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

St. James - Winnipeg Airport Commission

  • Corporate body
  • 1938-1965

In 1936, after considering a number of sites for the establishment of an airport, the City of Winnipeg and the Rural Municipality of St. James agreed to develop Stevenson Field as a modern municipal airport. Stevenson Field had been operated by the Winnipeg Flying Club on land in the Rural Municipality of St. James since 1929. It was named for Captain F. J. Stevenson, a noted Manitoba flyer who died in a crash in 1928. Private flyers, commercial companies and the RCAF Non-Permanent Squadron used this field. The new airport was to be managed and controlled by a commission.

The St. James - Winnipeg Airport Commission Act was passed by the Legislature of Manitoba in 1938 and the inaugural meeting was held on March 30, 1938. The Commission was a statutory corporation with full control over the operation of the airport, with the added intent to work toward making the airport into a self-sustaining commercial entity. In 1940, the Government of Canada embarked on its Empire Air Training Scheme and Stevenson Airport was placed under the direction of the Minister of Transport for the duration of World War Two. During this time, the Commission continued in an advisory capacity. Following the war, the federal government retained control of the airport and the Commission continued in an advisory role. In 1962, the name "Stevenson Field" was changed to "Winnipeg International Airport". In 1965, the Commission was wound up and its assets distributed. In 1997, Transport Canada transferred control of the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport to the Winnipeg Airports Authority, Inc.

The Commission was comprised of seven members: two were members of the Council of the City of Winnipeg; two were members of the Council of the Rural Municipality of St. James; two were non-Council members (one selected by the City of Winnipeg and one selected by the Rural Municipality of St. James); and one was a representative of the aviation industry in the Greater Winnipeg area appointed by the six other members. Under the terms of incorporation, the Commission was required to report to Council at the end of each year or as required.

South Winnipeg (1923) Limited

  • Corporate body
  • 1911-?

South Winnipeg Limited was incorporated in Manitoba shortly after 1911 as a result of an agreement signed by Tuxedo Estates Limited, Tuxedo Park Company Limited, Kenaston Realty Company Limited and Warner Land Company Limited in 1911. The principals and major investors in these companies were Frederick W. Heubach and David Finkelstein of Winnipeg, E. C. Kenaston of Hopkins, Minnesota (president of American-Abel Engine and Thresher Company), E. C. Warner of Minneapolis (president of Midland Linseed Oil Company), G. F. Piper of Minneapolis (Piper and Co. Wholesale Grain Merchants), Walter D. Douglas of Cedar Rapids, Iowa (president of American Cereal Co.). South Winnipeg Limited was incorporated for the purpose of amalgamating various properties in and around Tuxedo, with plans to develop and sell this land for industrial and residential purposes. The company was reorganized in 1923 as South Winnipeg (1923) Limited and continued to buy and sell land. It was sold circa 1950 to Sir Denys Lowson, Lord Mayor of London. After Lowson’s death, the company was purchased by a Winnipeg firm.

Old Kildonan (Man.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1921-1971

The Rural Municipality of Old Kildonan, Manitoba was incorporated in 1921 following subdivision of the Rural Municipality of West Kildonan, and dissolved in 1972 when it joined eleven other municipalities in amalgamating with the City of Winnipeg. Its mandate was to provide municipal services to residents of the area. Its immediate predecessor, the Rural Municipality of West Kildonan, was incorporated in 1914 as a result of subdivision of the original Municipality of Kildonan (incorporated 1881, with jurisdiction over land on both the east and west sides of the Red River). Prior to creation of the Province of Manitoba in 1870, the area was administered by the Council of Assiniboia (1835-1870). 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. The signing of Treaty 1 with the Chippewa (Anishinabe) and Cree First Nations in 1871 increased settlement in the region and accelerated the process of municipal development. The name “Kildonan” dates from 1817, when the Earl of Selkirk created the Parish of Kildonan while visiting the colony he had established in 1812. The name refers to the Strath of Kildonan on the Sutherland estate in Scotland from whence a number of his settlers had come.

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.

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.

Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg (Man.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1960-1971

The Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg (Metro) was established by Manitoba’s Metropolitan Winnipeg Act in 1960 to govern the distribution of services between the City and surrounding areas. It was dissolved in 1972 when suburban municipalities amalgamated with Winnipeg under the project called Unicity. Metro had jurisdiction over inter-municipal services such as water, parks and public transportation. It was responsible for municipal boards and commissions as well as services previously administered by suburban municipalities. Metro was affiliated with suburban municipal governments, rural and otherwise, for Brooklands, Charleswood, East Kildonan, Fort Garry, North Kildonan, Old Kildonan, Saint-Boniface, Saint-Vital, St. James, Transcona, Tuxedo, and West Kildonan. In 1969 the Province of Manitoba undertook a review of this system, which led to Metro’s dissolution. It was governed by a Council and Committees system, the administrative functions being organised into divisions, and each reporting to the Executive Director of the Corporation. In its time, Metro was the second two-tiered municipal government in North America.

Kildonan (Man.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1880-1914

The municipality of Kildonan was originally formed from the municipality of Kildonan and St. John’s (incorporated in 1876) after the passing by the Provincial Government of the Municipal Incorporation Act of 1873. The municipality of Kildonan and St. John’s was renamed Kildonan after the Provincial Act of 1880, with jurisdiction over land on both the east and west sides of the Red River. The name “Kildonan” dates from 1817, when the Earl of Selkirk created the Parish of Kildonan while visiting the colony he had established in 1812. The name refers to the Strath of Kildonan on the Sutherland estate in Scotland from whence a number of his settlers had come.

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.

Fort Garry (Man.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1899-1975

The Rural Municipality of Fort Garry, Manitoba was incorporated in 1912 and dissolved in 1972 when it joined eleven other municipalities in amalgamation with the City of Winnipeg. Prior to creation of the Province of Manitoba, the area was administered by the Council of Assiniboia (1835-1870). 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 and began the process of municipal incorporation. The name “Fort Garry” continues as electoral ward Charleswood – Fort Garry within the City of Winnipeg.

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.

Charleswood (Man.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1913-1971.

The Rural Municipality of Charleswood was incorporated in 1913 when the community on the south side of the Assiniboine River chose to separate from the Municipality of Assiniboia. The RM included those portions of the Parishes of Headingley and St. Charles that lay south of the river, but excluded any property belonging to the Town of Tuxedo or City of Winnipeg. According to the Charleswood Historical Society, Charleswood was either named after the councilman Charles Kelly or the Parish of St. Charles and the nearby woodlands. An Act to Amend "The Municipal Boundaries Act" officially created the RM. This piece of provincial legislation came into force on February 15, 1913. George Chapman became the first Reeve shortly thereafter.

Councils consisted of a Reeve or Mayor and four Councillors. The functional responsibilities of the RM of Charleswood were defined in versions of The Municipal Act and would later change in 1960 with the creation of the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg. At one time, the municipal office would have included the following positions: City Clerk, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Works, Municipal Accountant, Chief Constable, Fire Chief, Shop Foreman, Draughtsman, and Welfare Officer. The law firm Lawrence & Sansome was routinely hired as solicitors and Templeton Engineering served as consultants for many years. In addition to Council, the municipal government included the Town Planning Committee, Public Works Committee, and Charleswood Voluntary Fire Brigade. It was part of the St. James-St. Vital-Fort Garry-Charleswood-Assiniboia-Tuxedo Health Unit.

Charleswood was a predominantly rural area supported by agricultural production, dairy and poultry farms, and mink ranches. Following the Second World War, there was a marked increase in population and an expansion of residential areas. One development that dates from this time was a settlement for ex-servicemen called Roblin Park, a project made possible by the Veteran’s Land Act. The growth of Charleswood into “the Suburb Beautiful” was accompanied by the increase and diversification of local services and businesses. The municipal government mirrored these changes and constructed the first Municipal Civic Centre in 1965.

The RM of Charleswood ceased to exist in 1972, when 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. Following amalgamation, Charleswood Park was created as part of the new municipal structure.

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