This is a retrospective film which takes us back to the days remembered by few, when Winnipeg had a working streetcar system for public transport.
Well researched with archival photos and old film footage this piece, originally commissioned for Television Broadcast by MTS Cable, Backtracks was screened to an appreciative audience at Cinemateque, Winnipeg.
Produced by NEW PROJECTS INC. 2010
Directed by JEFF MCKAY & BETH AZORE
running time: approx 30 minutes
Streetcar 356 has to leave the Winnipeg Railway Museum by the fall as they will be receiving more rail equipment in the near future…
-We now have an NHL team again 🙂
-We have new Hotels
-We have a new airport
-We have a new Stadium under construction
-We have a new Central Park
-We have a HUGE Human Rights Museum underway costing $$$$$$
-We have a $10 million development for the Children’s Museum
-We have a Youth for Christ building at Main and Higgins worth about $4 or $5 million
-We have lots of new things happening in the city
All of these are worthwhile projects.. but…
How about some Streetcar lovin’ to get this restoration project moving?
A small fraction of the money spent on all these projects would get Streetcar 356 back into the history books as a valuable historical attraction to this city.
When the Streetcar has been restored to museum display condition, it will be a self sustaining attraction for events, weddings, meetings, school trips, and many other possibilities.
Families and kids love historic Streetcars, I have seen the market they attract in many active Streetcar operations.
We need a building, then we can restore and display the streetcar for all of Winnipeg to enjoy.
How about it? What’s out there? Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions.
I received some sad news a few days ago, Peter Heide passed away from Cancer.
Peter owned 2 steel Streetcars, 720 and 740 at his farm near Winkler. He contacted me after a newspaper article appeared in the Winkler Times, and invited me down to see them.
I met with him in October 2009, and in October 2010 I was able to start salvaging parts of the Streetcars for use in restoring 356 with Heritage Winnipeg.
He remarked to me “if you had been here 25 years earlier, you would have had 2 intact streetcars for your project” as they were not suitable for any farm storage of grain/feeds etc at all.
Someone eventually had asked to (20 years ago) remove the internal wiring on the streetcars, which eventually weakened and collapsed the ceiling , and then the weather took it’s toll after that with rain,snow, heat….
I watched this on the National Geographic channel recently, it’s a nice history of Streetcars, with Toronto as the backdrop, the first segment is below. It gives a good background into a city’s early development of transportation, and Winnipeg would have had the same progress, but of course we switched to buses in 1955.
From the Provincial Archives of Manitoba, I have compiled a excerpt’s from old movie films, with Streetcars moving through Portage and Main, from around 1920- 1950’s. Also pedestrians, traffic, and the old buildings are in the background. Enjoy!
At Danny Schur’s Replica streetcar 596 last weekend during Open Doors, 2 authentic streetcar signs were donated.
Danny Schur’s Replica for the Strike! musical is inbetween Fort and Garry st, on Broadway, North side. It’s open during the day from 12-6pm and gives a brief history of the 1919 strike and the streetcar history and restoration project for 356. Stop by on your stroll down Broadway on your way to the hot dog vendors.
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.