Winnipeg in Focus is a database for archival descriptions and digital collections at the City of Winnipeg Archives.

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people and organizations
Corporate body

City of Winnipeg 2012 Earth Day Art Activity Working Group

  • Corporate body
  • 2012

Acting on advice from the Mayor’s Environmental Advisory Committee in 2011, the Executive Policy Committee of the City of Winnipeg directed city staff to coordinate a free art activity with a future-oriented sustainability theme through existing child and youth drop-in programs in City recreation centres. A working group consisting of representatives from Planning, Property and Development (Environmental Coordinator), Community Services, the City of Winnipeg Archives, and the Winnipeg Arts Council planned the activity and engaged a mentoring artist, Craig Love, to work with City recreation technicians to deliver the art activity to children and youth at five City of Winnipeg recreation centres (East End Cultural Centre, Norberry-Glenlee, Westdale Community Centre, Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre, and Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre). During spring break, children and youth participants made quilt-like squares using mostly natural, sustainable, and some recycled materials. Themes that inspired the children included the earth, ecology, nature, home, and sustainability. The activity promoted greater understanding of how and why daily efforts of sustainability matter. The forty craft works created represent the children’s wish-list for the future of the city and the world. After public exhibition at City Hall in mid-April and at the Millennium Library on Earth Day itself (Sunday, April 22), five representative squares, a folder of conceptual drawings created by the children as they planned their projects, and a photographic record of the project were delivered to the City of Winnipeg Archives so that they can be made available at a future date. Photographs of the five representative works were used to advertise Earth Day 2012 and posted to the Winnipeg Arts Council website. The photographer for the project was William Eakin.

Winnipeg (Man.). Committee on the Status of Women in the Employ of the City of Winnipeg

  • Corporate body
  • 1975-1977

On October 30, 1975, the Executive Policy Committee instructed the Board of Commissioners to study the status of women employees in the City. To accomplish this, the Board of Commissioners created the the Committee on the Status of Women in the Employ of the City of Winnipeg, which was comprised of civic employees. Merle McCullough of the City Clerk's Department served as chairperson of the committee. The committee was directed to study career opportunities for women within the City, to identify inequalities, and to create a report detailing recommendations and guidelines to "bring about a greater utilization of women within the employ of the City of Winnipeg". The committee delivered its final report in April, 1977.

Winnipeg (Man.). Parks and Recreation Department

  • Corporate body

Development of Winnipeg’s network of public parks began when the Public Parks Board was created by the City of Winnipeg in 1893 and empowered to acquire land for park purposes. In addition to park development, the Parks Board constructed and operated municipal golf courses and swimming pools, was involved in city beautification through tree planting and boulevard maintenance, and managed recreational facilities, the zoo and municipal cemeteries. The Parks Board evolved into the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Winnipeg following a re-organization of municipal government in the greater Winnipeg area in the 1970s.

Greater Winnipeg Water District

  • Corporate body
  • 1912-1962

The Greater Winnipeg Water District (GWWD) was incorporated in 1913 to supply water to the City of Winnipeg and surrounding municipalities. In May 1914, construction began on the aqueduct to bring water from Shoal Lake to Winnipeg. In March 1919, water from Shoal Lake flowed into Winnipeg’s taps and on September 9, 1919, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales (The Prince Edward) dedicated the aqueduct. In 1935, the Greater Winnipeg Sanitary District (GWSD) was incorporated to manage wastewater collection and treatment for the participating sections of the GWWD. These two corporations existed until 1961, when their functions were taken over by the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg.

The GWWD was originally comprised of the City of Winnipeg, the City of St. Boniface, the Town of Transcona, the Rural Municipality of St. Vital, and parts of Fort Garry, Assiniboia, and Kildonan. By 1960, the area serviced by the GWWD also included parts of St. James and Tuxedo.

The GWWD had two boards: the Administration Board and the Board of Commissioners. The Administration Board had the policy-making function and was originally composed of the Mayor and four Councillors of the City of Winnipeg, the Mayor and one Councillor of the City of St. Boniface, the Mayor of Transcona, and the Reeves of the four other municipalities. The Administration Board’s Chairman was the Mayor of Winnipeg. The Board of Commissioners was responsible for operations and it had up to three members. Usually, the Board of Commissioners was composed of a Chairman, Treasurer and one other Commissioner. The Chairman was the City Engineer, and the Treasurer was the Commissioner of Finance of the City of Winnipeg. The third Commissioner was appointed by the Administration Board. A Board of Equalization, appointed by the Public Utilities Commissioner, was also established to determine the assessment levied on the taxable land in each municipality.

