Manitoba History: Class, Community, and Urban Consciousness: The Winnipeg Street Railway, 1902-1910

by Jonathan Hildebrand
Department of History, McMaster University

Number 60, February 2009

This article was published originally in Manitoba History by the Manitoba Historical Society on the above date. We make this online version available as a free, public service. As an historical document, the article may contain language and views that are no longer in common use and may be culturally sensitive in nature.

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When the people of Winnipeg opened their newspapers on the morning of 30 March 1906, they were greeted with headlines proclaiming the previous day as the “Most Riotous Day in City’s History,” a “Day of Clash Between Strikebreakers, Police and Crowds” during which “Two Streetcars [were] Burned by the Mob.” [1] The city’s first strike by street railway workers against the Winnipeg Electric Railway Company turned violent when local citizens stopped the company from continuing its operation in defiance of its striking employees. This conflict revealed for the first time how an urban consciousness—an understanding of the city not only as a place within which capitalism functioned, but also as a space actively formed in the interests of capital—could merge into a class consciousness capable of challenging capital. The existence of this urban consciousness will be argued here through a discussion of labour relations on the Winnipeg street railway and their connection to the wider public from 1902 to 1910, with particular attention being paid to the street railway strikes of 1906 and 1910.

Source: Manitoba Free Press, 30 March 1906, page 11.

Street railways occupied a prominent place in early twentieth century urban life [2] through their very existence within the spatial communities and neighbourhoods of the city. Construction and extension of lines, use of space in the streets, as well as the cleanliness, crowdedness, and safety of the cars were all factors affecting the everyday lives of urban dwellers. Moreover, the citizens’ understanding of what it meant to live in a city was informed and shaped in part by class issues, through interactions with and proximity to the street railway workers as well as through the experience of dealing with a public utility owned by a capitalist company. The Winnipeg strikes and the discourse surrounding them provide several examples of how class-consciousness both informed and was informed by urban consciousness, most notably during and leading up to the 1906 strike, in which nearly all the violence was initiated by members of the public and not the striking workers. This urban consciousness was formulated around ideas of urban citizenship and public interest, and forged through arguments waged in the press over what constituted “public interest.” Its startling assertion in 1906 no doubt took the forces of capital, including the publishers of newspapers whose revenues depended on business advertising, by surprise. Yet this consciousness was also contested and by 1910, both the city’s capitalist interests and the daily press had developed new rhetorical devices with which to weaken the equation of class and urban consciousness, resulting in the establishment of a public interest that did not sympathize with labour. In both years, the company and the strikers appealed to the public through the city press, attempting to fashion an urban consciousness in line with their own particular interests. Furthermore, in reporting on the strike, the newspapers themselves often manipulated the events in order to construe a certain type of “public interest,” sometimes speaking on behalf of an unspecified “public” and thus attempting to define the nature of the public interest.

Defining what is meant by “urban consciousness” is critical. The work of David Harvey serves as a point of departure in this respect. He argues that the city is “an agglomeration of productive forces built by labor employed within a temporal process of circulation of capital.” [3] It is furthermore ruled by class forces, segmented into “distinctive communities of social reproduction,” and organized as a spatially contiguous labour market. Thus it is the site of multiple social and political confusions while at the same time functioning both as a “testimony to and a moving force within the dialectics of capitalism’s uneven development.” [4] Because of increasing urbanization this confusing, conflicted, and inequitable urban context has become “the primary level at which individuals now experience, live out, and react to the totality of social transformations and structures in the world around them.” [5] To put it another way, people’s conceptions of themselves, their lives, and social conditions, occur within and are mediated by the urban context. Out of the complexities of the urban experience emerges a “consciousness of the meanings of space and time; of social power and its legitimations; of forms of domination and social interaction; of the relation to nature through production and consumption; and of human nature, civil society, and political life.” [6] In addition to defining urban consciousness, Harvey’s work is able to show how the city contributes to a consciousness of class by emphasizing the imbalance and conflict that characterizes urban capitalist development. Urban consciousness is confronted with the imbalance in class relations due to capitalist development, and integrates this imbalance into its understanding of the world. It is this convergence of class and urban consciousness that produces the potential for radical change. [7]

Relatively little work has been done on street railway strikes in North America and still less has focused on these strikes as they relate to the city and consciousness formation. Nevertheless, several scholars have undertaken studies that speak to the topic at hand. Christopher Armstrong and H. V. Nelles have addressed the street railways in Canada through the issues of organization and regulation, examining the creation of private monopolies within public utilities such as electricity, water, gas, and telephones, as well as the debates over municipal versus private ownership. [8] Their examination of the injection of capital by private companies into public utilities is also noteworthy. Urban utilities depended heavily on outside capital markets to finance expansion during this time, which was evident in the millions of dollars of Canadian savings placed by Canadian life insurance companies into the utilities sector around the turn of the century. [9] Not only did utilities such as hydro, gas, telephone, and street railways provide “essential services to their users; they also supplied vast quantities of stocks, bonds, and other high-quality securities upon which finance capitalism depended.” [10] Privately owned utilities were therefore dependant on, and creators of, capital markets. The eventual private ownership monopoly of Canadian utilities resulted in a public response Armstrong and Nelles refer to as civic populism, a nationwide movement that protested “against inadequate service by arbitrary, self-serving monopolies from which a small elite grew conspicuously rich.” From this movement, the push for public or municipal ownership of utilities emerged. [11]

Club-wielding police officers had the challenge of keeping the streets clear during the 1906 strike.
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Edgar J. Ransom Collection 457.

While Armstrong and Nelles have focused on the monopolization of public utilities and the place of the street railway within it, other authors such as H. John Selwood have examined street railways more specifically in the early twentieth century. Selwood’s discussion of the street railway in Winnipeg examines the extension of lines in the city from 1881 to 1913, demonstrating that the streetcar system expanded in response to patterns of urban development rather than instigating it. [12] Other works on street railway strikes in North America can be organized into two general thematic categories. The first group looks at street railway strikes in the context of broad social and political trends. These studies examine street railway conflicts as they related to larger issues such as national postwar upheaval, [13] laissez-faire economics, [14] Progressive Era labour unrest, [15] and large-scale American worker movements. [16] Secondly, other studies have emphasized the role of the public and the wider community in street railway labour strife. High levels of public sympathy for the workers, [17] the local social and cultural contexts of streetcar strikes, [18] and the (often-violent) nature of public action against street railway companies [19] are all issues that receive attention in such studies. Such approaches to the study of street railway strikes help to bring the aspect of community (as well as the public’s sense of what it meant to live in an urban community) into the discussion of street railway labour unrest.

