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

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authority records

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.

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.

Western Canada Fire Underwriters' Association

  • Corporate body
  • 1917-1955

The Canada Fire Underwriters’ Association (CFUA) was founded in 1883 by thirty participating fire insurance companies “to establish tariffs of rates for all cities, towns and villages, making due allowance for construction and the fire appliances of each, and to make rules for the due regulation of business generally”. To reflect changes and growth in the mandate of the CFUA, the Association underwent several name changes over the years, changing its name to the Canada Underwriters’ Association in 1936 and to the Insurers’ Advisory Organization in 1975.

In 1911, the CFUA struck an agreement with the Charles E. Goad Company by which the Company was to create and revise fire insurance plans exclusively for the Association. This arrangement was terminated in 1917 and soon after the CFUA established its own plan department, known as the Underwriters’ Survey Bureau, Limited. In 1931, the Bureau purchased all assets of the Goad Company, including the copyright to insurance plans. The CFUA’s Western Canada Fire Underwriters’ Association Plan Department created fire insurance plans for the Prairie Provinces until the centralization of plan production in 1960. After completing the revision of the Winnipeg plan in 1975, the Association decided to cease development of fire insurance plans due to increasing costs and limited demand. The Insurers’ Advisory Organization is still in existence today.

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.

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