IMMIGRATION BACKGROUND TO WINNIPEG

IMMIGRATION BACKGROUND TO WINNIPEG

by George Siamandas

Winnipeg’s great growth was due to periods of rapid immigration. While the first phase of immigrants during 1880s and 1900 came from Ontario and Great Britain, the next phase during 1900 an and 1920s came from Northern Europe. Winnipeg’s population swelled from 42,000 in 1901 to 150,000 in 1913.

Between 1901 and 1911 the foreign borne population of Winnipeg by 60,000. And in the same period another 500,000 are thought to have come through Winnipeg on their way to settle the new west.

Point Douglas is the oldest commercial and residential area and saw development in the 1870s. The upper crust located south first south of Portage Ave and later south of the Assiniboine River in Crescentwood and Fort Rouge. And then it began to move west as well. The north end became home to the Northern European immigrants who came by droves. The CPR station brought people to Higgins Ave. then to the Immigration Sheds and finally to homes in the North End. The North End became the working man’s home. Home of the Jewish, German, and Slavs of the period.

St. Boniface had been a municipality in the 1880s. The first suburb was St. James in 1901 made possible by the popularity of bicycles and the extension of the street car service west. St. Vital followed with incorporation in 1903. Transcona in 1912. Winnipeg went from an area of 3.1 square miles in 1874 to 23.6 square miles in 1913.

The North end had few services like access to fresh water even after the new aqueduct had been built. As a result, in 1911, the north end population had twice the infant mortality rate of west Winnipeg.

ECONOMIC GROWTH
Population growth also reflected itself in economic expansion. More buildings were built ($65 million)in the six years between 190? and 1912 than in the next 25 between 1914 and 1940 ($58 million).

POPULATION GROWTH IN WINNIPEG

YEAR

POPULATION

INCREASE

%

1871

214

1881

7,985

7,771.00

97.32

1891

25,639

17,654.00

68.86

1901

42,340

16,701.00

39.44

1911

136,035

93,695.00

68.88

1916

163,000

26,965.00

16.54

1921

179,087

16,087.00

8.98

1926

191,998

12,911.00

6.72

1931

218,785

26,787.00

12.24

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