The aqueduct was largely built by three contractors, although the GWWD tendered and administered ninety-nine contracts during construction. The three main contractors were J.H. Tremblay Co. Ltd., Thos. Kelly & Sons, and the Winnipeg Aqueduct Construction Co. Ltd.

As no roads existed along the proposed route of the aqueduct, the GWWD created and operated the Greater Winnipeg Water District Railway to run parallel to the route to facilitate the movement of materials and workers. Construction of the railway track began in 1914 and was completed in 1915. The track runs from its terminus in St. Boniface to Waugh, Manitoba near Shoal Lake. After the aqueduct was completed, the railway was also used to carry freight and passengers in an effort to reduce the costs of construction. Freight included firewood, pulpwood, poles, railway ties, ice, mail, milk, gravel and sand. Although initially only three trains ran a week, at the peak of its operation up to four trains a day hauled gravel for use as an aggregate in concrete manufacture.

The first meeting of the GWWD Administration Board took place on July 30, 1913. By the fall of 1913, active work was underway and survey parties were determining the most economical route from Shoal Lake. As the waters of Shoal Lake are part of the Lake of the Woods, which crosses the boundary into the United States, it was necessary to secure the approval of the International Joint Commission. It was also necessary to secure the consent of the Ontario Government as the boundary line between the provinces of Manitoba and Ontario passes through Indian Bay, a tributary of Shoal Lake. Further sections of the aqueduct were located on reserve land belonging to Kekekoziibii Shoal Lake 40 First Nation and the sale of this land was required. The provisions of the Indian Act allowed for reserve lands to be sold with the price of the land set by the Governor in Council and the proceeds of the sale going to the Band. The Department of Indian Affairs valued three thousand acres of Kekekoziibii Shoal Lake 40 First Nation's reserve land at fifty cents per acre. Approximately fifty-five acres on the mainland were valued at three dollars an acre. As the Falcon River ran into the proposed intake area in Indian Bay, a diversion was built so that the waters of Falcon River, which had an unwanted colour, ran into Snowshoe Bay instead. The Falcon River diversion, consisting of a 2.4 km dyke and 840 m channel, solved the problem of unwanted colouration of the water supply, but had the effect of limiting Kekekoziibii Shoal Lake 40 First Nation's access to the mainland.

The City of Winnipeg Archives acknowledges the following sources:

City of Winnipeg, compiled by the City Clerk. Municipal Manual 1955. Winnipeg: Henderson Directories, [1955].

City of Winnipeg, Water and Waste Department, “The Greater Winnipeg Water District Railway.” Last updated June 29, 2018. Available: https://www.winnipeg.ca/waterandwaste/dept/railway.stm

Ennis, David A. “Developing a Domestic Water Supply for Winnipeg from Shoal Lake and Lake of the Woods: The Greater Winnipeg Water District Aqueduct.” Master’s thesis. University of Manitoba, 2011.

Special thanks to the Water and Waste Department for supplying key details.

Winnipeg (Man.). City Clerk's Department. Archives and Records Control Branch

  • Corporate body
  • 1978-

Winnipeg was established as a city in 1874 and began creating records immediately, but it did not have a city archives until 1978. Many of the surrounding municipalities that were later amalgamated into Unicity in 1972 were in a very similar situation, and their surviving records have now become part of the Winnipeg City Archives' holdings. The building at 380 William, the old Carnegie Library, was set aside for storage of records and archives. Since its formation, the Archives and Records Control Branch has been responsible for managing records in storage, developing records management policy and practice, and facilitating research access to the City’s archival collection.

The required enabling bylaw for the records and archives provisions of the City of Winnipeg Act was passed in 1996, and the Records Committee was created and first met in June 1997.

See Terry Cook, "In the Public Trust: A Strategic Plan for the Archives and Records Management Services in the City of Winnipeg," (November 29, 1999).

