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Manitoba Business: Hyland Navigation and Trading Company

The Hyland Navigation and Trading Company was incorporated as a limited partnership via the Manitoba Joint Stock Companies Act on 24 June 1909. The founding partnership included Charles James Atchison, Joseph Rudolphe Cote, John L. “Jack” Hyland, Jay L. Spencer, William Edwin Robinson, and Daniel Boyce Sprague. Hyland served as President and General Manager of the company, with Atchison, Spencer (also Vice-President), Robinson, and Sprague all serving as the first Directors, and H. I. Corbett as Secretary-Treasurer. Their steamboats, the Bonnitoba and Winnitoba, operated from docks along the Red River and into Lake Winnipeg, including their dock site in Winnipeg and private amusement park, Hyland Park, in East St. Paul. The vessels transported people, goods, and raw materials, in addition to towing barges laden with raw materials and freight. It held an initial capital stock of $200,000, a sum further increased to $1 million in March of 1911.

In 1912, the company suffered major setbacks with the destruction of their two flagships, the Bonnitoba being crushed by river ice and the Winnitoba destroyed by fire. In addition to his flagship excursion steamers, he also owned several large barges (including the Jumbo and Toba, both of which burned along with the Winnitoba). With the onset of the First World War, the business never recovered. The firm’s corporate activities continued to decline into 1915, in which no statements of defence were submitted when legal proceedings were brought against it, including a notable filing against the company by William John Christie for over $275,000. By 1916, the firm was defunct with its surviving assets (including a former freight barge converted to a floating dance pavilion) seized and sold off by order of the court. The company technically remained an entity until its Letters of Patent were revoked formally by Order-in-Council on 19 August 1919.





John L. “Jack” Hyland (1876-1964)




“S.S. Winnitoba,” Winnipeg Tribune, 17 August 1909, page 6.

“In making an investment,” Winnipeg Tribune, 27 March 1911, page 8.

“River traffic is increasing,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 October 1911, page 3.

“Hyland Navigation and Trading Company,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 August 1912, page 7.

“Bailiff sale [River barge and dancing pavilion],” Winnipeg Tribune, 18 August 1916, page 2.

Companies Office corporation documents (CCA 0059), 72H - Hyland Navigation and Trading Company, GR6427, Archives of Manitoba.

Orders-In-Council (EC 0003A), Order-in-Council No. 31990, GR1530, Archives of Manitoba.

Winnipeg civil files (ATG 0012A), #1987/1914 - John L. Hyland vs Cusson Lumber Company Limited, GR0275, Archives of Manitoba.

Winnipeg civil files (ATG 0012A), #810/1914 - John L. Hyland vs Canadian Northern Railway Company, GR0274, Archives of Manitoba.

Winnipeg civil files (ATG 0012A), #1800/15 - Hyland Navigation Company Limited vs William John Christie, GR0275, Archives of Manitoba.

Winnipeg Court of Queen's Bench Judgement roll pockets (ATG 0011), #441/1915, Great West Life Assurance Company vs. John L. Hyland, GR0763, Archives of Manitoba.

Winnipeg Court of Queen's Bench Judgement roll pockets (ATG 0011), #605/1915, John L. Hyland vs. John Galloway, GR0763, Archives of Manitoba.

Winnipeg Court of Queen's Bench Judgement roll pockets (ATG 0011), #673/1916, William John Christie vs. Hyland Navigation & Trading Company et al, GR0763, Archives of Manitoba.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 24 February 2019

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