City of Winnipeg incorporation dates back to November 8, 1873

First election held in 1874

November 8 will always hold special meaning for us. It’s on this day back in 1873 the City of Winnipeg was incorporated but the road to becoming a city wasn’t easy.

“The original bill for incorporation was actually thrown out,” said Sarah Ramsden, Senior Archivist at the City of Winnipeg. “At issue were civic taxation and the financial burden on major property holders.”

Ramsden said the advocates for incorporation eventually became frustrated with the Manitoba Legislature’s lack of progress.

“Tempers reached their pinnacle when a small group ambushed the Speaker of the House, Dr. CJ Bird, and had him tarred and feathered.” Ramsden said, adding that despite a $1000 reward for information, no one came forward.

The Act to Incorporate the City of Winnipeg was passed November 8, 1873 however the first election wasn’t held until the following year.

Winnipeg only covered an area of roughly three square miles and had a population of 3,500 when it was incorporated.

Our Pathways to Winnipeg History website features more information on Winnipeg’s beginning.

Other City information

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