Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Sanford, Manitoba's grain elevator disappears

© 2019, Christian Cassidy

Sad news that Sanford's grain elevator was demolished over the weekend, (also see.) I had photographed it and began researching its history as one of a trio of buildings for my next southern Manitoba Real Estate News column. This gives it a new wrinkle.

I'll jump the gun and share the information I found now.

Sanford, Manitoba, then called Mandan, got its first grain elevator in 1902. It was constructed by the private Canadian Elevator Company alongside the new CNR track. A note in the local paper in December 1902 said that the elevator was welcome: "but owing to their tactics at offering 5 to 7 cents below track price, they got little wheat". (The proximity to Winnipeg, just 20 minutes away, may have provided better alternatives to selling locally.)

The provincial government took over the elevator in 1910 and soon leased it to United Grain Growers, who bought it out in 1926. Two years later, it was sold to the Sanford Cooperative Elevator Association and became a Manitoba Pool elevator. The Pool tore it down and built a new structure that same year.

(Image: Sanford grain elevator and train station ca. 1915 from Sanford-Ferndale.)

The new Manitoba Pool elevator went into service in 1929. It cost $25,000 and had a capacity of 70,000 bushels of grain, which later increased due to the addition of an annex.

In the late afternoon of September 22, 1948, a fire started in the elevator's cupola and within minutes the structure was engulfed. Fire departments from Carman and Winnipeg were called in to assist the local volunteer fire brigade to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby oil tanks from destroying the town.

The wind was on their side and the town was saved.

Originally reported to have caused around $160,000 in damage, when its contents of 98,000 bushels, (56,000 of that was wheat, the rest was oats, flax and barley), were added the estimated loss was closer to $300,000 according to R. H. Preston, the elevator's buyer.

(Image: Winnipeg Free Press, September 23, 1948)

Not long after the fire, the Elevator Association began construction on a new one. Work was well underway in December 1948 with workers wintering in a nearby bunk house and kitchen building.

One of the association's directors, W. J. Parker, went on to become the president of Manitoba Pool and a director on the board of the CBC.

The new Pool elevator was in operation in early 1949. In 1998, it was rebranded Agricore after Manitoba Pool's merger with Alberta Pool. The 3,180 tonne capacity structure was last used in the 2000 – 2001 crop season, then was sold off for private grain storage.  

It was demolished on January 14, 2019.

More Sanford Elevator History: Manitoba Historical Society
More Sanford History: Sanford-Ferndale, 1871 - 1987
More Manitoba Pool history: McKee Archives - Manitoba Pool Elevator Fonds

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Manitoba's WWI Fallen: Harvey E. Harrison of Brandon

© 2018, Christian Cassidy

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, I am working on a series of blog posts and radio shows that will remember some of the Manitobans who died in action. For more about this project and links to other posts follow this link.

Born and raised in Brandon, Harvey Harrison was one of at least seven children of Thelismar and Jennie (Cummings) Harrison. By 1915, two of the siblings had died at ages eighteen and nine, two daughters had married and moved away, and three, Harvey, Clifford and Jessie, still lived at the family home at 429 Third Street.

In February 1915, Thelismar, a retired farmer and businessman, died at the age of 76.

October 1916 ad, Brandon Sun

Harvey worked at the clothing store owned by his brother, Clifford who was eighteen years his senior. C. W. Harrison Clothiers was located at 723 Rosser Avenue.

Three months after his father's death, Harvey enlisted with the 78th Battalion -  Winnipeg Grenadiers. It was led by Lt. Col. James Kirkcaldy, a former Brandon police chief, but based out of Winnipeg.

Harrison, 20, went overseas in the spring of 1916 and by November was admitted to hospital with a series of issues, including a back injury, blistered feet and measles. He returned to the front in April 1917.

On September 2, 1918, the Grenadiers were fighting at Somme, France when they came under fierce attack. The record of his death, as noted in the Supplement to the London Gazette of December 2, 1918:

"The officer (Lieutenant H. E. Harrison) led his platoon with great skill, overcoming the resistance of a machine gun, killing one and wounding another of the crew himself. When all the officers of his company became casualties, he assumed command and met an enemy counter-attack with determination. When ordered to withdraw, he remained until the last section got away, his coolness and judgment having a splendid effect on all ranks.”