The work that street railway men engaged in was challenging and of little ease. The job was particularly taxing in winter, as there was “absolutely no heat available for the motorman, who on very cold days looked like an Antarctic explorer.” On stormy days, the open booths containing the driving controls at the ends of the cars would be “half-filled with snow and ice.” [20] The operation of the cars could also be dangerous as well as challenging. Harry Hutchcroft, a motorman for the Winnipeg street railway company from 1906 to 1909, recalled that in the days before air brakes, “it took just plain ordinary brute force to bring those huge units to a standstill. The earliest brakes … were manipulated with a wheel similar to those in use at the time on railroad box cars, and the motorman had to use both hands to the task, keeping his right foot firmly set against a ratchet control on the floor. One notch too many and on a greasy rail away went your Pullman like a sleigh on ice.” [21] Operating streetcars safely in Winnipeg’s various weather conditions was both demanding for workers and potentially hazardous for passengers.

That the Winnipeg street railway union had the strength and confidence to strike in 1906 was evident in its growth up to that point; the city’s labour newspaper, The Voice, reported in 1904 that the union’s Winnipeg branch, Local 99 of the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees (initially formed in 1898), [22] numbered “some 110 strong,” with new recruits being added. [23] Friction between the employees and the company began to increase in late March of 1906 when the union approached the company on two issues, namely the wage scale and safety appliances, particularly the installation of sand boxes on the cars which would enable sand to be poured onto the rails and wheels of a skidding car, thereby seeking to reduce the number of streetcar accidents in the city. Although the motormen and conductors had received a wage increase of one cent per hour as of 1 March 1906, they claimed that this had been asked for (and should have been granted) two years previously, and they consequently requested another wage increase on 26 March. [24] In addition to increasingly fruitless meetings between employees and employers, the union was also angry over the dismissal of union president T. F. Robbins and secretary Fred Wagner who, according to the company, had been let go due to their “objectionable and insulting manner to the directors” during a meeting, which was “such that it was evidently a question of whether these men [Robbins and Wagner] were to operate the railway or whether the directors were to continue to do so.” [25] Adding to worker dissatisfaction, “an unusually large number of employees” were temporarily suspended for minor offences, [26] while other union officials were harassed in the weeks prior to the negotiations between the two sides. Discontent was indeed growing among the employees of the company.

As for the negotiations themselves, a representative from the international union, Fred Fay, arrived in Winnipeg on 27 March, and by this time the most important issues out of the twelve or so clauses comprising the employees’ proposal to the company had been reduced to comprise an increase in the wage scale, recognition of the union, and a choice of streetcar routes based on seniority. [27] In the meantime, it was reported that 100 strikebreakers were being imported from Montreal, a charge denied by the company. [28] At a meeting of 28 March, union officials were informed by the directors of the company that no further concessions would be made, and later that evening, in a union meeting that stretched into the early hours of Thursday, 29 March, 237 members voted unanimously to strike. In response, street railway manager Wilson Phillips stated that the company intended to run its cars as usual. [29] With the battle lines drawn, the strike would now unfold in the streets of the city.

Violent reactions were not long in coming. On 29 March, the first day of the strike, two streetcars were destroyed, twelve were damaged, and two-dozen demonstrators were arrested. Crowds began to congregate along Main Street north of Portage Avenue early in the day, but no attempt was made to impede the streetcars until they had been running for about two hours. At that time, a Broadway car going south down Main was stopped, and its trolley cable cut by members of the crowd. The fender was then torn off and a large rock heaved through one of the car’s windows with a hail of rocks and mud to follow. The passengers fled the car while the non-union conductor and motorman attempted to stay. When the hurling of rocks and mud at the car intensified, however, they disembarked. [30] The crowd, which according to the Morning Telegram had now grown to about 2,000 people, then spotted another approaching car. The trolley cable was cut, “the windows of the car totally smashed and one of the members of the crew badly pounded by [members of] the crowd.” [31]

The Telegram further noted that the crowd seemed to be in strong support of the striking workers, cheering loudly whenever a car was set upon and wrecked, and as the morning progressed, incidents continued. On Higgins Avenue, a motorman was taken from his car by strike sympathizers and chased into a hotel bar, back out into the street, and finally rescued by two policemen, who escorted the car operator to the police station with a crowd of hundreds following them, “never for a moment ceasing their cries of ridicule, and threats of vengeance.” [32] Streetcars left abandoned in the downtown streets had their windows smashed to pieces and their sides covered with mud thrown by demonstrators. The morning also saw streetcars being impeded in other ways: upon reaching Main Street, a Portage Avenue car was greeted with jeers and shouts of “scab!” but managed to manoeuvre through the crowd until a large coal wagon cut in front of the car and proceeded along the track in front of it at a crawlingly slow pace. This continued partially up Main Street, with loud applause being showered on the wagon driver, until several policemen arrived and put an end to this somewhat humorous act of sympathy with the striking workers. [33] The fact that violence to company property occurred so immediately on the strike’s first day speaks to high levels of anti-company feeling among the public, in addition to, as Babcock has argued, their sense of the justice that had to be meted out against the actions of the company, in support of the strikers.

The first day of the strike also saw the swearing in of “special policemen” as well as the activation of strikebreakers from the Thiel Detective Agency, an American company, who operated the streetcars and protected the property of the street railway. Provincial Magistrate McMicken swore in the Thiel men at the request of the Electric Railway, which created controversy due to the fact that McKicken was later placed under suspension by the attorney general because, according to the government, “he had acted improperly in granting official approval to private agents.” [34] At around noon, strikebreakers were involved in one of the more brutal occurrences yet seen during the strike. A southbound Main Street car filled with about eight to ten strikebreakers made its way back to the car barns and upon noticing two men, “presumably pickets,” standing on the street corner they emptied out of the car, “each armed with a maul handle,” and attacked the men who were, in the words of the Manitoba Free Press, “beaten down into the mud and mauled in a brutal manner.” [35] Despite the widespread nature of the destruction and violence, particularly that which was directed against the company, few if any actual striking union men were involved. The city newspapers made efforts to point out that it was not the strikers who were participating in the demonstrations but sympathizers of the strike. [36]

As daylight faded on 29 March, strike sympathizers continued to act out against the company. An empty car that had been left on the track near the corner of Selkirk Avenue and Sinclair Street was set on fire by demonstrators, who had earlier driven out the car’s operators. Although the fire department was called out, the blaze had taken its toll by the time they arrived at the scene, and all that remained after the fire had been put out was a charred mass of rubble. [37] Later on, sometime after 8:00, a crowd participated in an extended destruction of an idle streetcar on Higgins Avenue. After attempting twice to set it ablaze, with both attempts being doused quickly by the fire department, a young man hacked away at the car for about twenty minutes with an axe in front of an estimated audience of 1,000 people. The crowd then pushed the car along Higgins all the way to Main Street, where it was switched onto the main line and pushed down into a subway, or underpass, to a chorus of full-throated cheers. The Telegram’s report estimated that the crowd reached about 4,000 to 5,000 people before the police arrived on the scene and dispersed the crowd completely by approximately midnight, [38] putting an end to the strike’s raucous first day.

