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

Showing 110 results

people and organizations

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Committee on Street Railway Transportation Matters

  • Corporate body
  • 1930-1950

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. From about 1924 onward, special committees and their associated files were assigned an alpha-numeric code beginning with the letter "A".

The Special Committee on Street Railway Transportation Matters (originally the Special Committee on Transportation Question) was established by Council motion in October of 1930 for the purpose of "investigating the whole question of the providing of transportation within the limits of the City of Winnipeg". A key issue was the proposed purchase of the Winnipeg Electric Company by the City, and so the series contains considerable information about the Winnipeg Electric Company and the role it played in passenger transportation. Public transportation in Winnipeg dates from 1882, when horse cars were first used. The first electric car began operating in 1892 and horse cars were discontinued in 1894. Gasoline buses were first used in 1918 and trolley buses in 1938. The Winnipeg Electric Street Railway was formed in 1892. By 1900, this company had purchased the horse car company, the Manitoba Electric and Gas Light Company and the Northwest Electric Company. By 1946, the company was operating 30 trolley buses, 215 passenger street cars and 184 motor buses in the greater Winnipeg area and employed 2,432 people, see the Annual Report, 1946 in A9 (17). See also file A9 (16) for a Transit Map of Greater Winnipeg for the winter of 1943-1944.

After protracted negotiations, the proposed purchase was abandoned and the Committee turned instead towards discussion of a new franchise agreement between the City and the Winnipeg Electric Company. A further round of negotiations regarding purchase of the company by the City began in the spring of 1945. The name of the Committee was changed by Council motion on March 6, 1939 to Special Committee on Transportation Franchise and again in June of 1944 to Special Committee on Street Railway Transportation Matters. The file code for this special committee was A9.

Winnipeg (Man.). Board of Parks and Recreation

  • Corporate body
  • 1893-1971

The first public parks board for the City of Winnipeg was created in 1893 through By-Law No. 575, which adopted provisions in the Public Parks Act enacted by the Province of Manitoba in 1892. Membership of the Public Parks Board was prescribed in the legislation and initially included the mayor, six councillors and six citizen members. The Board met at least once a month. Circa the late 1940’s, the Public Parks Act was incorporated into the Municipal Act RSM as Chapter 141 Division III. An amendment to the Act dated April 20, 1951 resulted in a change of name: from Public Parks Board or Winnipeg Public Parks Board to Winnipeg Board of Parks and Recreation.

When first established, the Board was involved in acquiring land to create a system of urban parks throughout the City – including Assiniboine and Kildonan Parks. In addition to park development, the Board constructed and operated municipal golf courses and swimming pools, was involved in city beautification through tree planting and boulevard construction and maintenance, provided facilities for recreation, and managed the zoo and municipal cemeteries – including Brookside.

The Board had wide-ranging powers, including the ability to purchase property for park purposes and pass by-laws for the use, regulation, protection and governance of City parks. A committee structure was adopted to facilitate the work of the Board. In 1911, the Board passed By-Law No. 10 to regulate the proceedings and conduct of its committees and officers. Committees established by the Board reflected major responsibilities and initiatives. Periodically, special or sub-committees were formed to address specific issues. These were dissolved once the issue had been resolved. For most of its history, the Standing Committees of the Board were as follows:

Finance Committee
Boulevards and Trees Committee
Parks Committee
Cemetery Committee
Recreation Committee
Golf Committee.

In 1964, following the transfer of golf courses and large urban parks to the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg, the City of Winnipeg held a referendum on the future of the Winnipeg Board of Parks and Recreation. The result of voting on City of Winnipeg By-Law 19003 was 15,144 for and 12,537 against the dissolution of the Winnipeg Board of Parks and Recreation. By-Law 19060 then established the Committee on Parks and Recreation, which took over all of the duties and responsibilities of the Winnipeg Board of Parks and Recreation effective January 1, 1965.