February 9, 1919, Brandon Sun

Harrison was also wounded with gunshot wounds to the abdomen and neck. His medical records note that he was considered "dangerously ill" before succumbing to his injuries on September 15, 1918 at the age of 23. He is buried at the Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France

For his actions, Harrison was posthumously awarded the Military Cross with one bar, one of just 324 given during the war to commissioned officers “for distinguished and commendable services in battle”.

Around the time of his death, two members of the 78th Battalion were awarded Victoria Crosses: James Tait for actions on August 9, 1918 and Samuel L. Honey for actions on September 27, 1918.

Also around the same time, five men in Harrison's battalion were killed on or around August 11, 1918, but their bodies were not found until 2006. They were buried in 2015.

Canadian Virtual War Memorial entry
Attestation Papers and Military File

Monday, 31 December 2018

My most read blog posts of 2018.

At the end of each year I like to look back and see what posts caught people's attentions. What I find most interesting is that some of the most popular posts go back many years, but still have legs !

1. The top two posts I am going to count as one. It was a series profiling the three buildings damaged or destroyed by fire in Brandon back in May 2018. They were the Hanbury Hardware Building (1907) at 705 Pacific Avenue, the Massey Harris Building (1913) at 638 Pacific Avenue and the Cockshutt Farm Supplies Building (1946) at 645 Pacific. These posts got nearly triple the number of page views that the next entry.

2. Is a post I wrote a decade ago looking back at the life of Ken Leishman, a.k.a. The Flying Bandit (2008). That was so long ago that it predates Dumplings and was written on This Was Manitoba. Why a Hollywood movie hasn't been made about this guy is beyond me.

3. Again to a This Was Manitoba post from 2008 was about Eatons' catalogue houses and other buildings. It started out as a post about a building many thought was a prefab Eaton's building, but turned out to be form one of the other companies offering kit buildings at the time.

4. This one baffles me as it has stayed in the top five each year since 2014: Lives Lived at 1021 Wellington Crescent. It was a pretty basic post I wrote after a fire destroyed a landmark home. All these years later, people still want to read about it !

5. Is a look back at things I have written about the history of public toilets in Winnipeg (2018). That, or maybe people are just looking for public toilets in Winnipeg and frustratingly get this post instead.

6. In September, a couple of cast members of Coronation Street were visiting Winnipeg. I plugged the event and thought I would look back at Coronation Street's Canadian history (2018).

"Put your trash into Orbit" (2011) is a familiar road trip expression to those of a certain age. This old post got new life this year in part due to the renewed interest from Gordon Goldsborough's new book which includes an interview and original drawings from its inventor.

8. Remembering car window frost shields (2013) is another bit of automotive nostalgia that was was good for the top 10.

9. Parts of my 2010 series on Safeway in Winnipeg usually makes the top ten, particularly the one related to the sweeping styles of the 1960s. This post is pretty out of date now as new archival sources have come online since I wrote that. I keep meaning to go back an clean it up and update it.

10. Did you know that the Budweiser Clydesdales originated in Winnipeg? They certainly did and that 2012 post informed a few hundred other people in 2018.

10. (tie) I love researching, and usually dispelling, urban myths. The one about the Arlington Bridge originally slated to cross the Nile (2012) is one that is actually quite plausible, though the Blue Nile in Sudan, not the Nile proper in Egypt.  Here's my research into that one.

To finish off a top ten with just posts written in 2018:

- A sad day for Brandon's Strand Theatre.
- A look back at the end of prohibition in Manitoba.
- The forgotten poet of Victor Street.
- John Rudy, the last resident of Elmwood's Tin Town.
- Farewell Mac's Milk.
- West End's Oddson House to be demolished.

Thanks for reading my blogs and don't forget to read me most weeks in the Real Estate News.

There's more to come in 2019 !


Wednesday, 26 December 2018

John Rudy, the last resident of Elmwood's Tin Town

© 2018, Christian Cassidy
Top: Rudy in his home, October 1970 (U of M Tribune Collection)
Bottom: Signature from military file, ca. 1915

This is the story of Ivan "John" Rudy, a man who lived on the periphery of Winnipeg society. If not for being the last resident of Elmwood's "Tin Town" by some thirty years his life would have passed without notice.

