1874 Winnipeg's First Council Meeting
Historic occasion though it may have been Winnipeg's first Council meeting was short on pomp and ceremony. Held on January 19, 1874, more than two months after the City's official incorporation on November 8, 1873, the inaugural Council meeting took place on the second floor of Bentley's, a newly constructed building on the northwest corner of Portage and Main. Though the City's first election campaign had been a contentious affair, the new Council's first agenda was concerned with much more practical matters. Consequently, the first Council meeting was largely devoted to procedural issues, including the establishment of standing committees on finance, assessment, local works, police, fire and water, and licensing. If the first Council meeting was unspectacular, the adoption of parliamentary procedures governing the operation of Council have stood the test of time. As one contemporary noted, the implementation of such procedures as three readings of By-laws ensured that Council would always be in a position "to answer to the public good."