Winnipeg (Man.). City Clerk's Department

  • Corporate body
  • 1874-

The City of Winnipeg (1874-1971) was incorporated by a charter granted by the legislature of Manitoba on November 8, 1873. The office of the City Clerk was established early in 1874, its primary responsibilities having been defined in the Charter. The main duties of the City Clerk were to record and maintain a record of all resolutions, decisions and proceedings of Council and to act as the Returning Officer for the election of the Mayor and members of Council, for voting on money by-laws or plebiscites and for the election of school trustees for the School District of Winnipeg No. 1 (from 1891). By the 1880’s, the City Clerk was the Vital Statistics Division Registrar and kept records of vital statistics for Winnipeg (births, deaths and marriages). Further, the City Clerk was responsible for purchasing and distributing all stationery supplies required by the City and for preparing and distributing the Municipal Manual, an annual publication first published in 1904. The City Clerk also acted as Clerk of the Greater Winnipeg Water District (GWWD) and the Greater Winnipeg Sanitary District (GWSD). These districts were created in 1913 and 1935, respectively. When the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg (Metro) was created in 1961, the GWWD and the GWSD ceased to exist and the City Clerk was relieved of the task of clerking these two bodies. In 1964, the City Clerk became responsible for the regulation and control of the Civic Charities Endorsement Bureau, which was previously administered by the Public Welfare Department. With amalgamation in 1972, the City Clerk’s Department for the former City of Winnipeg took on this role for the new City of Winnipeg (1972-).

There have been seventeen City Clerks since the incorporation of Winnipeg as follows: A.M. Brown (1874-1883); C.J. Brown (1883-1926); M. Peterson (1926-1935); G.F. Bentley (1935-1945); L.M. Ault (1945-1948); G.L. Gardner (1948-1962); J.B. Kinnear (1962-1964); T. Mitchell (1964-1966); J.A. Masson (1966); W.A. Quayle (1966-1976); H.E. Sanger (1976-1979); R.J. Fergusson (1979-1986); M.G. McCullough (1986-1987); R.B. Hayes (1987-1991); D.E. Browton (1992-2000); R. Kachur (2001-2018); and M. Lemoine (2018-present).

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Committee on Consolidation of By-Laws Defining Duties of Council and Committees and Officers of the City

  • Corporate body
  • 1921

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 Committee on Consolidating of By-Laws Defining Duties of Council and Committees and Officers of the City was appointed by Council in January of 1921. The committee consisted of the chairmen of standing committees to which department heads reported regarding the work of the city.

Winnipeg (Man.). Winnipeg Traffic Commission

  • Corporate body
  • 1954-1971

The Winnipeg Traffic Commission (WTC) was founded in 1954, with the passing of By-Law No. 17252. In 1970, By-Law No. 17252 was replaced with By-Law No. 19782, which contained all amendments made from 1954 to 1970.

The WTC consisted of the City Signals Engineer, City Traffic Engineer, Chief of Police or his representative, a representative of the City Engineer's Department, at least three members of Council, and two or three citizen representatives. The Mayor was made an ex officio member in 1959, and the Fire Chief became a regular member in 1967.

The WTC was authorized to investigate and consider all matters related to the control and regulation of traffic, and make recommendations to Council; make and enforce temporary regulations to meet emergencies and special conditions; direct and co-ordinate all operations of the City related to the regulation and control of traffic; receive recommendations related to traffic; test traffic control devices under actual conditions; and prepare and publish reports on traffic matters and carry out educational activities.

Winnipeg (Man.). Board of Control

  • Corporate body
  • 1907-1918

Formed by four Controllers, the Board of Control was added to the City Council in 1907 in accordance with By-Law 4148. The Board of Control was elected annually by a vote of the entire city to conduct the executive work of the City of Winnipeg. As the executive body, responsibilities of the Board of Control included financial matters, the calling of tenders and awarding of contracts, directing and controlling departments, the nomination of all heads and subheads of departments and other permanent employees, inspecting and reporting to Council on municipal works within the city, and generally administering the affairs of the city (excepting the Public Schools and Police Department). The Board of Control was abolished by vote at the end of 1918.