There were a number of shanty communities around Winnipeg throughout its history. Rooster Town is likely the best known thanks to a recent book published on the subject. "Tin Town" was located at what was Elmwood's "nuisance grounds", or dump, located at the present day south-east foot of the Nairn overpass at Grey Street.

Dumps were common places for such communities. There was a "Tin Town" near Transcona's dump and St. Boniface at one point had ten families living at theirs. It was certainly poverty that drove people to such places, though for some it was also a case that they shunned city life, or city life had shunned them.

John Rudy was born December 27, 1895 in present-day Poland and came to Canada in 1914 to begin a life of a labourer working in hundreds of logging camps, railway gangs and farms.

Not long after arriving, he decided to enlist with the 59th Battalion at Kingston, Ontario in 1915.

According to his military file Rudy was not an exemplary soldier to start. Between February and June 1916, he was disciplined on a number of occasions for insubordination, disobeying and officer and improper conduct while on parade. By August he was transferred to another battalion and the disciplinary issues ended.

In 1917, Rudy, who was a Sapper, was wounded on number of occasions. In August, it was a gunshot wound to the right ear. In October, it was a gunshot wound to the right shoulder which included shrapnel wounds to his head. He was still recovering in hospital in January 1918.

Rudy was discharged soon after and in 1924 came to Winnipeg via White River, Ontario. Not wanting to live in the city, he chose "Tin Town" and salvaging supplemented his small military pension. Though today it is part of the city's core, at the time there was no Nairn Overpass so it would have been an isolated "no mans land" cut off from the west by railway tracks.

Tin Town in April 1947, Winnipeg Tribune

Nothing was written about Tin Town during its existence. The only recollections about it come from a handful of newspaper interviews done with Rudy in the 1960s and 1970s, the first being by Val Werier in the Winnipeg Tribune in 1962.

Rudy said that when he arrived in Tin Town it was already an established community of people, mostly older men, living in dwellings made out of salvaged wood or tin, thus its nickname. Its population peaked during the Depression with 40 or 50 residents.

Rudy's home was a three metre by three metre hut that stood 1.5 metres tall - not enough room to stand upright. It was covered in clay and sod on three sides and the front door had a small window with a grate across it. Inside, there was a pot-bellied stove, a bed with a mattress, and an oil lamp.

July 3, 1947, Winnipeg Free Press

The end came for Tin Town in 1947.

The Elmwood dump was nearing capacity in the early 1940s and issues such as dust storms, smoke from fires that smouldered for weeks or months deep beneath the fill, and the fact that some of its tens of thousands of rats were wandering into residential areas in search of food, were impacting nearby homes.

When the war ended, a group of residents threatened legal action against the city if they didn't close the dump for good. The city's first step to appease them was to try to clean it up and Tin Town was a casualty.

City officials expressed surprise at the settlement, though unofficially they must have known about it as city dumps were staffed and had a full-time supervisor. There were just a couple of news items in the Tribune by Werier about the clearance featuring a couple of the men who had been sent packing.

Kowal and his home, April 18, 1947, Winnipeg Tribune

One was Fred Kowal who would only say he was "over 60" and originally an immigrant from Europe. He had spent his life working odd jobs in rural Manitoba before coming to the city. As he received no pension, he could not afford the 25 cents a night to stay at a "flop house". Instead, he bought a shack at Tin Town for $3 from the previous owner.

City officials found him so weak and malnourished in his shack that he had to be carried out by ambulance attendants. He was brought to St. Boniface hospital to recover.

Another resident, Louis Dirda, was 77 and received a pension of $25 per month. He, too, was a European immigrant who had worked construction and as a labourer most of his life. Prior to coming to Tin Town he lived in a rooming house on Lily Street that cost $12 per month leaving him with only enough money to eat every second day.

In late 1945, Dirda bought a shack at Tin Town for $10 and was able to eat well daily. In February 1947, fire destroyed that original shack and his new dwelling, made from what could be salvaged in the middle of winter, was just four 1.2 metres by 2.1 metres and stood just over a metre tall. A pile of rags on a bench was his bed.

