Historic Sites of Manitoba: El Tassi Park (Talbot Avenue, Winnipeg)
This Winnipeg park, previously known as the Nairn Overpass Park North, was created out of Marconi Spur Line property previously owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway (since re-purposed for the establishment of the Northeast Pioneers Greenway Trail), city property on Nairn Avenue (prior to re-alignment), and private property of some 15 homeowners. The green buffer at the westernmost part of the park, at the northeast corner of Watt Street and Nairn Avenue, was formerly the site several individual residences, all who were expropriated between February and June 1967. The Nairn Avenue Overpass was completed at a cost of the $2.9 million and opened on 31 October 1967.
The site, now public green-space north of the present overpass, was renamed for garment businessman and Order of Canada recipient Abdo “Albert” El Tassi and his wife Samira in January 2015. This naming followed a controversial effort to rename the nearby Roy Davis Memorial Park in favour of the El Tassi family, an effort spearheaded by Elmwood-East Kildonan Ward Councillor Thomas Steen. That decision was overturned after two months. Emigrating from Lebanon in 1969, El Tassi settled in Winnipeg where he worked in the garment industry, becoming President and Chief Executive Officer of Peerless Garments in 2006.
“Overpass work tenders soon,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 March 1967, page 11.
“Overpass open without hitch,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 November 1967, page 3.
“Land expropriation necessary to make room for city’s growth,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 November 1967, page 39.
“Renamed Roy David Park gets its previous name back,” Winnipeg Free Press, 24 November 2014.
Reports - Standing Policy Committee on Protection and Community Services, 30 January 2015, Item No. 2, City of Winnipeg Clerks Decision Making Information System.
Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.
We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 1 February 2020
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