Winnipeg (Man.). Committee on Public Works

  • Corporate body
  • 1874-1971

The Committee on Public Works was a standing committee of Council. The Committee's roles and responsibilities changed over the years as it gained or lost different functions and duties. Jurisdiction of the Committee over the years included the Engineers Department, Shops Department, City Quarries, Sewer Inspection and Maintenance, City Yards, Streets and Sidewalks, Snow Clearing, Bridges and Subways, Street Name and House Numbering, Civic Buildings, Concrete and Asphalt Plant, City Gravel Pit, and Reports of City Surveyor on Plans and Surveys. The committee was required to report to Council on all of these matters, and to recommend works of permanent improvement.

Names of the Committee changed several times over the years, as is reflected in the committee minutes. Names of the committee have included Works Committee, Committee on Works, Works and Property Committee, Committee on Public Improvements, and, finally, the Committee on Public Works.

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Publicity Committee

  • Corporate body
  • 1919-1920

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 Publicity Committee was appointed by Council in April of 1919 to consider and report on the advisability and associated cost of organizing an advertising campaign to be directed at manufacturing firms and industries that might consider locating in the City of Winnipeg. The committee consisted of three aldermen, the City Solicitor and the manager of the Light and Power Department. Members considered submissions from a number of individuals and firms regarding the proposed campaign, ultimately placing advertisements in various publications. The Special Publicity Committee adjourned in 1920.

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Committee on Organization and Administration of Civic Departments

  • Corporate body
  • 1923-1926

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 Committee on Organization and Administration of Civic Departments was appointed by Council in August of 1923 to consider and report on ways and means to improve the organization and administration of civic departments. The committee consisted of seven aldermen and the mayor. Reports to Council were submitted periodically and amendments to several by-laws to facilitate the movement of various functions from one department or branch to another were drafted and passed.

Yanofsky, Abe

  • Person
  • 1925-2000

Born Daniel Abraham Yanofsky in Poland in 1925, Abe Yanofsky came to Canada as a small child. His family eventually settled in Winnipeg. Yanofsky was a graduate of the University of Manitoba and a Rhodes scholar, and earned a law degree at Oxford. He returned to Winnipeg where he became a successful lawyer and Queen’s Counsel. Yanofsky served as Alderman and Mayor of West Kildonan from 1961 until 1971, then as Councillor on the Unicity Council of the City of Winnipeg from 1972 until 1986. Among his accomplishments in civic politics was construction of the Seven Oaks General Hospital and Wellness Institute in Winnipeg’s north end.

In addition to his legal and political careers, Yanofsky was an exceptional chess player, winning the Canadian Chess Championship eight times. His development as a player began early. By the age of eleven he was recognized as a child prodigy, and represented Canada on second board in the world chess Olympiad in Argentina in 1939. He was named Grand Master in 1964 by the world chess organization, FIDE. Yanofsky was a central figure on the local chess scene, wrote the Free Press chess column for many years and was responsible for bringing the Pan American Chess Championships to Winnipeg in 1974.

Abe Yanofsky was awarded the Order of Canada in 1972. He died March 5, 2000.

Winnipeg (Man.). Advisory Traffic Commission

  • Corporate body
  • 1936-1954

The Advisory Traffic Commission was founded in 1936, with the passing of By-Law No. 14849. This By-Law was repealed in 1954, with the founding of the City of Winnipeg Traffic Commission. The Advisory Traffic Commission acted in an advisory capacity on all matters of traffic and pedestrian regulation in Winnipeg. Members of the Commission were appointed by Council.

Examples of Advisory Traffic Commission business were:
-Forming a Traffic Squad in the police department.
-Pedestrian control, including limiting crossing to intersections and crosswalks.
-Requests to erect stop signs at intersections.
-Implementing and regulating parking meters.
-Implementing parking bans.
-Implementing and regulating traffic signal systems.
-Regulating street cars.
-Widening streets.
-Turning restrictions.
-Loading zones.