A couple of days later, a story appeared that W. Cook of Copon Chemical and Plastics on Winnipeg Avenue wanted to offer a job to Kowal and others contacted the paper wanting give donations to Dirda. There was no other follow up about the men or their situations after they left Tin Town.

July 3 and July 17, 1947, Winnipeg Tribune

The cleanup of the dump continued. It included laying out around 600 kilos of rat poison and putting up fencing in places to keep illegal dumpers out and kids from getting in. The fire department spent days dumping water on smouldering spots and extra bulldozers were dispatched to compress the piles of ash and waste that had build up.

In July, city officials showed off the new, improved dump. E A Wood of the city health department told reporters, "its a treat to behold".

This was just a short-term solution to keep the legal action at bay. The use of the dump by the city was reduced dramatically later that year and they employed extra shift at the nearby incinerator to burn more garbage. In 1948, the city's new Henry Avenue incinerator opened and the Elmwood and Saskatchewan Avenue dumps were phased out of use.

Rudy, October 9, 1970 (U of M Tribune Archives)

John Rudy, who at the time of the clearance was aged 52, said he returned to old settlement later in the year. With his war pension of $77 per month, he could afford a room and knew others from the settlement that ended up renting apartments or rooms. He told a Free Press reporter: "I could stay in a rooming house but I never liked them. I got all I want here. I buy the newspaper and they're always talking about trouble somewhere. I don't like trouble."

The Tribune's Val Werier, who had covered the clearance of Tin Town in 1947, caught up with Rudy in 1960 and wrote stories in July and December giving a sense of Rudy's daily life.

At least twice a week, Rudy walked down to the Talbot Avenue corner store of Steve and Mrs. Hyndiuk on Talbot Avenue to check his mail, buy the newspaper and food for himself and his cats. Mrs. Hyndiuk said of him: "He never says much. But he's always happy".

Rudy got his water filled at nearby industrial buildings or the city's mosquito abatement office. When he needed a shower, he visited a friend or went to the YMCA.

Daily life was mostly labouring in the small vegetable garden behind his shack and collecting and cutting wood for the two cords he would need to heat his stove through the winter.

Rudy wasn't a complete hermit. On occasion he would visit former Tin Town residents or walk down to Main Street or the LaSalle Hotel for a couple of glasses of beer with other old-timers.

He summarized his life to Werier by saying: "I'm okay. I have no pains. I eat lots. I sleep well."

Rudy on November 8, 1968, (U of M, Winnipeg Tribune Collection)

Another Tribune reporter caught up with Rudy in 1968. By this time, he was 72 and collecting an old age pension as well as his war pension, for a total of $147 per month. He said that he lived well but after 44 winters in his shack he knew that his time there was coming to an end.

He resisted the invitation to give up his lifestyle and move into the Royal Canadian Legion veterans housing at 675 Talbot Avenue, telling the reporter: "People don't realize no more how nice it is to be free and completely independent".

After the dump was closed the city parceled off the old nuisance grounds site. Some was sold to  Alsip's Brick Works and the portion that Rudy lived on was sold to Chuck Abramson, owner of Red Patch Taxi, where Rudy would sometimes go to clean up or fill his water container.

When asked by a Free Press reporter in 1969 what he thought of Rudy living on his land, Abramson replied: "He doesn't bother me. I don't bother him. He can live there 120 years for all I care. It's none of my business if he wants to live that way."

In October 1970, the last newspaper article appears about John Rudy, aged 76 and stubbornly refusing to move to the Legion housing. At some point, Rudy must have moved to the Legion housing as the notice of death form in his military file shows that address.

November 8, 1968, (U of M, Winnipeg Tribune Collection)

John Rudy died on May 28, 1983 at the age of 88. A three-sentence obituary appeared in the Free Press stating that he had died at Deer Lodge Centre at age 88, that "Mr. Rudy had served in the First World War". 

Rudy, who never married and had no children or any other relatives in Canada, is buried in the military section of Brookside Cemetery.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Christmas 2018

My column in this week's Real Estate News looks back at two downtown holiday traditions; the civic Christmas tree and downtown Christmas lights.

