop run by Thomas Bergeron; a drug store run by P.A. Kennedy; Canada Customs, Postal & Express; tailoring businesses run by both Stanley Onyshko and J.S. Laughton; and real estate and insurance agency O.L. Harwood Ltd. In the upstairs and rear portion of the block were apartments and offices. The block was renamed Empress Court in 1937.

Designed in the Chicago style, the block’s most prominent feature is a canted corner. The roof is trimmed with brackets and intricate brick corbelling. The exterior is also decorated with a decorative brick belt, pilasters, and moulding detail.

Do you have any stories or comments to share about a heritage property in the City of Brandon? Contact us online.