Winnipeg (Man.). Playgrounds Commission

  • Corporate body
  • 1908-1919

The first public playground in Winnipeg was opened in 1908 by the Committee on Public Playgrounds for Winnipeg, the members of which had been appointed at a citizens meeting on May 28, 1908: Mrs. J. Dick, Mrs. Dr. Sparling, J. Dyson, J. S. Woodsworth, J. W. McMillan, John Appleton, H. R. Hadcock, E. L. Drewry and H. E. Wilson. This committee solicited private funds for a demonstration project to be operated in conjunction with the Mother's Association through the summer of that year. By the fall of 1908, the Committee on Public Playgrounds for Winnipeg had become the Playgrounds Association of the City of Winnipeg, reflecting a broad trend in North America and their connection with the American Playgrounds Association. In 1909, the Association met with the City of Winnipeg's Board of Control to propose creation of a commission to manage a system of playgrounds for the city. The Board of Control supported the proposal and the Playgrounds Commission was organized in 1909 under By-Law 5557 with an appropriation of $4000. The Playgrounds Commission managed playgrounds until 1919 when its powers were transferred to the Public Parks Board through By-Law 9835.

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Committee on Amalgamation

  • Corporate body
  • 1918

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 Committee on Amalgamation was appointed by Council on August 19, 1918 to "consider and report on the question of adjusting, re-arranging and amalgamating the various departments of City Offices". In order to complete this task, the Committee requested statements from the City's twenty-three administrative departments showing the functions and duties of the department and the organization of staff (including the name, position, salary and responsibilities of each staff member). Statements were not requested for the Fire Department or the Light and Power Department. The Committee's final report was accepted by Council in December of 1918 and referred to the City Solicitor to draft requisite legislation. The Special Committee on Amalgamation had five members and adjourned following submission of its report to Council: Controllers Wallace and Puttee and Aldermen Fowler, Fisher and Vopni.

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Committee on Arrangement of Committees for Incoming Council

  • Corporate body
  • 1920-[1922?]

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 Committee on Arrangement of Committees for Incoming Council was appointed in January of 1920 to consider the arrangement of committees for the incoming council together with any rearrangement of departments that might be necessary. The committee consisted of six aldermen.

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Committee on Post-War Reconstruction

  • Corporate body
  • 1942-1948

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. From about 1924 onward, special committees and their associated files were assigned an alpha-numeric code beginning with the letter "A".

The Special Committee on Post-War Reconstruction was established by Council motion on February 16, 1942. It was composed of two aldermen from each of the three wards of the City and was instructed to identify likely projects for post-war work within Winnipeg, draft a plan of action and consult broadly with other public bodies engaged in similar work. The identification and development of municipal projects was linked to a broader national objective of securing employment and stability for those demobilized from the armed forces and from war industries. Among the projects identified were: improvements to Winnipeg General Hospital; improvements to city schools; repairs and renewal of sewer and water systems, bridges, pavement and riverbanks; as well as mention of a new city hall. The committee consulted with other Canadian cities engaged in similar planning and solicited advice and information from the local business community. The file code for this special committee was A49.

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Committee on Social Evil Question

  • Corporate body
  • 1910

The Special Committee on Social Evil Question was appointed by Council on February 28, 1910 to meet with a similarly named committee of the Moral and Social Reform Council of Manitoba to address prostitution in the area around Rachel and McFarlane Streets in particular. Later in 1910, Council requested the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council appoint a Commission to investigate charges of graft within the police department regarding trade in liquor and prostitution within a segregated area in the City (Rachel and McFarlane Streets). Judge Robson's report was received by the City in January of 1911. Although Council adopted a motion to have the Special Committee on Social Evil Question "remain a permanent Committee of the City Council for the year 1910", a handwritten note dated January 3, 1912 states "This matter has not been taken up." Committee minutes exist for three meetings in 1910 (March 17, 21 and 22). No file code was assigned to this special committee.

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Committee to Investigate Charges regarding Purchase of Motor Trucks

  • Corporate body
  • 1920

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 Committee to Investigate Charges regarding Purchase of Motor Trucks was appointed on February 2, 1920 to address allegations made by the Winnipeg Motor Trades Association, Car Section, that tenders to supply vehicles to the City did not receive impartial consideration. The file contains a Resolution by the Winnipeg Motor Trades Association, Car Section, which includes the names of vehicle dealerships and managers. Also included is a statement by J. G. Sullivan, Consulting Engineer, refuting the charge. Sullivan's statement is signed by members of the committee responsible for selecting vehicles for purchase.

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