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

Riel's Cabinet of 1869-1870

Photograph shows (Front row, L-R): Robert O'Lone, Paul Proulx. (Centre row, L-R): Pierre Poitras, John Bruce, Louis Riel, John O'Donoghue, Fran'ois Dauphinais. (Rear row, L-R): Bonnet Tromage, Pierre de Lorme, Thomas Bunn, Xavier Page, Baptiste Beauchemin, Baptiste Tournond, Joseph (Thomas?) Spence. (Source: Library and Archives Canada / PA-012854).

Date of photograph is approximate, ca. 1869.

City of Winnipeg Archives Photograph collection

  • c00013
  • Collection
  • 1871-1997

Collection consists of photographs and related records created by a wide variety of sources and collected by the City of Winnipeg Archives and Records Control Branch. The photographs were originally collected as part of a proposed Winnipeg museum; further records were added to the collection after being transferred from various City of Winnipeg departments or received as unsolicited donations from the public. The photographs depict municipal government activities and infrastructure, geographical features, business and personal activities. In addition to municipal governments, creators of the photographs include professional photographers, private individuals and various publishers.

City of Winnipeg (1874-1971)

  • f00001
  • Fonds
  • 1871-1971

Fonds 1 consists of administrative, legislative, financial and photographic records documenting the operation of the City of Winnipeg prior to amalgamation.

A substantial part of the fonds consists of records documenting the debates and decisions of Council, such as Council minutes and by-laws. Also included are minutes of the Board of Control, as well as minutes and reports of other standing and special committees of Council. These records cover a wide range of municipal functions, including finance, land use planning, public works, social services and other municipal services.

Some municipal responsibilities are documented in greater detail in departmental records or records of various boards and commissions. These include parks and recreation, public health and planning. General information about the City of Winnipeg, including elected representatives, history, and statistics can be found in City Clerk's Department records.

Records that document the financial history of the City include tax assessment records, auditors reports and financial statements.

Photographic records document the growth of the City and activities of elected officials, municipal employees, and citizens.

Winnipeg (Man.)

City of Winnipeg Archives Art Collection

  • c00017
  • Collection
  • 1872[?]-2011[?]

Consists of ca. 400 pieces of art that range from paintings to large photograph collages, to three dimensional objects. The dates likely range from 1872 to 2011. Most of the artwork is framed.

Sketch of Upper Fort Garry

Photograph taken of a sketch by an unknown artist of Upper Fort Garry. In addition to the fort, soldiers in formation are featured, as are canoes and Indigenous peoples across the Assinibone River. The photograph's reverse side credits it to J. Penrose Photo Studio.

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