April 24: CBWFT on the air; Red River crests; Wapusk National Park; WAG's first home.

April 24, 1997 - The Red River crests at Emerson at 792.5 feet during the Flood of the Century.

Beach along Hudson Bay
April 24, 1996 - The 11,475 square kilometer Wapusk National Park is created on the shores of Hudson Bay. The name means "White Bear".

April 25, 1960, Winnipeg Free Press

April 24, 1960 - CBWFT (CBC French Television) begins broadcasting at 3:00 p.m. making it Western Canada's first French-language TV station. Up until this time, limited French language programming was shown on CBWT, which now became an English-only station.

Premier Duff Roblin, Lieutenant Governor Errick Willis and CBC president Alphonse Ouimet attended the opening show, a musical hour broadcast from the Notre Dame Auditorium in St. Boniface. It featured the St. Boniface Choir, WSO and singers Rolande Garnier, Paul Fredette and Georges La Fleche. Roblin said: 

"We shall hope that the purity of the language and our appreciation  of the culture will be increased through our enjoyment of the programs which we shall see through CBWFT."

For its first few weeks CBWFT aired commercial-free from 4:00 p.m. to midnight weekdays and from 2:00 p.m. on weekends. Much of the 60 hours of programming introduced viewers to shows that had aired for years in Montreal, but had not been seen here before. This included quiz shows like La Poule aux Oeufs d'or (The Chicken with the Golden Eggs) and five soap operas, including Les Belles Histoires des pays d'en Haut.

April 24, 1962 - The Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association is formed as the result of a provincial study that found a “...definite need for a secondary school athletic association to define policy, standards and participation regulations for all parts of the province and membership should include teachers, principals and inspectors.

April 24, 1931 - Charlie Chaplin's City Lights opens at the old Garrick Theatre.

April 24, 1933 - The Winnipeg Art Gallery opens on at its first permanent home, the fourth floor of the Civic Auditorium

April 23: Birdtail Creek Train derailment; Bell Hotel renos.

April 23, 1970 - Actor Scott Bairstow is born in Steinbach.

Bell Hotel
April 23, 2010 - It is announced that the vacant Bell Hotel will be converted into a 42-unit supportive housing complex. It reopened in June 2011.

April 23, 1968 - A train derailment  over Birdtail Creek kills three.

April 22: Naval Reserves created; Teachers' Society formed; State of Emergency for '97 flood.

April 22, 1923 – The Winnipeg Division of the RCNVR (naval reservists) is created. It was the forerunner to the HMCS Chippawa now on Smith Street. For more on Manitoba's naval history.

April 22, 1997 - A state of emergency is declared in Southern Manitoba as the Red River rises. The military begins evacuating the first wave of what would be tens of thousands of Manitobans from the region. (Also see CBC Archives.)

April 22 , 1919 - The Manitoba Teachers' Society holds its inaugural meeting at the Industrial Bureau building at Main Street and Water Avenue. For more MTS history.

April 21: Flood of the Century arrives; Manitou incorporates.

April 21, 1997 -  Canadian Forces are deployed to Emerson to fight the "Flood of the Century". (See CBC Archives.)

April 21, 1897 - Manitou is incorporated as a village. Its most famous citizen is Nellie Moody who came from Ontario to teach in the local school. In 1896 she married Wes McClung, the local pharmacist.

April 20: Grace Hospital opens; Winnipeg Electric Street Railway Company incorporates.

streetcar 105
April 20, 1892 - The Winnipeg Electric Street Railway Company is incorporated by an Act of the Manitoba Legislature. Its role was to operate the streetcar system in Winnipeg, St. Boniface and outlying municipalities. (For more on Winnipeg's Streetcars).


Grace Hosptial, Winnipeg
April 20, 1967 - Premier Duff Roblin and Commander Edgar Grinsted preside over the official opening of the Salvation Army's new Grace Hospital in St. James, replacing their circa 1905 facility on Arlington Street.

The 258 bed facility cost $7.5 m and was funded from Roblin's 5% increase in the PST dedicated toward hospital improvements. The facility was a year late in opening due to a fire during construction and a rail strike that delayed the delivery of key pieces of steel infrastructure.

It was the first hospital in Canada to have a 'teenage ward' to deal with patients that were transitioning between the child health system to adult care.

In 2008 the hospital became part of the WRHA but kept the Sally Ann's 'Grace' name.

April 19: Manitoba's first female MLA; Albert Street Block burns; Cindy Klassen Rec Centre.