Feckless abandon. Street cars ran full speed through the crowds. Due to the street car boycott, stopping to pick up passengers was often a pointless and possibly dangerous exercise. Note the absence of passengers aboard the car.
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Edgar J. Ransom Collection 461.

Due to the violent occurrences of 29 March, Mayor Thomas Sharpe called upon the Royal Canadian Mounted Rifles from the Fort Osborne Barracks the following day. The troops occupied the stretch of Main Street between Higgins and Logan Avenues from 3:00 in the afternoon to 7:00 in the evening. [39] The morning had been relatively quiet, with no notable disturbances to speak of until the early afternoon, even though large numbers of people had begun to congregate along Main Street. Around 2:00, the crowd became more agitated, shouting at streetcars as they passed carrying Thiel detectives and city policemen. Eventually a few onlookers placed stones on the track near Bannatyne Avenue. When the next passing streetcar stopped and the motorman disembarked to remove the obstructions, he was surrounded and roughed up, but managed to start the car and keep on moving. The arrival of military troops and a maxim gun did not seem to quiet the mood of the people crowding the street and under the watch of the troops a streetcar was stopped and its cable cut while a crowd threw eggs, rocks, and bricks against it. They then dragged the conductor, motorman, and Thiel detectives out of the car and made an attempt to tip it over, while Mayor Sharpe read the riot act to no avail. Only when the Mayor ordered the troops to load their weapons, and the ominous clicking of rifles was heard, did the crowd disperse. [40]

Things settled down somewhat for the next couple of days, as the Winnipeg Ministerial Association, a socially concerned group formed largely of Presbyterian and Methodist ministers in 1904, [41] which became affiliated with the Winnipeg Trades and Labor Council, intervened in the dispute. Members of the Association interviewed both the street railway directors and the union leaders in order to facilitate a settlement, although none was yet reached. Furthermore, troops that were on standby at the Winnipeg garrison, in the event that their services might be needed, were relieved from duty. [42] A feeling of tension still existed, however, and very few people actually availed themselves of the streetcars’ service, as had been the case during the previous day. [43] Only twelve cars were sent out on the third day of the strike, and they were loaded with “policemen, detectives, and strikebreakers,” functioning essentially as “armored trains.” [44] The period of relative calm continued for the next few days, during which time the deputation of ministers continued to meet with both parties in the dispute.

Violence resumed on 5 April when the company attempted to provide night-time car service for the first time during the strike, an attempt that was cut short after only one hour. The daytime service had been largely undisturbed, although most citizens still chose to boycott the cars. [45] That evening, however, a crowd of thousands gathered around Main and Alexander and pelted a southbound car with stones, bottles “and every kind of missile.” [46] Elsewhere a conductor and motorman were chased from their car by a crowd of people, but succeeded in outdistancing their pursuers. The evening also resulted in injuries to two police officers, both of whom were struck in the head and cut by thrown bottles. [47]

Meanwhile deliberations were still underway between the ministers, the employees, and the company, and on Saturday, 7 April, an agreement was reached. By undertaking the role of mediator between the two sides in the dispute, the ministerial representatives acted as “the medium through which the final agreement was arrived at.” [48] As a result of the negotiations, the employees received an advance of one cent per hour instead of the two they had asked for, and for the third and fourth consecutive years of employment, they would receive 26 cents per hour, which they saw as satisfactory. [49] Union recognition though, was not achieved outright. [50] Although the Ministerial Association was credited as the main force in facilitating a solution to the work stoppage, The Voice noted that the upcoming visit of Prince Arthur of Connaught likely also played a role in speeding up the process of reconciliation. To have the prince visit the city during a volatile labour dispute was not desirable for the city officials organizing the visit, and they sent several urgent letters to company owner and Toronto capitalist William Mackenzie in regarding this subject. [51]

Clearing the streets. The Royal Canadian Mounted Rifles patrolled Main Street at the request of Winnipeg’s Mayor, 30 March 1906.
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Edgar J. Ransom Collection 459.

A conspicuous feature of the violence in 1906 is that it was undertaken almost entirely by the public, as opposed to the strikers. The newspapers addressed this fact by often writing the crowds off as a rather uncivilized lot, rambunctious delinquents with no connection to or interest in the strike. Although this was likely the case to a certain extent, the demography of the crowds was actually much more diverse than that. The Morning Telegram remarked that the crowd which was involved with the events of 29 March consisted of “labourers, business men, and in fact individuals from every walk of life” who all “seemed to be in sympathy with the strikers.” [52] This was also addressed in a letter to the editor published in the Tribune, in which the writer took:

exception to the statements repeatedly made, viz., that the rioters are hoodlums. Yesterday and today I have been moving freely through the crowd and was a witness of the smashing of the cars Thursday and the riot between Henry and Higgins avenue on Friday. The young men who did the wrecking and rough work were as respectable looking as the scabs the company have imported to run the cars. I do not believe any strike was ever cheered on by a better crowd. [53]

Thus, the demonstrators were not merely people out to use the strike as an excuse to wreak havoc, but citizens for whom the street railway and the concerns of its employees held a special interest, and informed their view of life within the city. In addition to violent reaction against the company, another form of resistance taken on by the public was walking. While a small number of people did avail themselves of streetcar service during the strike, the overwhelming majority “preferred to stand by the men and uphold their motto ‘we walk.’” [54] Further to this The Voice made a point of reporting the case of two women who every day walked two miles from their home on Sherbrooke Street to their place of business in the city’s North End. [55]

Interestingly, while the boycott remained effective until the strike’s conclusion, “quite a number of people” in the southern regions of Winnipeg did make some use of the forty cars in operation on 5 April. In contrast, “there were practically no passengers” in the North End, [56] which brings to light the spatial organization of class divisions in the city. By 1895, the North End had become largely populated by the working class, while areas in the South such as Crescentwood and Armstrong’s Point contained the extravagant “palaces” and “private gardens” of the elite. [57] The North End had been a stronghold of worker solidarity since the strike’s beginnings, when the Free Press noted that “the sympathy of the public in the North End seems to be entirely with the men and hopes are most openly expressed that they will win.” [58] Indeed, only three North End streetcars were reported in service on 31 March and none of them held any passengers, as people elected to walk instead. [59] While support for the strikers was widespread, and extended across class lines, the location of the most stalwart strike support in the North End illustrates the spatial nature of class divisions in Winnipeg.

