The Streetcars of Winnipeg - Our Forgotten Heritage
Out of Sight - Out of Mind
On the 19th of September, 2015 it will be 60 years since the last streetcar made it’s final run through Winnipeg’s well known Portage and Main. Even our oldest daughter in her mid fifties never had a chance to see a Winnipeg streetcar operating, and naturally her children and grandchildren haven’t either. What an experience they have missed! I operated the streetcars for the final 17 months of existence here, April 1954 to September 1955. I was the third youngest streetcar operator at that time. I turned 86 years old in November 2014 so the remaining half dozen operators will be in their mid nineties now. I have tried to capture the experience that the 73 years of streetcar service provided to Winnipeg and the surrounding towns. From the start of the horse cars in 1882 where the drivers were paid 12 cents an hour, to the beginning of electric streetcars in January 1891, this book describes with the aid of numerous pictures the essence of the transportation experience of those times. The streetcars ran for approximately 35 years before the first four buses came in 1918. In that time the streetcars supported the growth of the city to 150,000 people by 1912 becoming the third largest city in Canada. Writing this book has brought back many fond memories of those days. The last Winnipeg streetcar book was written by the late John Baker 32 years ago. It’s about time for another.
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