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Memorable Manitobans: Garnet Coulter (1882-1975)

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Garnet Coulter
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Lawyer, Mayor of Winnipeg (1943-1954).

Born on a farm near Dominion City on 26 August 1882, son of Thomas and Katherine Coulter, after a grade school education, he taught at Langside School (1902-1903) then moved to Winnipeg in 1903, where he subsequently graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Law degree. He practiced law in Winnipeg from 1907 and was a candidate for Emerson in the 1915 provincial general election. In 1917, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, joined the Canadian Forestry Corps and went overseas, where he served in France as a transport officer. He later returned to Winnipeg and resumed his law practice. He was appointed a King’s Counsel in 1934.

He served as a member of the Winnipeg School Board from 1924 to 1936 and, in 1936, was elected as Winnipeg City Alderman from Ward Two. On city council he was an inveterate opponent of Mayor John Queen. He ran successfully for Mayor as an independent in 1942, and served until 1954. In the 1946 election, he received more than 62,000 votes. Mayor during the Manitoba flood of 1950, he was responsible for the creation of the Manitoba Flood Relief Fund. He was regarded as fair, but dull. After his defeat in 1954, he became Chairman of the Court of Revision. In 1970 he was awarded a Manitoba Centennial Medal by the Manitoba Historical Society.

In 1948, he married Jessica Coulter and adopted her daughter from a previous marriage.

He died at Winnipeg on 8 October 1975 and was buried in the Brookside Cemetery.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.

“Former mayor dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 October 1975, page 1.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Harry Shave.

Page revised: 9 June 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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