Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William Mackenzie (1849-1923)


Born at Kirkfield, Ontario on 17 October 1849, of Scottish descent, he became involved in the railroad contracting business. He was responsible for the electrification of the tram system in Winnipeg in the 1890s. Beginning in 1896, he and Donald Mann used the charter of the Lake Manitoba Railway and Canal Company as the first building block of the Canadian Northern Railway system. He was knighted in 1911. On 8 July 1872, he married Margaret Merry (?-?) at Lindsay, Ontario. They had nine children: Roderick J. Mackenzie, Mabel Hanna Mackenzie (1875-?), Gertrude Mary Mackenzie (1876-?), Alexander William Mackenzie (1878-?), Bertha Mackenzie (1879-?), Ethel Mackenzie (1881-?), Joseph Mackenzie (1883-?), Catharine Mackenzie (1886-?), and Grace Mackenzie (1888-?). He died at Toronto, Ontario on 5 December 1923. Kirkfield Street in Winnipeg was named in commemoration of his birthplace.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Queen’s Hotel / Montgomery Block / Bank of Toronto / Toronto-Dominion Bank (215 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg)

Manitoba Business: Winnipeg Electric Railway Company / Winnipeg Electric Company

William Mackenzie, Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 8 June 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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