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

Showing 116 results

authority records

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.). 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.). Better Housing Commission

  • Corporate body
  • 1966-1971

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 and commissions to investigate and manage various projects, issues and questions placed before the City.

The Better Housing Commission was formed in 1966 as specified in Section 707A of The Winnipeg Charter. The Commission consisted of five persons appointed annually by Winnipeg City Council. The Commission heard appeals related to notices issued under By-law No. 19165 (Minimum Standard of Housing Repair By-law). This by-law established minimum standards for the state of repair of the exteriors of residential buildings and of buildings in residential areas, and enabled enforcement. Members of the Commission in its inaugural year were: Alderman S. Rebchuk, George A. Stewart, E. J. W. Akins, T. A. MacFarlen, and Serge Radchuk. With the exception of Serge Radchuk, who was replaced by Fred James in 1967, membership remained the same until the last year of the Commission. The Better Housing Commission ceased operations in 1971 with the formation of Unicity.

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.). 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.). 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.). 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.'

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