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

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authority records
Municipal government

Assiniboia (Man.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1880-1968

The Rural Municipality of Assiniboia was one of the three original municipalities that surrounded the City of Winnipeg. It was incorporated in 1880 when the Province of Manitoba divided its entire area into municipalities. In 1969, the Rural Municipality of Assiniboia joined with the City of St. James to form the City of St. James-Assiniboia.

The first Council for the Rural Municipality of Assiniboia met in 1880, with William Tait as Warden. The first Council for the new City of St. James-Assiniboia met on January 7, 1969, with A. W. Hanks as Mayor.

Brooklands (Man.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1921-1968

Both the Rural Municipality and the Village of Brooklands were incorporated on June 10, 1921 through Order in Council No. 36806. Originally part of the Rural Municipality of Rosser, Brooklands qualified for village status under section 9 of chapter 133 of The Municipal Act. The Letters Patent incorporating Brooklands as a village describe the municipality’s original boundaries as “comprising not more than 640 acres, formerly comprised within the limits and extent of the Rural Municipality of Rosser, bounded on the south by Notre Dame Avenue, on the east by Keewatin Street, on the north by Geyser Avenue, and on the west by the center line running north and south of section 14 in township 11 in range 2 east of the first principal meridian in the Province of Manitoba.” On October 4, 1961, under section 16 of The Municipal Act and through Order in Council No. 1207, the Village of Brooklands became a Town. Six years later, in 1967, the Town of Brooklands amalgamated into the City of St. James. In 1968, a further merger between the City of St. James and the Rural Municipality of Assiniboia resulted in formation of the new City of St. James-Assiniboia, which in turn joined eleven other municipalities in amalgamation with the City of Winnipeg in 1972.

Note that from 1939 until 1954, the Village of Brooklands was under the jurisdiction of the Municipal and Public Utility Board. In 1959, after approximately four years of independence, the Village was taken back under the supervision of the Public Utility Board. In 1954, after nearly eighteen years under a provincial trustee, Brooklands was granted the right to administer its own school affairs.

As in other municipalities, government organization in Brooklands was dictated by its letters patent. Accordingly, council consisted of a mayor, sometimes called a reeve, and four councilors elected by qualified electors of the village/town. Council duties included the formulation of public policy, implementation and administration. Like other municipal councils, policy administration was delegated to standing committees comprised of council members. Standing committees were: finance, by-laws, public works, social welfare, water works, fire and police services. In addition to these functions, the municipality was responsible for assessment, tax collection, elections, and for at least part of its history, overseeing a school district. In the 1960’s, with powers acquired when it achieved Town status, council established a Parks Board and an Industrial Development Board.

Typically, daily operations within a municipality are carried out by line departments. It is likely that these records were merged into departmental records in the City of St. James following the merger in 1967, and subsequently into record series in the City of St. James-Assiniboia and the City of Winnipeg at amalgamation. Remaining records for the Village and Town of Brooklands provide little information on departmental organization or operations.

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.

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.

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.

St. James-Assiniboia (Man.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1908-1971

The City of St. James-Assiniboia, Manitoba, was incorporated in 1968, the product of a merger between the City of St. James and the Rural Municipality of Assiniboia, and was dissolved in 1972 when it joined eleven other municipalities in amalgamation with the City of Winnipeg. The City of St. James grew out of the Rural Municipality of St. James, which had been partitioned out of the Municipality of Assiniboia and incorporated in 1921 (in effect, separating the urban and rural parts of the Municipality of Assiniboia, with St. James representing the urban portion). The Rural Municipality of St. James, became the City of St. James in 1956 and merged with the Town of Brooklands in 1967. The mandate was to provide municipal services to citizens of the area.

The name “St. James” originated in 1853 when the Church of England received a grant of land from the Hudson’s Bay Company and formed the Parish of St. James. 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. Once Treaty 1 was signed in 1871, settlement in the region increased, as did the process of municipal development. The name “St. James” continues as an electoral ward within the City of Winnipeg.

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.

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.

Tuxedo (Man.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1913-1971

The former Town of Tuxedo began as a real estate venture when Frederick William Huebach identified the area for development and founded the Tuxedo Park Company Limited in 1905. The original Town Plan for Tuxedo was designed by landscape architect Rickson A. Outhet of Montreal in 1905. The Outhet plan was never implemented. In 1910, after acquiring additional land, Heubach commissioned the Olmsted brothers (sons of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park in New York City) to create a new plan for Tuxedo. On January 24, 1913, the Tuxedo Park Company Limited incorporated the Town of Tuxedo and Heubach became its first Mayor.

The Town of Tuxedo Council consisted of a mayor and four councilors. The Town managed its own police and fire departments and the Tuxedo Public Recreation Commission. It was part of the St. James-St. Vital-Fort Garry-Charlewood-Assiniboia-Tuxedo Health Unit. There were three public schools located within the Town, managed by the Assiniboine South School Division No. 3.

The Town of Tuxedo 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.

Winnipeg (Man.), 1972-

  • Corporate body
  • 1972-

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.

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