The fact that the public instigated the violence of 1906 and actively supported the strike by walking speaks to the important role the street railway played in the lives of Winnipeggers and how it was an integral part of an urban consciousness within the city. But the development of this consciousness had been taking place prior to 1906. The debate over Sunday streetcars contributed to this development when it became a hot-button topic in 1902. Attempts were made by the Winnipeg city council in 1902 to fashion a bylaw that would allow for the operation of cars on Sunday, but the street railway company disagreed with the insertion of a clause stating that their employees would not have to work seven days a week. Since the council felt it important that the conductors and motormen retained their one day off during the week (a concern that was communicated to them by the workers themselves), the bylaw did not advance any further at the time. [60] After the company assured the council that no employees would have to work seven days a week (an assurance seen as weak by labour interests), [61] the bylaw was put to a vote of taxpayers in the civic election of December 1902. It was defeated. [62] City Council’s acceptance of what was seen as the company’s half-hearted promise of a six-day workweek, rather than an ironclad guarantee, speaks to the diversity of opinions that existed on the council in the weeks leading up to the vote. One alderman expressed outright approval of Sunday cars, while another maintained that the public should vote and decide on the issue. Alderman Horne expressed his personal opinion against Sunday cars, while remarking that City Council had little authority in the matter. [63]

The Sunday car issue also brought out animosity toward the Winnipeg Electric Company. A letter to the editor of the Free Press in November 1902, for example, argued that to vote “yes” on the question of Sunday cars was to “play into the hands of grasping, money-making corporations.” [64] This distrust of the company was also manifested in the attitude of many members of the public who were not opposed to Sunday cars themselves, but approved of them only when they could “be had on fair terms,” with “employees fully protected.” [65] When the Sunday car bylaw reared its head again prior to the 1905 civic election, these sentiments were repeated. The Winnipeg Trades and Labour Council called persistently for the insertion of a clause in the bylaw “forbidding the company to employ a man for seven days,” [66] and the public seemed to express a similar opinion when an informal public poll of the question, undertaken by the Free Press, produced a “distinct middle party who were for Sunday cars if secured on good terms and proper restrictions—but not otherwise.” [67] Of course, trepidation over the company’s control of public life and workers’ rights was not the only motive behind anti-Sunday car sentiments. The religious argument against neglecting the “day of rest” was also very widely employed. Nevertheless, opposition to Sunday cars that was based on concerns for the rights of street railway employees does show that the public was aware of working-class concerns and their relevance to more broadly held views of justice and fair treatment within an urban context.

While the Sunday car debate provides examples of the development of an urban consciousness in the years prior to the 1906 strike, the discourse surrounding the strike demonstrates the existence of this consciousness within the context of labour unrest. That there was a certain amity between the street railway workers and the public is evident in the recollections of Harry Hutchcroft:

During the summer and fall our task on the whole was a pleasant one, and it seems to me that the relationship between the streetcar men and the public was generally speaking quite a cordial one. We were acquainted with our regular patrons and both my conductor and I knew that we should pick up certain passengers at certain corners, especially on the morning trips, and we looked for them. Yes, even waited a few moments for them if we could see them scurrying up their streets. There were even the odd ones who would notify us if they were not expecting to go to work on the following day—just so we wouldn’t be concerned about their non-appearance. You couldn’t beat that for co-operation, now could you? [68]

Such cooperation between the workers and the public suggests a sense that they were members of the same community, separated by their occupations but united by their interest in maintaining friendly and functioning relationships within that community. This sense of commonality between street railway employees and other citizens was also alluded to in a letter written to the Tribune during the 1906 strike which stated that, “We, the citizens of Winnipeg, made the street railway a present of a franchise which is worth a million. Are not we, the citizens, entitled to say to them, ‘You must not force a strike, you must not be sole judge, you should arbitrate whether our citizens are receiving a fair wage.’” [69] In the language of this assertion, the line between the working class and the citizens is blurred. According to this writer, the citizens were the patrons who “made” the company what it was (through using its service consistently and often). However, citizens are also identified as the workers, those who are entitled to a fair wage. The division between worker and citizen is removed, and both are conceived of as members of a common group with common interests, and class-consciousness is melded into a broader urban consciousness. To be sure, the discourse of the strike was rife with references to the employees and the public as two entirely separate groups, with the public often portrayed as collateral damage in the battle between the company and its wage earners. However, the company was more often than not portrayed in the public discourse as being on the other side of the fence, so to speak, of both citizens and workers.

This portrayal is quite noticeable in newspaper accounts of the 1906 strike, which convey a feeling among citizens of the street railway company as outside entity, heavy-handedly exerting its influence over the city. The fact that the Tribune printed a facsimile copy of a document distributed by the company among its employees with the expectation that it be signed, would have allowed readers a window into the experience of the workers and the issues they faced and therefore allowing for the possible identification with the striking workers. The same edition of the Tribune also described the company’s offer to “acknowledge” the union at a meeting with employee representatives as “half-hearted,” [70] thereby painting a picture of the company as unwilling to seriously consider the workers’ concerns. Other assertions from the public included a show of support for the strikers in order to “show these monopolies that they can’t run the city entirely.” [71] One Tribune reader additionally characterized the street railway as “one of the most grasping concerns preying on the public. A handful of shareholders have a monopoly of a public utility, out of which they are enriching themselves at the expense of the people,” [72] and another reader wrote on April 2, “is there no limit to our subjugation to the Mackenzie and Mann interests?” [73]

The language of the company as an outsider is more explicit in a letter to the Free Press of 5 April 1906, which accuses William Mackenzie, of being an autocrat who “at a safe distance directs the policy of the company.” [74] Likewise, one reader commented that although the company objected to its employees being advised or represented by an “outsider,” the street railway itself was “ruled by a president who does not live in the city, but who dictates the policy of the company from Toronto.” [75]

