A great picture of Winnipeg, looking West on Portage, with all the Streetcars and traffic.
I”m not sure what era this might be, the 1920’s or 30’s? In the Original size you can see a “Metropolitan Theatre” advertisement on the back of the building which says “Talking Pictures” but that could have been up for awhile.
However, I’ve counted 28 Streetcars in this one picture.
Headline news, Sept 20 1955, Winnipeg Tribune. “Street Cars Silent after 73 Years of Noisy History”
If you have wondered, like I have, why a Streetcar was never preserved, I found a few answers. There was a ‘suggestion’ to put one of the last Streetcars at Assiniboine Park as a display, and it came from the Winnipeg Tribune. There are several references to a display Streetcar in other parks as well, and it was mentioned it would be something you visit with ‘your grandchildren”.
It seems the decision was with the city ‘Parks and Recreation” dept at the time, so I’m wondering if there are minutes etc at City Hall somewhere of these meetings in 1955. There was a also a comment about the Streetcar being of wood and perhaps not lasting long as a display, and I have a feeling that’s what may have happened. Stay tuned!
An anniversary for today: Sept 19, 1955, was the last Streetcar run in the city. An ad in the Winnipeg Free Press proclaimed “Winnipeg Runs on Rubber” by Goodyear of course. With an aging Streetcar fleet, the decision was made to go with a modern bus fleet. Trolley and Diesel buses were the choice, and Trolley Buses used the overhead electrical lines, lasting another 15 years to 1970.
I was informed of an obituary in the Free Press over the weekend, for Grace Cameron Chamberlain (nee McMurdy) and I quote from the FP “During the Second World War she drove a streetcar and was the first woman driver to achieve a one year safety record. She was proud of that accomplishment”.
Another reason to restore 356 I’m sure in those 2 sentences, there is a lifetime of stories, and more. The picture below is from the Winnipeg Tribune Archives, U of M Collection. Looking West on Portage Ave, Trolley Buses on the right.