A Winnipeg Album: Glimpses of the Way We Were by John David Hamilton

By John David Hamilton

Winnipeg was once Canada’s first very important urban within the west and was once the availability element for different prairie towns like Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, or even far away Vancouver. It exploded from a village of 2,700 humans in 1877 to a completely glossy city of 100,000 in precisely thirty years and by means of then had a school, newspapers, publishing agencies, a tremendous theatre, and a colourful mass of immigrants who flooded in to open up the West.

Growing Winnipeg used to be served with paddle-wheelers at the pink River, crimson River ox carts, a Canadian-owned railway to St. Paul, Minnesota, and at last the CPR linking Montreal with the west coast.

A Winnipeg Album is a pictorial impact of Winnipeg’s vibrant, dramatic, and comparatively short heritage, compiled and with remark via John David Hamilton and Bonnie Dickie. Over 100 wonderful black-and-white images checklist the early days of town and hint a number of the dramatic occasions that made Winnipeg "Canada’s Chicago."

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New York's Lower East Side and London's East End were certainly no worse than the worst of Winnipeg's immigrant slums where Slavs, Italians, Scandinavians, Germans, Jews, a few blacks, and a few Chinese huddled in misery. Winnipeg's special addition to this level of hell was the cold. The only thing that could be said in favour of the Canadian experience was that most of these people would soon move on to farms and small towns where they would have a better chance of improving their lot. And thousands managed to get jobs in Winnipeg itself and to build modest but acceptable homes in the residential districts of the west end or Fort Rouge.

And the HBC department store (left) with the magnificent legislative buildings in the background (centre) ... HBC Store on Memorial Boulevard. PAM - Winnipeg Streets Collection - N18069 61 WINNIPEG ... and the great wholesale and retail hardware empire of James Ashdown, which built the whole west. Ash down's store on Main Street. PAM - Thomas Burns Collection - 626 62 Glimpses of the Way We Were S UCH WERE the power bases on which Winnipeg was built. But when it got down to it, the ordinary, hardworking citizen was the true strength of the city.

RAM - Winnipeg Streets Co 41 WINNIPEG Gypsy funeral. " PAM - Immigration Collection - N7938 43 WINNIPEG An early institution: Drewery's Brewery (1882), RAM - Winnipeg Buildings Collection - N16511 44 Glimpses of the Way We Were "Older" Main Street (1921). PAM - Foote Collection - N2701 45 WINNIPEG "Old" Main Street (1928). RAM - Winnipeg Streets Collection - N2696 46 Glimpses of the Way We Were P ART OF WINNIPEG'S early town planning involved the entertainment of the hordes of newcomers who came flooding out of the CPR station looking for "fun, booze, and broads" on Main Street.

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