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Maybank Drug Store


Other Names:
Rip Van Winkles
Rip's Audio and Video

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The one-storey Former Maybank Drug Store has a flat roof, a boomtown front clad in metal siding, stone veneer pilasters on either side of the glass storefront, and a cantilevered triple gable metal awning. It occupies a single lot on 50th Avenue, formerly Railway Avenue West, the main commercial street in the downtown core of Olds.

Heritage Value
The Former Maybank Drug Store is significant for its association with Matthew and Ralph Maybank, for its association with the theme of the post-fire reconstruction of Olds, and for its association with the theme of continued commercial development in Olds.

The Former Maybank Drug Store is valued by the community for its association with pharmacist Matthew Maybank. Matthew Maybank came to Olds prior to 1906 and partnered with Arthur Creighton to establish the Olds Drug Company. When Creighton left in 1910, Maybank became the sole proprietor of the business, which he renamed Maybank Drug. Matthew Maybank had a successful professional career, and was a prominent member of the Olds community who was involved in sports and other civic activities. He was selected to serve as President of the Alberta Pharmaceutical Association in 1921, was largely responsible for raising funds for the first covered arena in Olds, served as the President of the Olds Athletic Association, and was elected to Town Council from 1917 until 1920.

The Former Maybank Drug Store is an important historic building in Olds for its association with Matthew Maybanks’ son, Ralph Maybank. After Matthew Maybank’s death in 1942, Ralph assumed responsibility for Maybank Drug. Ralph Maybank received his pharmacy designation at the University of Alberta in 1935, and he operated the family pharmacy in Olds until his retirement in 1970. Ralph had a very successful professional career and was elected President of the Alberta Pharmaceutical Association in 1958 and 1959. Ralph Maybank was also a very active citizen in Olds who was a founding member of the Olds Kiwanis Club and a Town Councillor for wenty-three years. Ralph and his wife Florrie were associated with the Elks Club and Girl Guides, and were named Olds Citizens of the Year in 1975 by the Olds Board of Trade. In 2008 the Town of Olds, in recognition of his contributions to the town, dedicated the Ralph Maybank Memorial Park in his honour.

The Former Maybank Drug Store was rebuilt after the Olds fire of 1922, and the building is significant for its association with this event. In 1922 a fire destroyed all but two of the buildings on this block: the original Bank of Montreal and the adjacent College Pharmacy. The Town of Olds passed a building bylaw after the fire that stipulated new commercial buildings in Olds were to be rebuilt using brick as the main construction material, as brick was much more fire resistant than the former wood frame structures. The reconstruction of the block resulted in a significant change to the streetscape of Railway Avenue West, as the original buildings had been of wood frame construction with boomtown fronts, while the reconstructed buildings on the block were built of brick in accordance with the new bylaw. Matthew Maybank’s drugstore was one of the buildings destroyed in the fire, and despite $15,000 in losses, only $10,000 of which was covered by insurance, Maybank rebuilt his store almost immediately. Maybank’s Drug continued to serve the community from the new brick building for another 57 years until 1979.

The association with the theme of continued commercial development in Olds contributes to the historic value of the Former Maybank Drug Store. Owned by three generations of Maybanks, the pharmacy was one of the oldest businesses in the town and a long-time contributor to the commercial development of Olds. Matthew Maybank started the family business in 1906 and operated the drug store until his death in 1942, when his son Ralph assumed responsibility for the pharmacy. In 1922 this new brick building was constructed on the same lot after the original wood frame pharmacy building was destroyed by fire. Maybank’s Drug operated from this site until 1979, when the business moved to a larger location. In 2005, a miniature model of the Maybank Building was added to the Olds Fashioned Christmas display in Centennial Park to commemorate the business’ and building’s importance to the town of Olds.

Source: Town of Olds Bylaw 2009-19.

Character-Defining Elements
The character defining elements as expressed in the form, massing, and materials of the 1922 one-storey Former Maybank Drug Store include:
-The flat roof

-The arched brick boomtown front

-The brick chimney


Street Address: 5004 - 50 Avenue
Community: Olds
Boundaries: Lot 9, Block 4, Plan 868E
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
51.79191000 -114.105700 GPS NAD83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2009/09/14

Historical Information

Built: 1922 to 1922
Significant Date(s) 1922 to 1979
Theme(s) Developing Economies : Trade and Commerce
Historic Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Current Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0212
Designation File:
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File:
Website Link:
Data Source: Mountain View Museum & Archives Box 3882 5038 50th Street Olds, Alberta T4H 1P6 File: MHR004-2009
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