Suspicions of Mackenzie and the street railway as an invasive and powerful element within the city were not unwarranted. He was already an owner of the Toronto Street Railway, which he had purchased in aggressive fashion, and in part through some dubious back room dealings with city council. [76] Seeking to expand their business, a syndicate headed by Mackenzie and his partner Donald Mann in 1892 obtained a franchise to build an electric street railway in Winnipeg. Mackenzie wasted little time in consolidating his monopoly over the street railway utility, buying out A. W. Austin’s rival line for $175,000 in cash. Mackenzie’s Winnipeg Electric Street Railway then built its own power plant, exerting competitive pressure on the Manitoba Electric and Gas Light Company, and eventually buying out Manitoba Electric for stock instead of cash. [77] Mackenzie’s monopoly was further extended in 1904 when the electric railway company “acquired complete control of still another power company that had been established to develop a water-power source on the Winnipeg River,” and as a result, the Winnipeg Electric Railway Company found itself with a virtual monopoly over power supply, lighting, and street railways in Winnipeg. [78]

The business undertakings of Mackenzie in Winnipeg show that utilities were not merely services provided to the public, they were also capital-infused companies with a bottom line of making a profit. As Harvey has commented, the city and its neighbourhoods are seen by the communities of money and capital simply as “relative spaces to be built up, torn down, or abandoned as profitability dictates.” However, from the standpoint of the people who live there, cities and neighbourhoods “form an absolute space of particular qualities” that contribute to place-bound loyalties and a sense of community. [79] Such loyalties were made clear in June of 1906, when twenty-eight residents of Colony Street petitioned the City of Winnipeg not to authorize “any extension of the Street Railway System along that portion of Colony Street lying between Broadway and Portage Avenue as it would be a detriment to us the residents thereon,” [80] an instance in which the interests of capital and the public came into conflict. All of these examples demonstrate the existence in Winnipeg of a strong suspicion of the company, and a view of it as fundamentally counter to the interests and well-being of the city and its residents, workers and other citizens alike.

This is not to say that the public was assumed to be sympathetic to labour in 1906. Rather, notions of citizenship and public interest were debated and contested throughout the strike, and the result was a conception of public interest that had class and labour concerns as part of its make-up. The Voice praised those people who “have enough citizenconscience to impel them to put up with [the] discomfort [of] walking as a protest.” [81] Proper citizenship was defined as taking an active stand against the communityinvasive Winnipeg Electric Railway Company. Similarly, the violence of the strike sympathizers was condemned by the striking workers and labour interests generally. Rioters were discounted in The Voice as “hoodlums,” with the qualification that behind the violence lay a “deep indignation shared by all workers and the public generally at the criminally foolish and exasperating methods of the board of directors of the company in dealing with the employees. The public likes to see fair play, and the men do not get it.” [82] Again, citizenship and membership in “the public” was defined as directly counter to the interests of the company. The Morning Telegram echoed similar feelings when it stated, “it is contrary to all the laws of fairness and contrary to the public interest for the Street Railway Company to fight every move made in the direction of peace.” [83] The company was thus seen as obstinately standing in the way of what the public and the workers wished to see: a solution to the strike.

Both the company and the union also attempted to appeal to the public and in this way perceived the public as a sort of third party in the dispute. On the eve of the 1906 strike, the workers acknowledged that any stoppage of service would have profound consequences for the citizens, and that the public deserved the “fullest consideration.” [84] Two days later, in the midst of violent outbursts, the company attempted to appeal to the public by asking whether the company would be permitted to carry on its business and to take measures to protect users of its service, and whether mob violence would be allowed to interfere with the company’s service to the public. [85] In 1906, these pleas of the company would not be effective in swaying a general public whose consciousness encompassed the interests of labour.

Standing in stark contrast to the events and discourse of 1906 was the second strike of the street railway workers in 1910. The causes of the 1910 strike and the issues at stake within it show that urban consciousness, although quite strong in 1906, was also contingent in nature and therefore not as pronounced four years later. In the years following the 1906 strike, motorman Andrew Scoble recalled that “Conditions at work did not improve very much and for the least infraction we were subjected to two day’s [sic] off work without pay, the Company Officials were strict in some things and slack in other things.” [86] As early as June 1906, discontent among the employees of the company was being reported in the Free Press, which cited complaints of workers that “the agreement which ended the strike is being broken in some of its most important particulars, and the company are said to be carrying on a vigorous campaign to get rid of the union.” This campaign allegedly included placing those men, who had been quite active in 1906 on to “undesirable” routes, and assigning them thirteen-hour shifts, as well as harassment of the employees by company inspectors who would continually question them regarding their personal views on union matters. [87]

Battered and bruised. This “stranded car” from the Portage Avenue line had nearly all of its windows broken during the strike. Damaged streetcars were a feature of both the 1906 and 1910 strikes.
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Edgar J. Ransom Collection 462.

The relationship between the company and the men was evidently becoming strained once more, and in the autumn of 1910, the workers took issue with the company’s 12 October dismissal of three motormen and one conductor who, according to their employers, had broken the rule “prohibiting the drinking of intoxicating liquors in bars while in the Company’s uniform.” [88] Two of the men had been members of the union executive, and the threat of a strike was immediately in the air as the union argued that the company had used the pretense of the rule concerning alcohol in order to fire the men because of their union affiliations. A strike was narrowly averted when the employees decided, at the advice of the international union, to instead pursue conciliation under the recently created federal Industrial Disputes Investigation Act (IDIA). [89] The federal conciliation board was to arrive at a judgment on the matter, but proceedings were decried by labour as discriminatory as soon as the board’s reports were issued. The impartiality of the board was also called into question when it was pointed out that the board’s chair, W. J. Christie, had acted as a representative for the street railway company in a 1909 arbitration with its employees. [90] When the board ruled in favour of the street railway company, a strike vote was taken by the employees, which resulted in the initiation of Winnipeg’s second street railway strike on 15 December.

