Saturday, 14 February 2009

Wow, Winnipeg really rocked in 1912 !

I came across this table while looking for something else (which is why I really don't get a lot done when I'm on the itnernet - too much bunny chasing !).

Published in the Manitoba Free Press in Feb 1913 it shows the boom that was taking place in terms of building activity: 5,328 buildings at a value of $
20, 568, 750.

It was during the period 1911-1913 that many of our great buildings came on-line (go here and scroll toward the bottom half). The Law Courts, the Boyd Building, Confederation Life Building , The Free Press Building, The Marlborough, YMCA, Pantages etc.

The boom was so great that Jim Blanchard wrote a book covering just that 12 month period.

Fast forward to today.... I found this table, based on Statscan numbers, in a Destination Winnipeg report. The value of Winnipeg building permits from 1998 - 2008 range from a low of about $425m in 2001 to about $1b in 2008.

Using the Bank of Canada's historic Inflation Calculator I converted 1912's $20, 568,750 into 2008 dollars and got a total of: $ 382,039,241.80 ! (actually that's 1914 dollars compared to 2008 - the calculator only goes back that far).

What makes the number even more impressive, of course, is our size. Population-wise we were at 170,000 or so. Geographically we were a shadow of the city we are today. Hathaway's 1911 Birds' Eye Map of Winnipeg at Manitoba Historical Maps' Flickr page a shows the boundaries of each ward and the city as a whole.

Now THAT was a boom !

Well, now back to looking for coupons or my barber's phone number or whatever I set out to do before this bunny crossed my path !

No comments: