Temporary display marks 100 years of the Winnipeg Aqueduct

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales formally opened the aqueduct on Sept. 9, 1919

Shoal Lake Display

While water from Shoal Lake first reached Winnipeg on March 29, 1919, it was during a ceremony on September 9, 1919, the Winnipeg Aqueduct was formally opened by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales (Prince Edward). He turned on the fountain in front of City Hall using an electric switch.

A photo and program from the event are some of the many artifacts that make up a new temporary display at City Hall discussing the aqueduct’s history over the past 100 years.

Shoal Lake Display
The display can be viewed weekdays 8:30 a.m. “ 4:30 p.m until October 11, 2019.

The display was put together by Archives and Records Control with the assistance of the Water and Waste Department and the Indigenous Relations Division. It uses records kept by the Greater Winnipeg Water District, which oversaw the construction and maintenance of the aqueduct.

It serves as an opportunity to reflect on how Winnipeg has talked about and remembered the aqueduct. It also acknowledges that, as the city becomes more aware of the impact of its decision to select Shoal Lake as a water source “ specifically the impacts on Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, additional perspectives on the aqueduct’s history are needed.

Chief Pete Redsky of Shoal Lake 1913
Chief Pete Redsky of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, November 13, 1913. City of Winnipeg Archives, GWWD fonds, Photo id. 2. Used with permission of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation.

Learning more about where Winnipeg’s water comes from and acknowledging past and present events surrounding water is vital to Winnipeg’s Journey of Reconciliation

The display features archival pictures dated back to 1913 of Shoal Lake 40 community members. These photos were used in consultation with Shoal Lake 40. Newspaper clippings from 1919 and images of the construction are also included.

Shoal Lake News
Shoal Lake News 2
Shoal Lake News 3
Shoal Lake News 4
Shoal Lake News 5

There are two parts to the display at 510 Main St. Connecting Past and Present can be viewed in the Mayor’s Foyer and uses archival photos of the aqueduct and contemporary photos of Freedom Road from the Water and Waste Department to explore the history of the aqueduct and significance of Freedom Road. Historical Markers and Commemoration is on the main floor of the Susan A. Thompson Building and reflects on how Winnipeg has talked about and remembered the aqueduct.

The display can be viewed weekdays 8:30 a.m. “ 4:30 p.m until October 11, 2019.

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