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

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archival descriptions
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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.)

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.)

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.)

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.)

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.)

Winnipeg Board of Parks and Recreation

Forms part of Fonds 1. The Winnipeg Board of Parks and Recreation was responsible for managing all public parks located in the City of Winnipeg. The Board had the power to employ appropriate staff; pass by-laws regarding the use, protection and governance of City parks; assess and levy rates to cover costs for park improvements; and to acquire, expropriate and dispose of land for park purposes. The Board was required to keep records regarding its decisions and financial transactions.

The minutes, by-laws, communications and reports of the Winnipeg Board of Parks and Recreation trace the development of public park space in Winnipeg.

The records consist of five sub-series:

Sub-Series 10:Minutes, 1893-1964

Sub-Series 11:Minutes, Standing and Special Committees, 1893-1964

Sub-Series 12:Communications, 1901-1931. Bound Letter Press volumes and loose correspondence

Sub-Series 13: Reports, 1892-1971

Sub-Series 14:By-Laws, 1928-1963

Winnipeg (Man.). Board of Parks and Recreation

City Surveyor

Series consists of correspondence, all of which relates to personnel matters including recommendations about specific individuals, wages and classifications, employment policies such as the so-called “Slave Pact” implemented after the strike in 1919, seniority lists and related staffing policies and practices.

Winnipeg (Man.). City Surveyor

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.

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.)

Bound Correspondence

Forms part of Collection 9: Series consists of 21 bound volumes of correspondence created or received by Chief Commissioner Richard Frost during his tenure with the Board of Commissioners of the City of Winnipeg. The correspondence is in chronological order.

The correspondence documents the leadership role of the Board of Commissioners and contains advice to Council on key issues; proposed and initiated administrative changes and improvements; crisis management; executive mentorship; fiscal management; coordination of service delivery; financial performance; professional development; capital project planning; city planning; flood management; and, governance issues.

Frost, Richard L. (Rick)

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