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

Winnipeg Flood Record and Archives Committee

  • 1997-

The Flood Record and Archives Committee was created in May of 1997 by the Chief Commissioner, Board of Commissioners of the City of Winnipeg, and was dissolved in [1998]. Its mandate was to collect records of all Winnipeg, Manitoba floods from City departments and to add to existing archives. Collecting focussed on records created by the City of Winnipeg administration, records collected from outside organisations for elected officials, and records existing in the City of Winnipeg Archives. The Committee was chaired by the City Clerk, and included the City Records Manager and Archivist, the Emergency Program Co-ordinator, and a Flood of the Century journalist from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The Emergency Preparedness and Co-ordination Committee was created in the early 1980’s, and managed the 1997 flood in Winnipeg. It co-ordinated the activities of all civic departments, outside agencies, the public sector, and volunteer groups during the State of Emergency. In April and May, sandbagging operations were undertaken along rivers in the city and in the flooded regions to the south as the Red River crested at 24.5 feet above normal. Rural and urban areas were evacuated, and the Provencher Bridge in Saint-Boniface was closed. The EPCC’s permanent provincial affiliate is the Inter-agency Committee for Emergency Preparedness, co-ordinated by the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organisation. The EPCC is supervised by the city’s Emergency Control Committee (Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chair of Works and Operations, Chair of Protection, Parks and Culture, and Board of Commissioners members) which is responsible for implementing the Emergency Preparedness Program. The EPCC is chaired by the Commissioner of Protection, Parks and Culture and operates out of the Emergency Operations Centre in the City Hall Council building basement.

Tuxedo Park Company, Ltd.

  • Corporate body

Between 1903 and 1905, Winnipeg real estate agent Frederick W. Huebach began to purchase land for the Tuxedo Park Company, Limited, the controlling investors of which were located in the United States: E. C. Kenaston, E. C. Warner and Walter D. Douglas. Huebach was a managing director of the firm. In 1905, the company acquired farmland owned by Mary and Archibald Wright. This significant purchase, as well as several smaller land purchases, increased the amount of land intended for development to approximately 3,000 acres. Huebach planned to see the area transformed into a “Suburb Beautiful”, and approached architect and engineer Rickson A. Outhet at his Tuxedo Park, New York office to create an appropriate plan. Outhet visited Winnipeg in 1906 to survey the land and complete work on this commission (Manitoba Free Press, April 17, 1906). In 1910, Huebach and associates created the South Winnipeg Company and engaged the Olmsted brothers to plan the subdivision west of the Agricultural College. This plan included details of a site intended for a university. West of the proposed university site lay an area referred to as “Rydal” or “West Rydal”, which was laid out for residential development. While plans to develop the area were delayed for a variety of reasons, investors continued to support the venture and a number of companies were created to manage land transactions and investment: Tuxedo (Winnipeg) Syndicate, Limited; South Winnipeg Limited (later South Winnipeg 1923 Limited); Norwood (Winnipeg) Syndicate, Limited; Warner Land Company; Tuxedo Estates, Limited; Kenaston Realty Company; Univrsity Estates, Limited; Assiniboine Estates, Limited; Assiniboine Investments, Limited; South Assiniboine Estates, Limited; West Rydal Limited; and The Canadian Agency.

Frederick William Heubach was born in Ottawa in 1859 and arrived in Winnipeg in 1879. He was employed first as an accountant with the Hudson’s Bay Company, and then as Manager of the Winnipeg Industrial Development Exhibition Association. In 1902, he partnered with W. J. Christie, an established real estate broker, until incorporating his own business in 1905. Huebach died in 1914.

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.

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).

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.

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.

St. Vital (Man.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1880-1971

The Rural Municipality and City of St. Vital dates to 1880 when the RM of St. Boniface was incorporated. After the Town of St. Boniface was formed in 1883, the RM of St. Boniface continued to operate as its own government and in 1903 changed its name to St. Vital to avoid confusion. The name likely derives from one of the earliest schools in the area built by Bishop Taché and named after his coadjutor Bishop Vital Grandin. The municipality experienced a series of boundary changes beginning in 1891 when it was reduced to the east and extended in the west and south. Further alterations were made in 1912 when the community on the west side of the Red River separated to form the RM of Fort Garry, and then in 1914, when a large tract of land was annexed to the City of St. Boniface and land annexed from the RM of Ritchot. It was bounded on the west and east by the Red and Seine Rivers, Carriere Avenue on the north and Grande Pointe on the south. It included parts of the Parishes of St. Boniface, St. Vital, and St. Norbert. In 1960, St. Vital became part of the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg. With the passing of An Act to provide a Charter for the City of St. Vital, it achieved city status on June 9, 1962.

