Manitoba Historical Society
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Historic Sites of Manitoba: John Wesley Dafoe Plaque (1355 Mountain Avenue, Winnipeg)

John Dafoe, one of Canada’s leading journalists, was born in Upper Canada. In 1901, after working on various newspapers, he came to Winnipeg as editor-in-chief of the Manitoba Free Press. In this position he influence Canadian opinion and played a major role in the public life of Canada until his death. Although he had been a staunch Liberal and supporter of Laurier, he was instrumental in the formation of the Union government in 1917. Dafoe championed an active Canadian role in international affairs and between 1937 and 1939 served on the Rowell-Sirois Commission on Dominion-Provincial relations. He died in Winnipeg.

A plaque commemorating J. W. Dafoe, situated in the foyer of the offices of the Winnipeg Free Press, was unveiled by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada at the Free Press building on Carlton on 18 June 1976, in a ceremony attended by son Edwin Elcome “Ted” Dafoe. It was transferred to this location when the Free Press moved here in 1991.

J. W. Dafoe commemorative plaque in the foyer of the Winnipeg Free Press office building

J. W. Dafoe commemorative plaque in the foyer of the Winnipeg Free Press office building (May 2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.93427, W97.17475
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: John Wesley Dafoe (1866-1944)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: E. Cora Hind Plaque (1355 Mountain Avenue, Winnipeg)

MHS Centennial Business: Winnipeg Free Press (Manitoba Free Press)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba Plaques for Persons, Events and Sites of National Historic Significance


“Dafoe honored as great Canadian,” Winnipeg Free Press, 19 June 1976, page 3.

We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 15 August 2019

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