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

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, 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.

Members and Officials of the Council of the City of Winnipeg, 1875

Photograph shows William Nassau Kennedy, Mayor, Alderman John Cameron, Alderman Willoughby Clark, Alderman Matthew Davis, Alderman William Gomez Fonseca, Alderman John Hacket, Alderman Alexander Logan, Alderman Thomas Lusted, Alderman James McLenaghan, Alderman Alexander McMicken, Alderman Dugald Sinclair, Alderman Archibald Wright. D.B. Murray, Chief of Police, Capt. Thomas Scott, Chief Engineer, Fire Brigade, D.M. Walker, City Solicitor, A. MacArthur, Auditor, Col. John Kennedy, Assessor, Thomas Inglis, Architect of Market, A.M. Brown, City Clerk, James S. Ramsay, City Chamberlain, T.H. Parr, City Engineer, G.D. McVicar, Assessor, Colin F. Strang, Auditor, Henry Kirk, Messenger.

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.)

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