The creation of the IDIA was based upon the idea of protecting the “community” interest, or the interests of society at large, through “law and order” [91] and its emergence in the 1910 dispute drastically reconfigured the roles of community, company, and workers. In 1906, the local Ministerial Association had been universally praised for affecting a solution between the local workers and their rogue “outsider” employers. In 1910, however, it was the street railway workers and their union representative who were construed by the press and by the company as a rogue force, flying in the face of the conciliation board’s presumably neutral decision, and thus running counter to the public interest as defined by the company and the state. [92]

It became immediately apparent that the strikers would not enjoy the same level of public sympathy that they did in 1906. This is not to say that the streetcars operated completely unmolested throughout the strike. Indeed, four days after the strike had commenced, twelve streetcars that had been sent down Logan Avenue to pick up Canadian Pacific Railroad workers at the CPR shops were damaged. When the CPR men refused to board the cars due to the fact that no policemen were aboard for protection, the cars were sent back, and were pelted with rocks and chunks of coal. Several of the cars’ crewmembers were badly cut on the hands and face due to the flying missiles and the smashed glass of the windows. [93] The following day, 21 December, windows of several streetcars were smashed throughout the city, and police reported hostile demonstrations by strike sympathizers on almost every route in the city. [94] Later that evening a riot occurred between 7:30 and 8:00 pm at the Fort Rouge car barns. Upon the car’s approach to the barns a gunshot was heard on the car, and as the passengers alighted from the vehicle, several special detectives stationed at the barn “rushed out and attacked the crowd, belaboring them with billies, switch irons, and other weapons.” [95] One of the most vicious incidents occurred two days later when a car was burned down to its wheels on Logan Avenue by a crowd of about 200 people. Members of the crowd also beat the motorman and conductor quite badly, with the motorman’s head being cut open and the conductor sustaining several cuts to his face. [96] Despite the action of some strike sympathizers against the streetcars, the majority of the public seemed indifferent and even hostile to the strikers. Although several cars were damaged throughout the city, the company soon managed to maintain a widespread service, with all routes in operation by 22 December. [97] Not only that, but the public patronized the cars in droves and on 19 December, the first Monday after the strike was called, the Free Press noted that cars in the North End were “packed all the afternoon, as indeed were practically all the cars toward evening,” [98] quite a change indeed from largely successful boycott in 1906.

The residents of the city clearly did not identify with the workers, a fact that was exemplified in a letter to the Tribune sardonically proclaiming, “What wonderful men those street car men are. Misguided they must be … parading the streets seeking for sympathy from a community that they have done all they can against.” [99] Most of the editorials and letters to the editor adopted a similar tone, often making sure to point out how inconvenient the labour stoppage was to citizens, the “innocent victims” of the strike. [100]

Why was this strike so different compared to 1906? The events of the December 1910 show that there were limits to how deeply class-consciousness could be accepted as part of an urban consciousness, and the public, through its actions and words, defined its limits in the areas of commerce, convenience, and social justice. First, commerce—throughout the 1910 strike, the press constantly mentioned that the labour stoppage was occurring during one of the busiest shopping times of the year, the period leading up to Christmas. Shop owners and businessmen were interviewed at the outset of the strike to discuss how they were being affected, [101] and the Tribune editorialized on 27 December that the street railway employees “precipitated a crisis at a season of the year which wrought incalculable injury to business interests.” [102] Such arguments against the strike based on commerce were comparatively nonexistent in the minds of the citizens in 1906. The arguments employed in 1910 demonstrate how the street railway as a capitalist entity contributed to class-consciousness, as well as how it contributed to a “consciousness of limited but important individual freedom” in the spending of money [103] by transporting people to centres of business and commerce. In 1910, it was the latter consciousness with which the public identified.

Secondly, the issue of convenience—although the street railway company was eventually able to offer a widespread service during the 1910 strike, the initial work stoppage of the union men produced an absence of streetcar transportation that was not greeted kindly by the public. The Free Press devoted a considerable amount of ink after the strike’s first day to the plight of those people residing in the outlying regions of the city, remarking that “a walk of miles through snow and over slippery roads after seven or eight hours of serving in a departmental store or working in a factory could be nothing but a severe hardship.” [104] Evidently, the harsh December weather made walking a much less cheerful process than it was during the spring of 1906.

Finally and perhaps most importantly, is the issue of social justice and conceptions of it during the strikes. In 1906, class-consciousness was an integral part of urban consciousness because of the public’s identification with the workers, but in 1910, the public could not see justice in the strikers’ cause as they had four years previously. The 27 December Tribune editorial charged: “The men have always maintained that they were fighting for the maintenance of a principle, but it has to be confessed that the public have been unable to follow or discern with any clearness the principle that was being trampled on.” [105] The fact that the case had already been ruled upon in the arbitration of October could not have helped the public comprehend the workers’ justification for going on strike. While the public was able to sympathize with fights to raise wages or improve working conditions, it could not favour “the life and limbs…of passengers [being] placed in jeopardy by permitting any variation from or breach of the rules relating to the use of intoxicants.” [106]

Limits were indeed assigned to the definition of an urban consciousness in 1910, but it is important to note the role played by the street railway company in assigning these limits. Throughout the 1910 strike, the street railway union and other labour organizations sought to remind the public that the real issue for the strikers was not that of drinking alcohol while in uniform. In fact, union representatives took great pains to let the public know that it did not and had never approved of such activities. Rather, the key question for the strikers was one of justice through union recognition, as they felt that the men had been dismissed due to their union affiliations. Immediately after the strike was called, the street railwaymen stated their belief that “the people of Winnipeg will stand by them when they realize that the company has for a long time been planning to break up their organization.” At a union’s first meeting of the strike, it was further pointed out that, “the company had chosen the drinking charges entirely for their power to affect public opinion. [107] The Voice wryly addressed the company’s insistence on the safety of streetcar passengers and bystanders as the motivation for dismissing the employees, by remarking that in the past, the company had been slow and obstinate in adopting proper safety appliances such as fenders and guards, and stating that it was therefore “somewhat difficult to understand the sudden deep solicitude for the welfare of the general public which the company puts forward as an excuse for the discharge of these men.” [108]

Yet in spite of such protestations, the company was able to hold the majority of public sympathy by emphasizing issues that could not be construed as constituting a definition of “public interest” that sided with labour. The contingent nature of urban consciousness, so apparent in the disconnects and incongruities between the 1906 and 1910 strikes, can be explained in how the “confusion of urban social and political movements under capitalism derives from the ways in which individuals internalize diverse conceptions and act upon them in a milieu that demands mixed conceptions rather than giving anyone a clear-cut identity.” [109] The formation of urban consciousness is dependent on so many diverse and changing factors that it does not maintain the same form; thus the differences in definitions of consciousness and public interest in 1906 and 1910.

The Winnipeg street railway strikes of 1906 and 1910 provide rich contexts for an inquiry into the nature of an urban consciousness. The violence and boycott of the streetcars in 1906 was a pronounced feature of that strike, made more unique by the fact that nearly all the participants in the demonstrations were members of the public—strike sympathizers—and not street railway employees. This was due to the public’s identification with working class concerns, as well as a shared distrust of the Winnipeg Electric Railway Company. Evidently, the city’s capitalist interests did not anticipate the spontaneous response of the public, as they were not able to adequately quell the violent reaction. Furthermore, citizens not directly connected with the streetcar workers nevertheless saw them as members of the same urban community, a community that perceived the company as a manipulative organization oppressing the city through its monopoly of utilities such as the street railway that had become interwoven with the life of the community. Workers and citizens alike rejected the company’s attempted definitions of proper urban citizenship and public interest, instead accepting a conception of public interest that was class-conscious and that viewed the street railway company and its owners as invasive and harmful to the community.