Councils consisted of a Reeve or Mayor and, in most instances, six councillors. The municipality derived authority from provincial legislation and was subject to the provisions of The Municipal Act, The Metropolitan Winnipeg Act and The Greater Winnipeg Gas Distribution Act. It briefly lost its mandate to govern between 1925 and 1927 when the Winnipeg Suburban Municipal Board stepped in due to financial difficulties. Standing committees and delegations changed from year to year in response to municipal growth. Council members notably participated in the St. Vital Advisory Planning Commission, St. Vital Library Board, and St. Vital Parks Board. Departments within the municipality included Administration, Public Works, Police and Fire. In 1952, Police and Fire went from being one department into two. Shortly after St. Vital became a city in 1962, the position of Secretary-Treasurer was split into City Clerk and City Treasurer.

The City of St. Vital 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, the Community of St. Vital was created as part of the new municipal structure.

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.

Transcona (Man.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1912-1971

The Town of Transcona, Manitoba was founded in 1912, was granted a City Charter in 1961 and was dissolved in 1972 when it joined eleven other municipalities in amalgamation with the City of Winnipeg. Its mandate was to provide municipal services, primarily to immigrants attracted by employment opportunities following the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway (1907) and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway shops (1908). It’s immediate predecessor was a Board of Trade, set up in 1911 to govern the growing settlement. 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. In 1921, Transcona declared bankruptcy and the area was administred by the Manitoba government until 1928. The name “Transcona” is derived from the National Transcontinental Railway and continues today as an electoral ward within the City of Winnipeg.

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).

Winnipeg (Man.). Joint Committee on Vacant Lands Settlement

  • Corporate body
  • 1888

The Joint Committee on Vacant Lands Settlement, also known as the Special Committee on Colonization, was appointed by Council on January 30, 1888 to work with the Board of Trade and other interested parties to devise “a scheme for the settlement of vacant lands in the vicinity of the City of Winnipeg”. The City’s interest in settlement of these lands is apparent as early as 1880 when Council passed a motion on June 14 of that year calling for the Dominion government to “unlock” and distribute land “set aside for the children of Half Breeds” in the Manitoba Act of 1870. The Joint Committee’s plan was implemented during the spring and summer of 1888. It involved the preparation and distribution of information pamphlets by travelling agents hired by the Joint Committee and by agents in North American ports of arrival. Various bonuses were offered to agents and others for successful settlement of these lands. In December of 1888, Council instructed the City Solicitor to prepare a by-law that would enable Council to issue debentures to fund the work of the Colonization Committee during 1889 (By-Law 431). Being a money by-law, it was put to a vote by rate-payers and was defeated at the polls. Although the Joint Committee on Vacant Lands Settlement appears not to have continued beyond 1888, communications received by the City suggest that efforts to encourage settlement of lands around the City of Winnipeg were ongoing into the 1890s.

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 Housing Conditions. Fact Finding Board on Housing Conditions

  • Corporate body
  • 1947

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. The Special Committee on Housing Conditions was formed in 1933. The Fact Finding Board on Housing Conditions was appointed in April of 1947 and completed their work in June of 1947.

The Fact Finding Board on Housing Conditions was established by Council in April of 1947. The motion read: "Be it resolved that a fact finding board in respect of housing in general in Winnipeg be appointed by the mayor and that the board report to council by July 1." The Board was made up of three aldermen and the mayor, and one member each from the following organizations: Winnipeg House Builders Association, Greater Winnipeg Lumber Dealers Association, Winnipeg Builders Exchange, Building Trades Council of Winnipeg, Winnipeg and District Trades and Labour Council, Canadian Legion, B.E.S.L. and Winnipeg Unit, Army and Navy Veterans in Canada. The Board solicited information from various jurisdictions, as well as briefs from individuals or groups with an interest in solving the City's housing crisis. The final Report of the City of Winnipeg, Fact Finding Board on Housing in Winnipeg was completed June 27, 1947 and the Board was dissolved.

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