Charles E. Goad Company

  • Corporate body
  • 1895-1915

The Charles E. Goad Company was established by Charles Goad in Montreal in 1875 and dominated the Canadian fire insurance plan business for more than fifty years. Fire insurance underwriting firms like Goad’s produced detailed plans of urban communities for subscribing fire insurance companies and their agents to assist in assessing fire liability of insurance holders. At the time of his death in 1910, Goad and his surveyors had mapped over thirteen hundred Canadian communities. The company continued under the direction of Goad’s three sons. In 1911, an agreement was reached between the Goad Company and the Canadian Fire Underwriters’ Association (CFUA) by which the Goad’s was to make and revise plans for the CFUA. The agreement was terminated in 1917 and soon after the CFUA acquired exclusive rights to revise and reprint the Goad plans for the use of Association members. The company ceased production of fire insurance plans by 1918 and was dissolved in 1930.

Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg (Man.). Information Officer

  • Corporate body
  • 1960-1971

The Information Officer (Information Research Officer prior to 1967) was responsible for compiling, interpreting, and preparing written information for the use of the Chairman, Council, and Directors of the Metropolitan Corporation, and for explaining to the public the Corporation's aims, policies, and activities. This involved establishing good relations with and disseminating information to the press, radio, and television, and maintaining a library of informative material on municipal government, affairs of the Corporation, and other subjects of concern to the Corporation. The Information Officer was directly accountable to the Executive Director. The position was first held by Arthur Fletcher, during which time the position was called "Information Research Officer". Fletcher stepped down on November 11, 1966, leaving the position vacant for several months. On May 4, 1967, Council voted to appoint Allan S. Bready to the position and change its title to "Information Officer". Bready began on June 1 and remained in his position until Metro's dissolution in 1971.

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Food Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1919

The City of Winnipeg was incorporated in 1873 by a charter granted by the legislature of Manitoba. At incorporation, the City established a committee system of government – while Council was the governing body for the City, it was in committee that civic policies were formed and executed. The initial task for the first and all subsequent Councils was to strike standing committees for the Council year. In addition to standing committees, Council established special committees to investigate and manage various projects, issues and questions placed before the City. Special committees were typically struck by a Council motion that outlined committee composition and responsibilities.

The Special Food Committee was organized at an informal meeting of Council held on June 4, 1919. Having been advised that members of various locals in the city had received orders from the Strike Committee to quit work at 11:00 am on June 4, the Committee was set up to make arrangements to distribute bread and milk. Members of the Health Department managed the purchase, delivery and sale of milk, which was distributed at Winnipeg public schools from June 5 to June 21, 1919. There are no associated minutes for this special committee.

Winnipeg (Man.). Committee on Urban Renewal and Redevelopment

  • Corporate body
  • 1958-1971

The committee was appointed in 1958, and was responsible for considering and reporting on public and emergency housing projects, zoning, town planning, enforcement of by-laws relating to urban renewal, rehabilitation or conservation areas, matters relating to the Civic Centre, Public Safety Building, and Parking Garage, and the appointment of a technical committee to report and advise on the above mentioned activities.

Winnipeg (Man.). Committee on Public Utilities

  • Corporate body
  • 1920-1957

The Committee on Public Utilities was responsible for Hydro Electric, Steam Heating, and Street Lighting Systems, Construction, Operation and Maintenance of Water Mains and Sewers, Garbage Collection and Disposal, and Street Cleaning.

In 1958 the duties of the Committee on Public Utilities were taken over by the Committee on Public Works. In 1960 the Standing Committee on Utilities and Personnel was formed by By-Law 18236 to perform the combined functions of the former Committee on Public Utilities and Committee on Personnel and Legislation.

Winnipeg (Man.). Committee on Public Health and Welfare

  • Corporate body
  • 1876-1971

The City of Winnipeg was incorporated November 9, 1873 by a charter granted by the legislature of Manitoba. The Charter established a committee system of government – while Council was the governing body for the City, it was in committee that civic policies were formed and executed. The initial task for the first and all subsequent elected Councils was to strike standing committees for the Council term. From 1876 onward, the City had a standing committee whose function was to consider a broad range of issues relating to public health and welfare. The name of the committee and its scope of responsibilities changed periodically over the years:

1876-1878 Board of Health
1879-1882 Heath, Relief and Cemetery Committee
1883-1886 Committee on Health and Relief
1887-1905 Health, Market and License Committee (sometimes Market, License and Health Committee)
1905-1908 Public Health Committee
1909-1957 Committee on Health
1958-1971 Committee on Public Health and Welfare.

In 1972, Chapter 105 of the Statutes of Manitoba came into force unifying twelve area municipalities and the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg into one city government. At this time, the Committee on Public Health and Welfare was discontinued and its responsibilities assigned to a new Committee on Environment (primarily licensing matters) and a new Committee on Recreation and Social Development (matters relating to libraries, health, social services, parks and recreational services).

