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

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City of Winnipeg 2012 Earth Day Art Activity Working Group

  • Collectivité
  • 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

  • Collectivité
  • 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

  • Collectivité

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

  • Collectivité
  • 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

  • Collectivité
  • 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).

Landen, Frederick Cluett

  • Personne
  • 1878-1966

Frederick Cluett Landen was born in Hull, Yorkshire, England in 1878. He first came to Winnipeg sometime between 1901 and 1903 to see what the City had to offer. While there, he took several photographs and added them to an album given to him by his older brother, Arthur, in the hopes that they would convince his fiancé, Mary Elizabeth, to move there, which they did in around 1904. Landen continued to add photographs to his album until 1906 and he and Mary Elizabeth lived in Winnipeg for the rest of their lives, starting a painting and decorating business and having two children. Mary Elizabeth passed away in 1939, followed by her husband in 1966.

Charles E. Goad Company

  • Collectivité
  • 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.

Wallace, John

  • Personne
  • [ca. 1920]-[after 1996]

John Wallace was a corporal in a branch of the Canadian military during and sometime before the Second World War. He lived in Fort Osborne Barracks before the War.

Kalen, Henry

  • Personne
  • 1928-2004

For more information on Henry Kalen, see the Henry Kalen fonds at the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections.

Henry Kalen was born in Winnipeg on January 20, 1928. He attended the University of Manitoba and obtained a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1957. Kalen became a well known photographer, particularly for architecture firms, and eventually became a lecturer at the University of Manitoba. Kalen passed away in 2004.

Allan, Hugh

  • Personne
  • 1917-2004

For more information on Hugh Allan, see the Hugh Allan fonds at the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections.

Hugh Allan was born on May 14, 1917 in Cypress River, Manitoba, and eventually moved to Winnipeg, where he became a highly regarded photographer. Allan worked for many different employers, including Time Magazine and Maclean's, but he is most famous for his work with the Winnipeg Tribune, which employed him from 1950 to 1970. After leaving the Tribune, Allan worked as a freelance photographer. He passed away on May 30, 2004.

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

  • Collectivité
  • 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.

Thompson, Susan A.

  • Personne
  • 1947-

Susan A. Thompson was the 40th mayor and first woman mayor of the City of Winnipeg. She was born in Winnipeg on 12 April 1947. Spending most of her youth in the city, she graduated from the University of Winnipeg Collegiate in 1967 and earned her BA from the same university in 1971.

Embarking on a successful career in retail, Thompson worked for Eaton’s and the Hudson’s Bay Company in Winnipeg, Calgary, and Montreal. Called home in 1980 after her father’s illness, she bought the family business Birt Saddlery, a long standing and well known local business, and embarked on a successful career as an independent businesswoman. In that capacity, she worked hard to break many barriers for women in business, eventually becoming active in a number of business organizations such as Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce.

In 1992, Thompson threw her hat in the mayoral ring, winning the election in October of that year. She won a second term in 1995 and was instrumental in guiding forces in the fight against the Flood of the Century in 1997. Thompson did not seek a third term in 1998. Instead, in 1999, she was appointed as the Counsul General for Canada in Minnesota, the first woman to hold that position since it was instituted 30 years earlier. During her tenure as the Counsul General, Thompson actively promoted Canadian business and political interests with our southern neighbours.

Returning to Winnipeg in 2003, Thompson became the first and founding President and CEO of the University of Winnipeg Foundation, a position she held until 2011. The University of Winnipeg Foundation serves the University of Winnipeg in the areas of Students scholarships and bursaries, Capital projects, and academic enhancements.

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Food Committee

  • Collectivité
  • 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

  • Collectivité
  • 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

  • Collectivité
  • 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.

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