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Manitoba Historical Society
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Winnipeg in 1869

Manitoba Pageant, January 1958, Volume 3, Number 2

This article was published originally in Manitoba Pageant 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 As an historical document, the article may contain language and views that are no longer in common use and may be culturally sensitive in nature.

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The accompanying map-plan shows Winnipeg's famed Portage and Main district as it was in 1869. It has been reproduced from a book written by Alexander Begg and Walter Nursey titled Ten Years in Winnipeg. The year 1869, you will remember, was marked by the beginning of the Red River Resistance led by Louis Riel and the following year was to see Manitoba admitted as a province to the Dominion of Canada. The authors of the book mentioned above had this to say, however, about life in Winnipeg in 1869: "We had no bank, no insurance office, no lawyers, only one doctor, no City Council, only one policeman, no taxes — nothing but freedom and, though lacking several other so called advantages of civilization, we were, to say the least of it, tolerably virtuous and unmistakably happy." As you note the changes that have taken place, make a date to visit at least two points which are still distinguishable: Fort Garry Gate, across from the C.N.R. depot and the site of the first Manitoba Legislative Building; a plaque on the Banque Canadienne Nationale, 433 Main St. North, marks this.

Explanation of map above

1. Fort Garry

2. Hudson's Bay Company Store

3. Wm. Drever's

4. Red Saloon

5. Holy Trinity Church

6. Brian Devlin's

7. Red River Hall and Block

8. O. Monchamp's

9. Garrett House

10. McDermott's house, occupied by Dawson Road overseers

11. McDermott's house, afterwards used as a Custom House

12. Wm. Drever's house, now used as a convent

13. McDermott's Mill

14. A. McDermott's, senr., residence

15. Engine House

16. Post Office Block

17. A. G. B. Bannatyne's residence, afterwards used as Parliament Buildings

18. & 19. Bannatyne and Begg's store

20. Henry McKenny and Larsen's

21. Henry McKenny and Larsen's storehouse, afterwards used as a saloon by McIvor and McIntyre

22. Emmerling Hotel, afterwards Davis House

23. John Higgins'

24. W. H. Lyon's

25. Henry Coture, the butcher

26. W. G. Fonseca's store

27. E. L. Barber's store

Page revised: 30 June 2009

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