On the other hand, the 1910 dispute reveals how an urban consciousness is not static, and is contingent in nature. Capital successfully contested urban consciousness in 1910, and consequently the public became frustrated with the striking workers on the bases of commerce, convenience, and social justice. More importantly, the company gained a larger measure of public sympathy by emphasizing certain issues as central to the dispute, issues that would not fit in with a class-public interest. The rhetoric of the city newspapers also changed, and with the Ministerial Association no longer in play as a mediator, the press focused on the federal conciliation board as the main voice of mediation in the conflict and the strikers as standing in the way of the public good, a journalistic stance that bode well for the street railway company. On the other side of the dispute, labour interests were unable to sway the focus of the strike from the moral issue of alcohol to the class issue of union recognition and fairness for the employees. The main issues of 1906 were those that the public was able to get behind, but this was not the case in 1910. The unified community in which class and urban consciousness coalesced was weakened as a result of the 1910 strike, but as the evidence from 1906 demonstrates, it would not necessarily have to remain that way.

Source: Manitoba Free Press, 30 March 1906, page 1.


1. Manitoba Free Press (hereafter MFP), “Two Streetcars Burned by Mob,”, 30 March 1906, p. 1; Winnipeg Morning Telegram (hereafter WMT), “Was Most Riotous Day in City’s History,”, 30 March 1906, p. 1; WMT, “Day of Clash Between Strikebreakers, Police and Crowds,” 30 March 1906, p. 5.

2. Armstrong, Christopher and H. V. Nelles, Monopoly’s Moment: The Organization and Regulation of Canadian Utilities, 1830-1930. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988, p. 46.

3. Harvey, David. Consciousness and the Urban Experience: Studies and Theory of Capitalist Urbanization. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985, p. 250.

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid., p. 251.

6. Ibid.

7. Harvey makes this clear in his study of Paris, wherein he argues that the class consciousness of the Paris Commune was forged out of, and as a part of, “a search to transform the power and social relations within a particular [urban] class configuration constituted within a particular [urban] space of a capitalist world.” Harvey, David. Paris, Capital of Modernity. New York: Routledge, 2006, p. 308.

8. Armstrong and Nelles, Monopoly’s Moment: The Organization and Regulation of Canadian Utilities, 1830-1930.

9. Ibid., p. 120.

10. Ibid., p. 3.

11. Ibid., pp. 141-146.

12. Selwood, H. John. “Urban Development and the Streetcar: The Case of Winnipeg, 1881-1913,” Urban History Review, 1977, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 33, 35.

13. Burran, James A. “Labor Conflict in Urban Appalachia: The Knoxville Streetcar Strike of 1919,” Tennessee Historical Quarterly, 1979, vol. 38, no. 1, p. 62.

14. Jones, James B. Jr. “Class Consciousness and Worker Solidarity in Urban Tennessee,” Tennessee Historical Quarterly 1993, vol. 52, no. 2, p. 111.

15. Gribble, Richard E. Jr., “Peter Yorke and the 1907 San Francisco Carmen’s Strike,” Southern California Quarterly, 1991, vol. 73, no. 1, p. 30.

16. Headlee, Thomas J. Jr., “The Richmond Streetcar Strike of 1903,” Virginia Cavalcade 1976, vol. 25, no. 4, p. 183.

17. Gatyas, Kenton. “Springfield’s General Strike of 1917,” Journal of Illinois History 1998, vol.1, no. 1, pp. 46-47.

18. Palmer, Brian D. “Give Us the Road and We Will Run It: The Social and Cultural Matrix of an Emerging Labour Movement.” In Gregory S. Kealey and Peter Warrian, ed., Essays in Canadian Working Class History. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 1976, pp. 107, 124.

19. Young, Dina M. “The St. Louis Streetcar Strike of 1900: Pivotal Politics at the Century’s Dawn,” Gateway Heritage 1991, vol. 21, no. 1 p. 13; Scharnau, Ralph. “Streetcar Strike 1903: Dubuque Walks,” Labor’s Heritage 6, no. 3 (1995): 60; Robert H. Babcock, “The Saint John Street Railwaymen’s Strike and Riot, 1914,” Acadiensis 1982, vol. 11, no. 2, p. 4; Molloy, Scott. “Rhode Island Communities and the 1902 Carmen’s Strike,” Radical History Review 1978, vol. 17, pp. 93-94.

20. Winnipeg Tribune, “A Motorman Recalls His Old Tram Days”. 17 September 1955, Archives of Manitoba (hereafter AM), Vertical File: “Transportation—Street Cars.”

21. Ibid.

22. The Voice. “The Strike Won”. 13 April 1906, p. 1.

23. The Voice, “Street Railway Employees”. 29 April 1904, p. 13.

24. WMT, “New Increase Asked by Men”. 26 March 1906, p. 9.

25. WMT, “Today Decides the Momentous Question”. 27 March 1906, p. 5.

26. “Street Railway Men,” The Voice, 23 March 1906, p. 1.

27. The Voice, “Street Railway Service Tied Up”. 30 March 1906, p. 1.

28. MFP, “Recognition of Union Refused”. 28 March 1906, p. 15.

29. MFP, “Street Railway Strike Begun”. 29 March 1906 p. 1.

30. WMT, “Day of Clash Between Strikebreakers, Police and Crowds”. 30 March 1906, p. 12.

31. Ibid.

32. Ibid.

33. MFP, “Mobs Prevent Cars Running”. 30 March 1906, p. 10.

34. Bercuson, David Jay. Confrontation at Winnipeg: Labour, Industrial Relations, and the General Strike. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1974, p. 13.

35. MFP, “Brutally Beaten”. 30 March 1906, p. 10.

36. Winnipeg Tribune (hereafter WT), “Street Cars Wrecked, Militia to be Called Out,” 29 March 1906, p. 7; WMT, “Was the Most Riotous Day in City’s History,” 30 March 1906, p. 1; WMT, “Day of Clash Between Strikebreakers, Police and Crowds,” 30 March 1906, p. 12.