Winnipeg (Man.). Committee on Legislation and Reception

  • Corporate body
  • [1874?]-1957

The Committee on Legislation and Reception was responsible for wages and working conditions of civic employees, staff changes and appointments, grievances concerning civic personnel, labour union negotiations, work of the employer-employee advisory board, general legislation and charter amendments, and for reporting on legislation and receptions.

Names of the Committee over the years have included the Legislative Committee, Committee on Legislation, Reception, Trade and Commerce, Committee on Legislation and Reception, and Committee on Personnel and Legislation (1950-1957).

In 1958 the duties of the Committee on Personnel and Legislation were taken over by the Committee on Finance. In 1960 the Standing Committee on Utilities and Personnel was formed by By-Law 18236 to perform the combined functions of the former Committee on Personnel and Legislation and Committee on Public Works.* (See Municipal Manual, 1960 and Council Minutes 1957-1960).

Winnipeg (Man.). Civic Charities Endorsement Bureau

  • Corporate body
  • 1913-1996

The Civic Charities Endorsement Bureau was created on June 30, 1913 through By-Law No. 8062. The Bureau was established to “investigate and examine the character and bona fides of all charitable concerns seeking aid from the City or its citizens”. In effect, the Bureau was responsible for ensuring that charities raising funds in the City filled an actual community need and demonstrated efficient and responsible stewardship of funds. The Bureau was made up of nine members, each of whom held office for a three year term.

In 1925, the Bureau joined the Confidential Exchange. The Exchange, a program sponsored by the Social Welfare Commission until 1939 and the Public Welfare Committee thereafter, was a coordinating body for agencies involved in social welfare work. In 1956, the provincial government passed The Charities Endorsement Act and widened the Bureau’s powers. The Act regulated granting of authorization to solicit funds or sell items within the province of Manitoba for a charitable purpose by charitable organizations or other agencies.

In 1996, the Act was amended again, and these amendments resulted in dissolution of the Civic Charities Endorsement Bureau. On December 11, 1996, the City of Winnipeg passed By-Law 6916/96, the Civic Charities Applications and Permits By-law, which designated a City of Winnipeg employee to authorize by permit fund-raising activities for charitable purposes as defined in The Charities Endorsement Act. At that time, the Director of the Community Resource, Protection and Safety Services, Community Services Department, was charged with administering and enforcing the new by-law. Presently, permit applications for civic charities are issued by the Manitoba Consumers Bureau and permits for raffles are issued by the Manitoba Gaming Control Commission.

North American Indigenous Games Host Society (Winnipeg), Inc.

  • Corporate body
  • 1997-2002

The 2002 North American Indigenous Games Host Society (Winnipeg) was incorporated after Winnipeg was awarded the 2002 North American Indigenous Games by the NAIG council. This award was based on a presentation made in December of 1997 by the Manitoba Aboriginal Sports & Recreation Council, 3 levels of government, Tourism Winnipeg, Manitoba Metis Federation and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. The mandate of the Society was to plan, organize, finance and stage the 2002 North American Indigenous Games in Winnipeg, and to leave a tangible legacy for Aboriginal sport and cultural activities for future generations. As the organizers of the event, the Host Society was responsible for event coordination, promotion, and fundraising as well as liaising with partners and other administrative tasks.

The North American Indigenous Games is a multi-sport and cultural celebration that involves Aboriginal athletes, performers, volunteers and spectators from across Canada and the United States. The Games have been held intermittently across North America since 1990, in culmination of a vision to hold games for the Indigenous Peoples of North American that began in the 1970s. The 2002 North American Indigenous Games were held in Winnipeg from July 25 to August 4, and made use of venues throughout Winnipeg and nearby communities. An estimated 6500 athletes and coaches, and 3000 performers and spectators, participated in cultural events and/or competed in 16 different sports. The official Host Broadcaster was the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

The 2002 NAIG was acclaimed as a successful and enjoyable athletic and cultural event. The Games had an estimated economic impact of almost $26 million in the province of Manitoba. An approximately $90,000 Legacy Plan was proposed by the Host Society’s Legacy Committee, and is intended to ensure that the knowledge, skills, and information gained because of the North American Indigenous Games continue to serve the Aboriginal sport community in the future.