Whatever part of town you find yourself in over the holidays I wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2019 !

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Cecil Francis Lloyd ... continued

In August, I wrote about West End poet Cecil Francis Lloyd, who was just starting to be noticed on the national stage when he committed suicide in his Victor St. home in 1938.

I found a signed copy of his last book, an anthology published by Ryerson Press, and one written nearly 40 years after his suicide by a friend still haunted by his death.

"Landfall" (1935), is dedicated to his late wife: "A loyal comrade in many hard-fought battle and a gay companion in many a wild adventure of the spirit."

"Rest, Perturbed Spirit" (1974) by Watson Kirkconnell, contains passages from many of the letters the two wrote back and forth in the 1930s, including Lloyd's suicide letter that Kirkconnell received weeks after his death.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

The 2018 History Buff's Christmas Gift Guide

Here is my ninth annual Christmas gift guide for the local history buff in your life. You will find books, t-shirts, magazines, mugs, memberships and more. Check back as there are bound to be updates.


A mainstay of any history buff's gift list is books, of course!
Here is a list of some great local history titles. Those with an asterisk indicate that they are new for 2018.

Please support our local and independent bookstores and your purchase does double duty by keeping these treasures around !

** Gordon Goldsborough is back with MORE Abandoned Manitoba. This time, he focuses more on the history of abandoned structures in rural Manitoba. (Great Plains, McNally, Chapters)

** North East Winnipeg Area History is a limited-run book by the North East Winnipeg Historical Society that explores the history of Elmwood, East Kildonan and North Kildonan. (McNally, Blaine's). UPDATE: volume 2 is ready in early December and available by contacting the NEWHS.

** Rooster Town is the story of the life and death of this largely Metis community that stood near where the Grant Park Shopping Centre is now. Companion pieces about the research that went into this book can be found here and here.  (U of M Press, McNally, Amazon, Chapters)

** Memories of the Moonlight Special and Grand Beach Train Era takes you back to the firsts half of the 20th century when trains brought eager tourists to these resort beach communities. (Borealis Press, McNally)

** In Communal Solidarity  Immigration, Settlement, and Social Welfare in Winnipeg’s Jewish Community, 1882–1930, Arthur Ross explores the development of Winnipeg's early Jewish community and the formation of some of its key organizations, many which still exist today. (U of M Press, Amazon)

In Snacks: A Canadian Food History, Janis Thiessen tells the back story of Canadian party favourites such as Old Dutch Potato Chips, Hawkins Cheezies and Ganong chocolates. (U of M Press, McNally Robinson, Amazon)

Jeffrey Thorsteinson (architectural historian) and Brennan Smith (art historian) team up in Green Blankstein Russell and Associates: An Architectural Legacy. This local company went on to become one of Canada's preeminent modernist architecture firms of the 1950s and 60s. (WAF, McNally Robinson)

Bryan Scott and Bartley Kives are back with their second instalment of unique photos and commentary. (See below for their first offering.) Stuck in the Middle 2 ventures where SM1 didn’t: outside the Perimeter. (Great Plains, McNally Robinson, Amazon)

Photographer John Paskievich revisits the places he photographed in the 1970s – 1990s for his book in his book The North End in The North End Revisited. Check out this interview with Colin Corneau. (U of M Press, McNally Robinson, Amazon)

In 1992, Susan Thompson became the first woman elected mayor of Winnipeg. Her memoirs look at her background and the challenges she faced in the male dominated world of civic government.(Friesen Press, McNally Robinson, Amazon)

Abandoned Manitoba is a collection of remnants of the past from around the province. The sites, from grain elevators to military installations and mine shafts, are beautifully photographed and well researched to tell their story. (Great Plains, McNally, Amazon)

The Winnipeg Architecture Foundation continues to add items to its bookshelf. Check out the Colour Your City colouring book featuring dozens of Winnipeg's best known buildings. There is also a new children's guide called Exchange Marks the Spot and their ever-growing collection of illustrated walking tour pocket books as well.

Check out their online shop or storefront office in the Exchange District.