37. WMT, “Was the Most Riotous Day in City’s History,” 30 March 1906, p. 1.

38. Ibid.

39. WMT, “Another Day of Futile Effort to Run Street Cars,” 31 March 1906, p. 1.

40. Ibid.

41. Bercuson, Confrontation at Winnipeg, p. 14.

42. WMT, “Colonel Dismisses Winnipeg Garrison,” 2 April 1906, p. 5.

43. MFP, “Comparative Quiet Restored,” 31 March 1906, 1; WMT, “Quiet Prevailed Along Car Lines,” 2 April 1906, p. 5.

44. WMT, “Quiet Prevailed Along Car Lines,” 2 April 1906, p. 5.

45. WMT, “First Night Service Tempts Unruly and Boisterous Crowd,” 6 April 1906, p. 10.

46. WMT, “Police Officers are Injured,” 6 April 1906, p. 1.

47. Ibid.

48. The Voice, “The Strike Won,” 13 April 1906, p. 1.

49. WMT, “Directors and Workmen Settle Their Differences,” 9 April 1906, p. 1.

50. Bercuson, Confrontation at Winnipeg, p. 14.

51. The Voice, “The Strike Won,” 13 April 1906, p. 1.

52. WMT, “Day of Clash Between Strikebreakers, Police and Crowds,” 30 March 1906, p. 12.

53. WT, “Mayor Sharpe’s Attitude,” 2 April 1906, p. 3.

54. WMT, “Directors and Men Settle Differences,” 9 April 1906, p. 10.

55. The Voice, “24 Hours More,” 6 April 1906, p. 1.

56. WMT, “First Night Service Tempts Unruly and Boisterous Crowd,” 6 April 1906, p. 10.

57. Artibise, Alan F. J. Winnipeg: A Social History of Urban Growth, 1874-1914. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1975, pp. 158, 168.

58. MFP, “North of the Subway,” 30 March 1906, p. 12.

59. Ibid; MFP, “The North End,” 31 March 1906, p. 12.

60. MFP, “May Be No Sunday Cars,” 4 November 1902, p. 14.

61. The Voice, “All Of One Mind,” 14 November 1902, p. 4.

62. WMT, “John Arbuthnot Once More Winnipeg’s Chief Executive,” 10 December 1902, p. 1.

63. WMT, “What About Sunday Cars?” 6 May 1904, p. 9.

64. MFP, “Opposed to Sunday Street Cars,” 19 November 1902, p. 7.

65. WMT, “Selkirk Hall Meeting,” 5 December 1902, p. 4.

66. The Voice, “Council and Cars,” 28 April 1905, p. 9.

67. MFP, “Sunday Street Cars,” 12 June 1905, p. 1.

68. WT, “A Motorman Recalls His Old Tram Days,” 17 September 1955, AM, Vertical File: “Transportation—Street Cars.”

69. WT, “Should Arbitrate,” 29 March 1906, p. 5.

70. WT, “The Decision to Strike,” 29 March 1906, p. 4.

71. WT, “Sympathy With Men,” 29 March 1906, p. 5.

72. Ibid., “Let There Be Order,”

73. WT, “Where Are We At?”, 2 April 1906, p. 3.

74. MFP, “Adequate Protection for Street Railway Company,” 5 April 1906, p. 13.

75. MFP, “Favours the Organization of the Men,” 6 April 1906, p. 5.

76. Christopher Armstrong and H. V. Nelles, The Revenge of the Methodist Bicycle Company: Sunday Streetcars and Municipal Reform in Toronto, 1888-1897. Toronto: Peter Martin Associates Limited, 1977, p. 43.

77. Ibid., Monopoly’s Moment, pp. 94-95.

78. Artibise, Winnipeg, p. 94.

79. Harvey, Consciousness and the Urban Experience, pp. 254-255.

80. J. W. Horne et al, to City Clerk’s Office, Winnipeg, 1906, File no. 7799, City Council Letter Register, City of Winnipeg Archives and Records Control, Winnipeg, MB.

81. The Voice, “We Walk,” 6 April 1906, p. 4.

82. The Voice, “Street Railway Service Tied Up,” 30 March 1906, p. 1.

83. WMT, “No Time for Stubbornness,” 5 April 1906, p. 4.

84. MFP, “Recognition of Union Refused,” 28 March 1906, p. 1.

85. MFP, “Company Asks for Protection,” 30 March 1906, p. 9.

86. Andrew Scoble Papers, AM, c.1969–1981, Originals & Photostat, 25 pp., MG 14 C111.

87. MFP, “Trouble Brewing on Street Railway Again,” 1 June 1906, p. 1.

88. “Department of Labour, Canada—Trades Disputes,” 19 December 1910, AM, RG 27, vol. 298, reel no. T-2687.

89. MFP, “Strike is Averted By International,” 19 October 1910, p. 1.

90. The Voice, “An Attack on Organization,” 23 December 1910, p. 7.

91. Craven, Paul. An Impartial Umpire: Industrial Relations and the Canadian State, 1900-1911. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980, p. 6.

92. Harvey argues that, “in the context of the communities of money and capital, the legitimacy of the state has to rest on its ability to define a public interest over and above privatism (individualistic or familial, class struggle, and conflictual community interests.” Consciousness and the Urban Experience, pp. 259-260.

93. MFP, “Street Cars Mobbed in Weston,” 20 December 1910, p. 1.

94. MFP, “Strike Riot at Fort Rouge Barns,” 21 December 1910, p. 7.

95. Ibid., p. 1.

96. MFP, “Street Car Burned and Crew Injured,” 24 December 1910, p. 1.

97. MFP, “All Car Routes Open Yesterday,” 23 December 1910, p. 17.

98. MFP, “Complete Service Promised Today,” 19 December 1910, p. 2.

99. WT, “The Street Car Strike,” 31 December 1910, p. 4.

100. MFP, “Street Cars Will Be Run Today,” 17 December 1910, p. 1; “From the Public Standpoint,” MFP, 17 December 1910, p. 13.

101. MFP, “From the Public Standpoint,” 17 December 1910, p. 13.

102. WT, “The Street Car Strike,” 27 December 1910, p. 4.

103. Harvey, Consciousness and the Urban Experience, p. 254.

104. MFP, “Trouble of the Wage Earner,” 17 December 1910, p. 13.

105. WT, “The Street Car Strike,” 27 December 1910, p. 4.

106. Ibid.

107. The Voice, “Street Railwaymen Strike,” 16 December 1910, p. 9.

108. The Voice, “An Attack on Organization,” 23 December 1909, p. 7.

109. Harvey, Consciousness and the Urban Experience, p. 262.

Page revised: 15 February 2015