Cindy Klassen Rec Centre
April 19, 2006 - Council passes a motion to rename the Sargent Park Recreation Centre the Cindy Klassen Recreation Complex after Manitoba's greatest Olympian.

April 19, 1947 - Edith MacTavish Rogers dies. In 1920 she became the first woman elected to the Manitoba Legislature. She won two more elections before retiring from politics in 1932. (Also see.)


Lonely House 5 - Albert Block
Albert Street Block
April 12, 2012 - The Albert Street Business Block burns. Built in 1877 and 1924, it was one of the oldest remaining structures in Winnipeg's downtown. For more see Farewell to the Albert Street Block.

April 18: Camp Hughes an historic site; CFL's founding father; Hespeler dies.

April 18, 1994 - La Rivière Canadian Pacific Railway Station in La Rivière MB is designated a provincial heritage site.

April 18, 1994 - Camp Hughes Military Training Site near Carberry is designated a Provincial Heritage Site.


April 18, 1940 - Clifford Pennington is born in Winnipeg. He was a member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen that won an Olympic Silver Medal at Squaw Valley in 1960.


April 18, 1904 - G. Sydney Halter is born in Winnipeg. A lawyer by trade, he was the driving force behind the creation of a single Canadian Football League. At its founding convention in Winnipeg in 1956 he was elected the CFL’s first commissioner and served for ten years.

April 18, 1921 - Wilhelm Hespeler dies in Vancouver. A German businessman, he established and nurtured many of Manitoba's original German Mennonite communities.

April 17: Brandon Mental Health site a heritage site; 'Peg's radio debut; CMHR funding announced.

Fmr Brandon Mental Health Centre
April 17, 2001 - The Brandon Mental Health Centre Nurses' Residence (Brandon) is designated a Provincial Heritage Site. It is now home to Assiniboine Community College's Culinary Arts Program.


April 16, 2003, Winnipeg Free Press

April 17, 2003 - Izzy Asper and Canadian Heritage Minister Sheila Copps host a formal funding announcement for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights at the Forks Market. It will be the first national Museum to be located outside of Ottawa. 

For a behind the scenes of how the museum funding came about.


April 17 1922, Winnipeg Free Press

April 17, 1922 - In the early days of Winnipeg radio, both the Capitol and Allen (Metropolitan) Theatres host "Radiophone concerts" to demonstrate the magic of the device. Soon, stores began selling radios for household use. For more early radio in Winnipeg.

April 16: R.M. of Fort Garry formed; MTS Centre ground breaking.

April 16, 1912 - The R.M. of Fort Garry is incorporated. It had been part of the R. M. of St. Vital.

MTS Centre
April 16, 2003 - The official groundbreaking ceremony for the MTS Centre takes place.

April 15: Fort Garry Horse; Mary Dunn retires; former Mayor dies; 10 Manitobans sink on Titanic.

April 15, 1912 - The Fort Garry Horse Cavalry Regiment is organized in Winnipeg.

April 15, 1920 - Is the final day of work for Constable Mary E. Dunn, the first female police constable of the Winnipeg Police Service. For more on the history of women in the WPS.

April 15, 1859 - “The International” is the first steamboat to run on the Red River bringing freight and passengers between Fort Garry and St. Paul, Minnesota.


April 15,1917 - Sir Lyman Melvin Jones, 11th Mayor of Winnipeg (1887, 1888) dies in Toronto. He was partner in an implements firm that became Massey Harris. 

April 15, 1912 - The RMS Titanic sinks. Ten Manitobans were aboard and at least sixteen new immigrants who had Manitoba listed as their final destination. Read about them here.

April 15, 1956 - A fire seriously damages the Saratoga Building on Donald Street.

April 15, 1901 - The city agrees to create a cycle path board, similar to the parks board, that would be in change of constructing and patrolling bicycle paths in Winnipeg.

April 14: Casa Loma fire; The Sun goes 7 days; Dominion Lands Act; Titanic damaged.

April 14, 1872 - The Dominion Lands Act is passed by Parliament to grant free land to settlers coming to the West.

Winnipeg Ad to sail the S.S.Titanic, WFP July 29, 1911

April 14, 1912 - At 11:40 p.m. the RMS Titanic is damaged when it strikes an iceberg 640 km south of Newfoundland and begins to sink. The 1,517 dead include 16 immigrants coming to the province and Manitobans Leonard Hickman, Mark Fortune, Charles Fortune, George Graham, Thomson Beattie, Hugo Ross and J.J. Borebank. For more about Manitoba's Titanic connections.

