Manitoba Municipal Heritage Site No. 81

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Building
464 Sherritt Avenue,
Lynn Lake

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Building
Designation Date: May 26, 1992
Designation Authority: Lynn Lake (L.G.D)
Present Owner: Lynn Lake (L.G.D)

The modest Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Building, domestic in style and proportions, is a good example of Manitoba’s frontier banking history, when small branches were opened in isolated northern settlements to support early resource development. The building’s informal design and basic materials and construction – unconventional in comparison to the classical brick and stone banking halls found in the South – reflect a thrifty, pragmatic response to the exigencies of exploration and resource extraction in remote areas. That the bank served in two mining towns, Sherridon and Lynn Lake, also is significant. It recalls the creation of Lynn Lake as Manitoba’s first nickel mining community and the concomitant mid-twentieth-century feat of hauling 208 buildings by tractor over a 260-kilometre winter ice road after Sherritt Gordon Mines Ltd. decided to move its operations north from Sherridon to Lynn Lake. This simple, resilient structure, which housed the Commerce into the late 1960s, has remained locally prominent, occupied by other businesses and, more recently, as part of a museum complex.