Relive the Jets' golden age with Geoff Kirbyson's The Hot Line: How the Legendary Trio of Hull, Hedberg and Nilsson Transformed Hockey and Led the Winnipeg Jets to Greatness. (Great Plains, McNally, Amazon)

Manitoba loves its pro wrestling but its roots go back much further than the days of Stampede Wrestling. Thrashing Seasons looks at the sport's evolution through the 19th and early 20th centuries. (U of M Press, Amazon)

In the world of fiddle music, Woodridge, Manitoba's Andy Dejarlis was - and is - a legend. Andy Desjarlis: The Life and Music of an Old-Time Fiddler looks at his life and his dedication to his music. To get you in the mood, check out some of his songs on YouTube! (Great Plains)

Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors, A National History
Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors, A National History is a first hand account of Canada's residential school system. It includes many historic photographs of students and their communities as well as images and site maps of of the school buildings. (Portage and Main Press - preview)

Gary Moir looks back at the radio stations and personalities that brought Manitobans together in the fun times and periods of crisis in On the Air: The Golden Age of Manitoba Radio. (Great Plains, McNally, Amazon)

In Wish You Were Here, Stan Milosevic of ManitobaPhotos.com shares some of his wonderful collection of colour-tinted postcards from Winnipeg's past, including the inscriptions written by the senders! (Great Plains, McNally, Amazon)

Over a decade in the making, DELTA: A Prairie Marsh and its People combines history, science and beautiful photography to tell the story of this region of the province. To hear an interview with Dr. Gordon Goldsborough, one of the co-authors. (MHS, McNally, other retailers)

Take a walk on Winnipeg's wild side with Haunted Winnipeg. Nine stories about some of Winnipeg's best known buildings and the creepy things that go on inside them at night. (Great Plains, McNally, Amazon)

Betty: The Helen Betty Osborne Story is the latest graphic novel by David Alexander Robertson recounting the story of a dark chapter in our province's history. Illustrated by Scott B. Henderson. (Portage and Main Press, McNally, Chapters)

You can never go wrong with Winnie the Pooh! here's the latest book written about the real-life bear! (Amazon, Chapters, McNally) Also, check out this review in The Guardian.

Portage and Main Press' Tales from Big Spirit series of graphic novels tell the stories of key Indigenous figures in history, including Tommy Prince, Gabriel Dumont and Thanadelthur. (Portage and Main Press, McNally Robinson)

Brian Darragh, one of Winnipeg's last streetcar operators, put together this look back at our forgotten streetcar heritage. Check out the accompanying website. (Amazon, McNally, Friesen's)

The Patriotic Consensus  Unity, Morale, and the Second World War in Winnipeg by Dr.  Jody Perrun takes a look at what it was like in Winnipeg while World War II raged overseas. Hear my interview with the author. (McNally, Amazon)

The Roblin goes behind the scenes of Adelaide Street's Roblin Hotel, Canada's last men's only hotel and beer parlour. Check out my my interview with the author. (McNally)

From the publishers of Canada's History magazine is Canada's Great War Album to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Canada's entry into the Great War. (Direct, Amazon)

This is from 2013, but a book every Winnipegger should own. Imagining Winnipeg a collection of some of L. B. Foote's most interesting photographs of early Winnipeg, many never before published. (U of M Press, McNally, Amazon)

Also from 2013, Stuck in the Middle: Dissenting Views of Winnipeg. Journalist Barley Kives and photographer Bryan Scott team up to check out the highs and lows of everyday Winnipeg. To hear my interview with the author. (Great Plains, McNally, Amazon)

Also from 2013 is 300 Years of Beer: An Illustrated Guide to Brewing in Manitoba. Meticulously researched and full of many never before seen images of breweries and beer memorabilia from locations across Manitoba. (Great Plains, McNally, Amazon)

Still around is Russ Gourluck's 2012 offering: Silver Screens on the Prairies. Be sure to check out his previous works and pick them up before they're out of print. The Mosaic Village: An Illustrated History of Winnipeg’s North End and his books on the Winnipeg Tribune, Eaton's and Portage Avenue. (Great Plains, McNally, Amazon)

Manitoba History is the quarterly journal of the Manitoba Historical Society. Single copies can be purchased at McNally Robinson or get it free with your membership in the MHS. Contact them about back copy sales. (Check out a preview of the current edition)

No more snickering because The Beaver is now called Canada's History Magazine. Canada's History Society also publish Kayak: Canadian History for Kids. Both are produced right here in Winnipeg and you can order gift subscriptions through the links above. (also, check out their Pierre Burton beaver bow ties!)