The Host Society consisted of 8 Divisions; Host Society Management Division; Administration & Finance Division; Communications Division; Cultural Division; Operations Division; Sport Division; and Volunteer Division.

Winnipeg (Man.). City Engineer

  • Corporate body
  • 1874-1971

Building inspection was included as one of the duties of the City Engineer when responsibilities for this position were formalized by by-law in 1899. Since then, the City of Winnipeg has required all persons proposing to construct a new building or significantly renovate an existing building, to apply for a permit authorizing the work. As part of the permit application process, builders were required to submit 'drawings in blue or white print to scale, fully dimensioned, accurately figured, explicit and complete.'

Winnipeg (Man.). Winnipeg War Memorial Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1927-1929

The City of Winnipeg was incorporated in 1873 by a charter granted by the legislature of Manitoba. At incorporation, the City established a committee system of government: while Council was the governing body for the City, it was in committee that civic policies were formed and executed. The initial task for the first and all subsequent Councils was to strike standing committees for the Council year. In addition to standing committees, Council established special committees to investigate and manage various projects, issues and questions placed before the City. Special committees were typically struck by a Council motion that outlined committee composition and responsibilities.

In 1920, the Women's Canadian Club of Winnipeg erected a temporary monument in front of the Bank of Montreal building at Portage and Main. When the temporary monument was taken down in November of 1923 to make way for the Bank's own war memorial, the question of securing a site and constructing a monument for the City to honor its war dead was again raised by citizens. Given that the City had an interest in the outcome of this initiative, Council appointed representatives to the Winnipeg War Memorial Committee by motion on February 21, 1927. The Winnipeg War Memorial Committee had representation from groups like the Canukeena Club, the Imperial Veterans, the Army and Navy Veterans, the War Widows Association, the Women's Canadian Club, the Rotary Club, the Trades and Labour Council, the Canadian Legion, the I.O.D.E., and Winnipeg City Council. The committee concluded its work in June of 1929 when it requested that the memorial it had unveiled in November of 1928 be transferred to the Parks Board for perpetual care and maintenance.

Winnipeg (Man.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1874-

The City of Winnipeg, Manitoba was created by Provincial statute in 1873. Its mandate was to govern and provide municipal services to citizens attracted to trade expansion between Upper and Lower Fort Garry and St. Paul, Minnesota. The City sprang from the Red River Settlement, an unincorporated village. Prior to creation of the Province of Manitoba in 1870, the area was administered by the Council of Assiniboia (1835-1870) and local community leaders, primarily Métis, who had camped within a fifty-mile radius of the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers since [1733]. Following the Dominion Government of Canada’s purchase of land from the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1869, the newly formed Province of Manitoba had jurisdiction over the area and began the process of municipal incorporation. Assiniboia had been created in circa 1812 by Lord Selkirk, who brought Scottish agricultural settlers to the area.

Since 1874, the City managed its affairs through various boards, commissions, and committees. Affiliations between 1881-1972 were thirteen suburban municipal Councils and, between 1960-1972, the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg (established to co-ordinate service delivery in the metropolitan region).

After 1972, when Chapter 105 of the Statutes of Manitoba came into force, the City of Winnipeg amalgamated with twelve area municipalities and the Metropolitan Corporation of Great Winnipeg into one city government.

The election of the first Council for the Unified City of Winnipeg was held on October 6, 1971 and the new City came into legal existence on January 1, 1972. The new unified City Council consisted of 50 Councillors elected on the basis of one from each of the 50 wards and a Mayor elected from the City-at-large. The Inaugural Meeting of the new Council took place on January 5, 1972.

Thirteen Community Committees were established under the Act; however, in 1974, on the recommendation of the Ward Boundaries Commission, the provincial government enacted legislation reducing the communities from thirteen to twelve while maintaining fifty wards. In 1977, further legislation reduced the communities to six and the wards to twenty-nine. Each had a Community Committee of Council and comprised the Councillors who represented the wards within each particular community.

In 1989, in accordance with the City of Winnipeg Act, a review of the boundaries of the City of Winnipeg was conducted and resulted in a number of changes to the community area boundaries and the number of wards for four of the communities. A subsequent review in 1991 resulted in further legislation passed in 1992, which reduced the communities to five and the wards to fifteen.

Further amendments were made to the City of Winnipeg Act in 1998. The powers of the mayor were increased and changes were made to the political decision-making structure.

In 2003, the City of Winnipeg Act was repealed and replaced with the City of Winnipeg Charter.

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