Historic Sites of Manitoba: Dufferin Park (605 Alexander Avenue, Winnipeg)
This Winnipeg site is named for Lord Dufferin, Governor-General of Canada from 1872 to 1878, who visited Winnipeg with his wife in 1877. The original Dufferin Park was on the grounds later occupied by Dufferin School though the name “Dufferin Park” was also erroneously used to describe the William Whyte Park, on account of the locomotive Countess of Dufferin on display there.
This location was acquired in 1894 for use as a park. The two-acre area was landscaped with sidewalks, trees (including evergreens, no longer present), shrubbery, and flowerbeds, with decorative anchor wire fencing adorning the north and south boundaries, along Alexander and Logan avenues. The centre field of the park was left as open grassland, save for a flag pole and a temporary bandstand erected for the park opening.
The park was opened officially on 2 September 1899, with a day-long event kicked off with speeches by local dignitaries, followed by a flag-raising ceremony complete with a public singing of “God Save the Queen.” This was followed by the official hand-over ceremony, where Winnipeg Parks Board Chairman John Arbuthnot presented the park to Mayor Alfred Joseph Andrews. Some 2,000 residents attended the event, which lasted into the evening, continued with the 90th’s Band, and capped off by an evening fireworks display.
“Offer for a school site in Dufferin Park,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 21 June 1893, page 8.
“The proposal made,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 10 August 1895, page 8.
“Dufferin Park opening,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 September 1899, page 5.
“Dufferin Park opened,” Winnipeg Tribune, 5 September 1899, page 2.
“Dufferin Park opened,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 4 September 1899, page 3.
We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 1 February 2020