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

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Cornerstone Casket, 1875

Forms part of Fonds 1, City of Winnipeg (1874-1971): Series 82 consists of items contained in a casket prepared by City Council for placement in the cornerstone of the City's first city hall.

Not long after incorporation, City Council proposed construction of a city hall. A site on Main Street between William and Market Avenues was selected. On August 17, 1875, the cornerstone of the new city hall was laid with Masonic honors by Grand Master the Rev. Dr. Clark and officers of the Grand Lodge. A civic holiday was declared to mark the occasion, and speeches were made by Chief Justice Wood, the Hon. R. S. Davis, Premier of Manitoba, and American Consul James Wickes Taylor. At the ceremony, a casket was deposited into the cornerstone ' the casket contained coins, bills, newspapers and photographs of the City. Today, such a box would be called a time capsule.

Completed in 1876 and formally opened on March 14 of that year, the first city hall suffered chronic structural problems. Repairs were attempted, but were not successful, and for some time, the building was propped up with wooden braces until it was finally judged unsound and demolished in 1883. At demolition, the casket was removed and eventually placed into the cornerstone of the second city hall. When this building was demolished in 1962, the caskets were moved to a bank safety deposit box and then to the Archives.

Winnipeg (Man.). City Council

City Engineer

Part of City of Winnipeg (1874-1971) fonds. Series consists of records created and maintained by the City Engineer and Engineering Department.

Winnipeg (Man.). City Engineer

By-laws

Forms part of Fonds 1. Series consists of by-laws for the City of Winnipeg pre-unicity (1874-1971). By-laws are municipal laws that were passed or amended by City Council. By-laws relate to City land development, regulations, local improvements, street names/openings/closings, authorization of agreements, finance/taxation, governance/administration, and amendments to previous by-laws.

Original by-laws dating 1874-1971 exist in a set of trifolds and are numbered 1-19876. By-laws are numbered chronologically according to date created.

Winnipeg (Man.). City Council

Council Communications

Forms part of Fonds 1. Series consists of all surviving correspondence directed toward the City Council of Winnipeg via the City Clerk, with the exception of those items of correspondence that were filed with other series at the time of creation and/or use. Correspondence dates from the first year of the City of Winnipeg's incorporation in 1874 until 1971.

Civic employees, citizens of Winnipeg, and any other persons interested in communicating with the municipal government of Winnipeg wrote to City Council on a wide variety of topics, including civic administration (e.g. by-laws, elections, etc.), local improvements and developments (e.g. sanitation, the water supply, schools, parks, streets, traffic, bridges, etc.), invitations to conventions and other events, legal disputes, and assessments and taxation, among other issues.

Originally all correspondence was enclosed in a City Clerk's cover page to form a packet, which was then assigned a number. The packet was then folded twice and placed in pack boxes in chronological order. The numbering scheme was started anew several times over the years.

Winnipeg (Man.). City Council

Election Records

Forms part of Fonds 1: Series consists of records created, accumulated and used by the City Clerk's Department to run elections for Mayor, Councilors and School Trustees and to record the vote on money by-laws, referenda and plebiscites. The records document the development of election processes including those designed to implement proportional representation in 1920; disputes regarding the counting of the vote and judicial recounts; nomination papers and oaths of office; staffing of election polls; preparation of voters lists; sample posters, ballots and other documentation created to facilitate the electoral process; and voters lists.

The records consist of three sub-series:

Sub-Series 4:Nominations and Results, 1874-1970

Sub-Series 5: Election Working Papers, 1874-1970

Sub-Series 6:Voters Lists, 1881-1970

Winnipeg (Man.). City Clerk's Department

Committee on Finance

Forms part of Fonds 1. Series consists of the minutes, communications, and reports of the Committee on Finance, and the records of its sub-committee, the Committee on Finance Claims.

The minutes, communications, and reports of the Finance Committee contain a wide range of information relating to works undertaken by the City, program administration, policy implementation, employment practices, and fiscal accountability of the City for the provision of services under Committee jurisdiction.

The records consist of 4 subseries:

Subseries 34: Minutes, 1883-1906, 1919-1971.

Subseries 35: Communications, 1874-1971.

Subseries 36: Reports, 1874-1903.

Subseries 37: Committee on Finance Claims, 1954-1971.

Winnipeg (Man.). Committee on Finance

Committee on Public Works

Forms part of Fonds 1. Series consists of the records of the Committee on Public Improvements and Works, a standing committee of Council from 1874-1971. Most minute volumes include original indexes.