It's Winnipeg. It's winter. It's gonna get cold. Who wouldn't want an HBC blanket? If that is a little pricey for you, HBC has a range of products from t-shirts to Swiss Army knives and even dog sweaters.


Many museums have their own shops where you're sure to find something unique. Here are links to some of them: St. Boniface Museum - Manitoba Museum - Daly House - Musée St. Joseph Museum - Winnipeg Railway Museum - Heritage North Museum (Thompson) - Dalnavert Museum
Besides their book collection, the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation has a wide selection of merchandise featuring iconic Winnipeg buildings. Pins, fridge magnets, mugs, tea towels and more. Shop online or visit them at 266 McDermot, (Mon - Fri from noon to 4:30)

The St. Boniface Museum Gift Shop has a wide range of items, including Metis flags, mugs, voyageur sashes, toques, and replica Red River carts.

The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada's Windsock Gift Shop has clothing, toys, models, books and more that help celebrate our aviation heritage.

The Golden Boy Gift Shop at the Manitoba Legislature celebrates everything Manitoba. From Manitoba crested glasses and mugs to Golden Boy scarves and toques.


Elaina El's beautiful paintings capture iconic Winnipeg street scapes and come in oil-on-canvas or prints on canvas.

Heritage Winnipeg also has an online store that includes a collection of prints by Robert J. Sweeney or how about a copy of Fonseca's 1884 city map suitable for framing? Check out more items here.

From our finest buildings to our grungiest back lanes, Winnipeg photographer Bryan Scott (Winnipeg Love/Hate) has captured them all and his work can be seen displayed around the city. You can order prints of your favourites here.


Have fun and help out the Gas Station Arts Centre with Villageopoly. It's based on Monopoly, but has all of your favourite Osborne Village haunts.

Take home a bit of Manitoba's cinematic history with posters, books, and DVDs from the online shop at Cinematheque. Be sure to check out  On the Trail of the Far Fur Country.

Aside from their shop, the Manitoba Museum also invites you to adopt an artefact from their collection. It costs between $35 and $500, depending on the object, and you can switch it up year after year!

Last year, the City of Winnipeg emptied out its shard yard - pieces of demolished historic buildings that were saved to be incorporated into other projects - and approached Heritage Winnipeg to help find them a home.

A section of pieces are now on display and for sale at Shelmardine's and Heritage Winnipeg has some smaller pieces for sale.

Winnipeg's Salvage Supermarket offers a wide range of old building materials, from the mundane to the downright odd. Want some letters from the giant signs that hung on the side of the Winnipeg Convention Centre or perhaps a floor safe? Check out their miscellaneous section.


I fall else fails, remember that museums and heritage groups run on shoestring budgets and are always looking to sell memberships and accept donations. Why not buy someone a membership or make a donation on their behalf ?

You can find a complete list of museums here. Some deserving groups:

Heritage Winnipeg - Manitoba Historical SocietyDaly House Museum (Brandon) - St. Vital Historical Society - Dalnavert Museum - Manitoba Transit Heritage Association - Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada - Settlers Rails and Trails Museum (Argyle)- Musée St. Joseph MuseumWinnipeg Railway Museum - Margaret Laurence Home (Neepawa) - Rivers Train Station Restoration Project - Winnipeg Fire Fighters Museum - Beautiful Plains Museum (Neepawa) - Marine Museum of Manitoba (Selkirk)  Transcona Historical Museum - Heritage North Museum (Thompson)  Winnipeg Streetcar 356 Restoration Project - Manitoba Sports Hall of FameWinnipegosis Railway Station Restoration Project - Manitoba Agricultural Museum (Austin) - Fort la Reine Museum (Portage) -  Manitoba Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre - New Iceland Heritage Museum