20th Century Urban Development

With the opening of Union Station on Main Street in 1911, this allowed for a lot of industrialization. In 1919, many soldiers returned from World War I. Also, during this time the Winnipeg General Strike occurred, as many people, including rail workers, were frustrated with unemployment after the war, inflation, and poor working conditions.

Soldiers Returning from WWI at Union Station, 1919 http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/mb_history/34/thirdforce.shtml

Soldiers Returning from WWI at Union Station, 1919
http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/mb_history/34/thirdforce.shtml

In the 1920’s, Union Station becomes very important. Many immigrants arrived in Winnipeg by the trains, looking for work and a place to settle down. However, rich Brits, who lived in central Winnipeg, and the more poor Eastern Europeans, who lived in the Northern end, divided the city socially, culturally, and ethnically. As people got off the trains at Main Street, more and more people started to locate to this part of the city, making it more established culturally. In 1928, Winnipeg’s population has raised to 300 000 people from 8 000 people in 1880.

 

Also, the city is more industrialized. The streets are crowded with hundreds of people. At this point, many people walked, took a trolley, or rode a horse-drawn carriage to get around. Buildings made of stone and brick of at least 4 or 5 stories are everywhere. This urbanization continues for about another 50 years. From the picture below, we can see that at the time, Union Station was extremely busy, with a dozen active trains daily.

Commemorative Picture in Union Station from 1956

Commemorative Picture in Union Station from 1956

The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada claimed that Union Station should be recognized as a building of national significance in November 1977, because of its effect with the development of Winnipeg during the 1900’s and for its architectural design. In 1989, it was formally a heritage building according to the Historical Monument Board of Canada.

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