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Pathways to Winnipeg History Winnipeg in Focus

City Clerk's

Accessibility

Our Collection

A wealth of information about the social, political and economic development of Winnipeg, as well as its natural and built environments, is available at the City of Winnipeg Archives. Our holdings include records for all twelve municipalities that amalgamated in 1971 to form the current City of Winnipeg, as well as the records of the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg (METRO). If you are interested in learning about city issues in the greater Winnipeg area, the date when your neighbourhood park was established or how city services developed, the City's archival records can help to answer these questions.

Archival descriptions prepared for records held by the City of Winnipeg Archives and a growing number of digital reproductions are available in Winnipeg in Focus, a web-based application managed by Archives staff and hosted by the Archives Canada Digital Preservation Service (ACDPS).

Collection Overview

Minutes

Council minutes are a rich and detailed source of information about the history of the city and may also enrich your understanding of current issues in city politics.

Council minutes are the official, legal record of decisions taken by Council, and why. These decisions involve how the city is governed, how resources are allocated and how services are delivered to residents.

Council minutes tell briefly what happened at council meetings. They include references to topics debated, reports considered, by-laws introduced, communications received, decisions reached and votes taken. Our holdings include minutes for the following:

  • R. M. of Charleswood
  • R. M. of Fort Garry
  • R. M. of North Kildonan
  • R. M. of Old Kildonan
  • Town of Tuxedo
  • City of East Kildonan
  • City of West Kildonan
  • City of St. Vital
  • City of Transcona
  • City of St. Boniface
  • City of St. James
  • City of Winnipeg (1874-1971)
  • City of Winnipeg (1972-)
  • Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg (Metro)

By-Laws

By-laws are municipal laws passed or amended by Council. Our holdings include by-laws for the following:

  • R. M. of Charleswood
  • R. M. of Fort Garry
  • R. M. of North Kildonan
  • R. M. of Old Kildonan
  • Town of Tuxedo
  • City of East Kildonan
  • City of West Kildonan
  • City of St. Vital
  • City of Transcona
  • City of St. Boniface
  • City of St. James
  • City of Winnipeg (1874-1971)
  • City of Winnipeg (1972-)
  • Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg (Metro)

Assessment Rolls

Assessment rolls are created to enable property tax collection. Early assessment rolls contain some or all of the following information: name, occupation, salary and religion of the head of the household, as well as the description, ownership and assessed value of the property. Early assessment rolls are organized by municipality. Our holdings include assessment rolls for the following:

  • R. M. of Charleswood
  • R. M. of Fort Garry
  • R. M. of North Kildonan
  • R. M. of Old Kildonan
  • Town of Tuxedo
  • City of East Kildonan
  • City of West Kildonan
  • City of St. Vital
  • City of Transcona
  • City of St. Boniface
  • City of St. James
  • City of Winnipeg (1874-1971)
  • City of Winnipeg (1972-)

Election Records

Election records document the development of municipal election processes and the conduct of civic elections. Records include nomination papers for the offices of Mayor, Councillors and School Trustees; voters lists; records created to count the vote; sample posters, ballots and other materials. Our holdings include election records for the following:

  • R. M. of Charleswood
  • R. M. of Fort Garry
  • R. M. of North Kildonan
  • R. M. of Old Kildonan
  • Town of Tuxedo
  • City of East Kildonan
  • City of West Kildonan
  • City of St. Vital
  • City of Transcona
  • City of St. Boniface
  • City of St. James
  • City of Winnipeg (1874-1971)
  • City of Winnipeg (1972-)

Photographs

Our photograph collection contains photographs and postcards of the greater Winnipeg area. The collection includes views of buildings, street scenes and neighbourhoods, city works and operations, and some photographs of civic politicians and personnel. A new search tool - Winnipeg in FOCUS - is now available online. Note: only a fraction of the thousands of images in our collection are available online at this time - content will be added as resources allow.

Architectural and Engineering Drawings

Our holdings include a collection of architectural plans and engineering drawings for buildings and structures long since demolished, as well as for buildings that continue to serve the city. Plans in the collection date from 1900 and reflect the aesthetic of those early years. Notable plans include the Eaton's store on Portage Avenue, the Merchant's Bank on Lombard Avenue, Osborne Stadium, the old Children's Hospital at Redwood and Aberdeen, as well as plans for a variety of theatres, factories and unique civic structures like comfort stations (public washrooms) that have vanished from the built environment.

Maps and Plans

Managing the built environment is a critical function of civic government. Maps and plans are continuously created and revised by civic departments to plan and manage the maintenance and expansion of infrastructure and other urban amenities. Our holdings include maps and plans created by the City to track development of and changes to the built environment. As well, the Archives has residential plans for the Town of Tuxedo - note that all other plans are at Planning, Property and Development. Access to residential plans is restricted.

Correspondence

Correspondence records internal communication and interactions between municipalities and citizens, businesses, and other levels of government. Correspondence appears in multiple filing systems that reflect the organization, roles, and responsibilities of municipal government. Letters from citizens are often found in one of the central filing systems, Council Communications. Our holdings include correspondence for the following:

  • Selected former area municipalities
  • City of Winnipeg (1874-1971)
  • City of Winnipeg (1972-)

Fire Insurance Plans

Fire insurance plans are maps that use colours and symbols to show detailed information about buildings, including size and shape, construction materials and number of floors. Plans may also include street numbers, property lines and the location of water pipes or mains, fire hydrants and fire alarm boxes. Fire insurance plans can be useful for determining previous street names and numbers as well as the general timeframe for development in specific areas of the city. Our holdings include fire insurance plans for the whole of the greater Winnipeg area, as published and amended by the following three companies:

  • Charles E. Goad Company, 1895-1915
  • Western Canada Fire Underwriters' Association, 1917-1955
  • McPhillips Brothers, 1893-1927

Reports and Publications

The City Clerk's Library contains current and historic material that documents the development of the City of Winnipeg and amalgamated municipalities. It includes hard-to-find published and unpublished reports, many of which did not receive wide distribution.

Audiovisual Materials

The Archives has a small collection of audiovisual materials. AV materials may be viewed in the Research Room.

City Directories

Henderson Directories have long been recognized as a critical tool for researching both the built environment and social structures in the City of Winnipeg. Henderson Directories for the City of Winnipeg were first published in 1876. Each volume contains two sections: the Alphabetical Street Index (showing street addresses and occupants) and the Alphabetical Index to Persons and Businesses (showing, where known, name and occupation of individuals, name and principals of businesses). Publication was discontinued in 2000.

The Archives has microfilm of Henderson Directories for the City of Winnipeg, 1876‑1952 and an incomplete set of hard copy volumes for the years 1960‑2000. Hard copy volumes are temporarily unavailable - for access, please see the Millennium Library Local History Room or Past Forward: Winnipeg’s Digital Public History.

Municipal Manuals

The City of Winnipeg published its first municipal manual in 1904 to provide citizens with political and administrative information about their city. The manuals are now a valuable source of historical information on civic government and administration. Our holdings include municipal manuals for the following:

  • City of Winnipeg

Private Records

Our holdings include records of private organizations and individuals who have contributed to the development and identity of the City. Private records consist of everything from personal papers to artifacts, memorabilia, and ephemera. Note – archival descriptions of private records are currently available in Winnipeg in Focus.

Last update: May 18, 2017
Archives & Records Control

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  • 50 Myrtle Street
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 2R2
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  • Phone: 204-986-5325
  • Fax: 204-986-7133
  • Email: Archives
Hours of Operation
The Archives' Research Room is open 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for statutory holidays. Please call for an appointment so that we can better meet your needs.