The records consist of 3 subseries:

Subseries 45: Minutes, 1876-1971.

Subseries 46: Communications, 1903-1971.

Subseries 47: Registers, 1892-1950.

Winnipeg (Man.). Committee on Public Works

Council Minutes

Forms part of Fonds 1. Series includes City of Winnipeg Council Minutes dating 1874-1971, which briefly recount the proceedings of council meetings and are the official, legal record of decisions made by Council. Recorded decisions reveal municipal governance, resource allocation, and service delivery. Minutes also refer to topics debated, reports considered, by-laws introduced, communications received, decisions reached and votes taken during council meetings. Council minutes are a rich and detailed source of information about the history of the City of Winnipeg, and provide understanding of issues past and present in city politics.

Minutes dating up until 1912 are handwritten.

Handwritten indices begin in 1878 for early minute books.

Winnipeg (Man.). City Council

Committee on Public Health and Welfare

Forms part of Fonds 1. The duties of the Committee on Public Health and Welfare were: to consider and report to Council on matters pertaining to public health, sanitation, licensing, public markets and weigh houses, comfort stations, and some library matters; to report to Council on the work of the Health Department after its formation in 1900; to act as an agent for the Dominion and/or Provincial governments; to liaise with agencies outside of Winnipeg that received or provided services; and to assist persons on social assistance to find employment.

The minutes, communications and reports of the Committee on Public Health and Welfare and the City of Winnipeg Health Department trace decision making, program administration and fiscal accountability of the City for the provision of services under Committee jurisdiction.

The records consist of three sub-series:

Sub-Series 1:Minutes, 1876-1971

Sub-Series 2:Committee on Public Health and Welfare Communications, 1874-1971. Files arranged variously in chronological or file number order.

Sub-Series 3:Reports, Monthly and Annual, Health Department, 1908-1968.

Winnipeg (Man.). Committee on Public Health and Welfare

Statutory Declarations

Forms part of Fonds 1. Series consists of statutory declarations signed by incoming aldermen, mayors and civic officials. Most declarations are made on printed forms and contain the name and position of the person signing the declaration, as well as information on land ownership in the case of persons elected to council. Included in the series are declarations for the first Mayor of the City of Winnipeg, Francis Cornish, and the first City Clerk for the City of Winnipeg, Alexander MacDougall Brown. The series is not complete. Declarations are also found in Series 2, Election Records.

Winnipeg (Man.)

Cornerstone Casket, 1884

Forms part of Fonds 1, City of Winnipeg (1874-1971): Series 83 consists of items contained in a casket prepared by City Council for placement in the cornerstone of the City's second city hall.

Shortly after Winnipeg's first city hall was demolished in 1883, City Council called for plans and specifications to construct a second city hall. The cornerstone for this new building was laid on July 20, 1884 by Mayor Logan, with speeches from Captain Scott, Aldermen Mulvey, Wilson and Drewry and American Consul James Wickes Taylor, among others. The casket from Winnipeg's first city hall was placed into the cornerstone for the new city hall, along with a second smaller casket which contained a number of civic publications, coins and photographs.

Affectionately known as the "Gingerbread" building, the second city hall served Winnipeg until it was demolished in 1962 to make way for construction of the new civic centre. Upon demolition, the caskets were removed and opened and the contents moved to a bank safety deposit box and then to the Archives.

Winnipeg (Man.). City Council

Special Committees, Minutes

Forms part of Fonds 1: Series consists of bound minute books for special committees struck by Council. The minute books are chronological and each one contains minutes for multiple special committees active during a given timeframe. In most volumes, a list of special committees and their respective page numbers are recorded on the first few pages of the volume. Not all special committees appear in volume listings and not all page references are complete. Most special committees have associated correspondence and working papers in addition to minutes. These records are separate from minutes. From about 1924 onward, special committees and their associated files were assigned an alpha-numeric code beginning with the letter "A".

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, and permanently adjourned once the issue had been resolved or referred to Council with a recommended course of action.

Winnipeg (Man.)

Advisory and Planning Commission

Forms part of Fonds 12. The St. Boniface Advisory and Planning Commission, established as provided in Section 13 of the Town Planning Act, functioned from 1958 to 1971. The Commission was comprised of 7 members, 2 members from Council, and 5 citizens appointed by the Council. The Commission investigated and reported to Council on all matters related to the location and design of any public building, park, parkway, boulevard, street, land, playground, public grounds, housing scheme or other similar development, or any change thereto. In addition to its advisory duties, the Commission acted as a board of adjustment on zoning matters. The Commission’s recommendations were passed on to City Council for approval. In the vast majority of cases Council approved their recommendations.

