As accommodations go in the city of Lethbridge, a 3-storey building once located on the corner of Redpath [3rd Avenue] and Cutbill [10 Street] was the ultimate in apartment houses. Built by Fred Downer in 1909, it accommodated residents for some 78 years. The building was in the style of a turn-of- the-century boarding house. It had an open porch for each of the first-floor rooms, for residents and visitors to come and rest. Each had a full basement complete with the then modern convenience of laundry. It was called the Victoria Mansion and The Lethbridge Herald billed it as: “the finest apartment building in the west”.
There were several flats of all descriptions available for rent in the rectangle-shaped building. Some had a drawing room, dining room with kitchen, two bedrooms and a bath all with a private entrance at a cost of $45.00 per month. Bachelor suites which contained a sitting room, bedroom and private bath rented for $25.00. A third type was advertised in the local Herald in June 1911 as “housekeeping flats for school teachers”. This accommodation provided a bed-sitting room with bath for monthly fee of $10.00.The occupant could cook on a hot plate stored in the cupboard above the bathtub and look out of one of seven dormer windows on the north and south sides of the building. Availability was advertised in the Lethbridge Herald and perspective renters could contact the Victoria Mansion offices for details.
One of the perks of the Victoria Mansions locale was that it was on the Municipal railway line. The blue line streetcar came east on Redpath from its starting point on 5th Street, stopped in the middle of the road possibly each block to pick up passengers and continued on its route. This was a wonderful convenience for tenants of the Victoria Mansion.