April 14, 1992 - The Winnipeg Sun prints its first Saturday edition making it a seven-day a week newspaper.


April 14, 1942
- Virden-born Harry "Bud" Sketchley makes his debut in Major League Baseball for the Chicago White Sox, one of few Manitobans ever to do so. His career lasted 13 games.

April 14, 1933 - Pioneer Sir Daniel H. McMillan dies.
Described as a colourful character, he came to Manitoba as a member of the Wolseley Expedition. He was also a decorated war veteran and an important figure in Winnipeg's grain trade as the first president of the Winnipeg Grain Exchange. McMillan Avenue is named for him.


Casa Loma Building
April 14, 1928 - The Casa Loma apartments fire at Sherbrook and Portage kills five and injures 12.

April 13: Winnipeg's first officer down; "Singing Cowboy" Bob Nolan.

April 13, 1911- Constable John Beattie, 27, is the first member of the Winnipeg Police Service to die in the line of duty. He was only days into the job when he touched a live wire at a fire scene and was electrocuted.

Five hundred people paid their respects at the viewing and thousands lined the streets to watch the procession to Elmwood Cemetery where he was buried in an unmarked grave. In 1994, thanks to research by a retired officer, the grave was discovered and a ceremony was held to dedicate a proper headstone.

More on the life and death of Constable Beattie at the Winnipeg Police Museum site.
 

April 13, 1908 - Bob Nolan is born in Winnipeg. He spent much of his childhood in Winnipeg before moving east, then eventually to California. There, he became a songwriter, stunt man and an actor in 'B' Western movies. 

He was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005. For film clips, lyrics and poems. Also see this recent History Detectives story.

April 12: New Iceland ends; Marathon of Hope begins; Helen Dallas; Free Press / Tribune "divorce".

April 12, 1876 - The federal government transfers the territory of New Iceland to the newly created District of Keewatin. (Also see New Iceland Museum.)

April 12, 1980 - Winnipeg-born Terry Fox begins his Marathon of Hope by dipping his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean at St. John's, Newfoundland. Sadly, he would never reach his birthplace.


April 12, 1872 - Winnipeg receives a record 33 cm of snow in a single day.


April 12, 2004 - CHUM announces that they have purchased Craig Media and their A-Channel stations in Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg as well as CKX in Brandon.



April 12, 1946 - The final joint edition of the Winnipeg Tribune / Winnipeg Free Press rolls off the presses. The two former rivals started the joint publication in November 1945 after a typographers strike crippled their press rooms. For more.

April 12 2008 - Fire guts the K.U.B. Bakery on Stella Avenue.

April 12, 1930 - The village of Makinak, Manitoba burns leaving 150 people homeless. Today Makinak is a ghost town.


April 12, 1898 - Helen Dallas is born in Hastings England. She moved to Winnipeg in 1919 to study music and went on to become a popular local singer and actress. She gave her final recital at the Winnipeg Art Gallery at the age of 85. For more on the life and career of Helen Dallas.

April 11: Remembering John J. Moncrieff

April 11, 1939 - John J. Moncrieff dies. He was owner of the original Winnipeg Sun (1881-1885) and in 1890 a co-founder of the Winnipeg Tribune where worked until his retirement in 1936.  Moncrieff was also an accomplished musician and choirmaster. 

For the Winnipeg Tribune's obituary.

April 10: Winnipeg goes automatic dialing; Brandon Court House; RMs created; Isaac Colish.

“Close up of new auto-toll dialing switchboards, Fort Rouge exchange”

April 10, 1920 - The first automatic telephone exchange in Winnipeg is put into service.

Within six years the conversion of the city's exchanges from manual to automatic switchboards is complete giving Winnipeg the distinction of being the first large city in Canada to have a completely automated service.
Operator-dialing in rural Manitoba continued into the 1970s. 

April 10, 1996 - The Detroit Red Wings defeat the Winnipeg Jets to become the second team in NHL history to win 60 regular-season games, ( the '76-'77 Canadiens were first).

April 10, 1985 - The original Brandon Court House is designated a Provincial Heritage Site.

April 10, 1920 - The Rural Municipality of Glenella  and Rural Municipality of Lakeview are incorporated.

April 10, 1977 - Isaac Colish dies. The businessman was a community leader in the early decades of West Kildonan's history. For more.