The Commission was given free reign as to its rules of procedure and was expected to keep a record of its proceedings. The first secretary to the Commission from its inception in the fall of 1958 to the end of 1958 was the City Clerk, Maurice Prud’homme. On 3 December 1958, Fernand Marion was appointed secretary and served until the Commission disbanded in 1971 following the entry of St. Boniface into Unicity.

Series consists of case files arranged alphabetically by applicant name and administrative files including correspondence and minutes – minutes are incomplete.

St. Boniface (Man.)

By-laws

Forms part of Fonds 10. Series consists of all surviving by-laws for the Rural Municipality and City of St. Vital (1885-1971).* The earliest by-laws belong to the RM of St. Boniface, the predecessor and former name of St. Vital. By-laws passed by the Winnipeg Suburban Municipal Board, acting on behalf of St. Vital, appear from 1925 to 1927. Included in this series are schedules and other supporting documents as well as a set of indexes (1880-1971).

By-laws were pasted into volumes by the creator or attached to pages with tape or glue. By-laws often appear out of order as noted by the creator and, in a few instances, only copies are included. Series is arranged numerically (or chronologically by date of creation). All by-laws, except for those in volume 46, were kept in their original books.

*Includes by-laws 22 to 8738, not inclusive. Multiple by-laws, especially from 1885 to 1914, are missing. There is a significant jump in the numbering system from 2099 to 3000. For a more detailed description, see file list.

St. Vital (Man.)

Minutes

Forms part of Fonds 25. Series consists of all surviving minutes for the Council of the Rural Municipality of Assiniboia. Both regular and special meetings of Council are recorded, as well as minutes of standing or special committees. Included in this series are Notes from Council for the years 1904-1913 and Indexes for the years 1914, 1915, 1918 and 1919. Missing are minutes 1930-1931 and 1936.

Assiniboia (Man.)

A City at Leisure

Series consists of photographs collected by Catherine Macdonald and used to author the book, “A City at Leisure: An Illustrated History of Parks and Recreation Services in Winnipeg, 1893-1993”. The book was coordinated by the History and Archives subcommittee of the 100th Anniversary Committee of the Parks and Recreation Department to celebrate the department’s 100th anniversary. The subcommittee began its work in 1993 and the book was published in 1995. The photographs were reproduced from various sources including the Archives of Manitoba.

Minutes

Forms part of Fonds 12. Series consists of minutes for the Council of the Municipalite de St-Boniface, the Town of St. Boniface and the Ville de St-Boniface and/or City of St. Boniface. In addition to Council business, the minutes contain minutes and/or reports of committees created by Council (i.e. Committee on City Property, Finance Committee, Wood Purchasing Committee, Health and License Committee, Fire Committee, etc.).

The minutes begin in 1880 when St. Boniface was incorporated as a municipality. In 1893, St. Boniface was reclassified as a town and the minutes refer to the Ville de St-Boniface. Following incorporation as a City in 1908, the minutes continue to reference the Ville de St-Boniface in French and later the City of St. Boniface in English. Minutes are recorded in French until 1907. In 1908, minutes appear to have been recorded in French, with an English translation. Eventually, the French version contained very little French, with the bulk of minutes recorded in English even though a second copy was designated as the English Version. Both versions were retained.

In 1917, a monthly alphabetical index preceded the minutes for each month. The practice continued until 1932. In 1932, separate index volumes were created with subject matter organized alphabetically and page numbers provided for associated minutes numbers (minutes are first numbered in 1932).

Most of the minutes and indexes were originally filed in large binders. Where possible, they have been removed from bindings and rehoused in file folders to facilitate access. Council Minutes were filed chronologically and this arrangement has been maintained. The series is complete.

St. Boniface (Man.)

By-laws

Forms part of Fonds 25. Series consists of all surviving by-laws for the Rural Municipality of Assiniboia. Included in this series are supporting documents, Debenture By-laws, Misc. By-laws, agreements, and numbered indexes.

Assiniboia (Man.)

By-laws

Forms part of Fonds 26. Series consists of by-laws for the Rural Municipality of Kildonan. Included are bound by-laws numbered 229-417 (1908-1914), supporting documents tucked or stapled into bound volumes, and by-laws 4-417 folded in cardboard sheathes in packfile boxes. By-laws are not in perfect chronological order, and some may be missing.

Kildonan (Man.)

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