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Chapter 12: The Southern Cities

12.19: The Forks in 1988

This very large-scale photo shows the junction of the Red 1 and Assiniboine 2 rivers—The Forks—at an early stage of its conversion into a heritage park. In this spring photo, the dark plume of the Assiniboine River 3 can be seen advancing into the lighter-toned, sediment-laden water of the Red.

“The Forks Renewal Corporation (FRC) was established by the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments on 29 July 1987 to own and redevelop the river-front site and surrounding Canadian National East Yard area. The entire site consists of 83 acres (33.6 ha), although 18 acres (7.3 ha) are owned by the city and may be developed for commercial purposes, and Parks Canada had developed a 9-acre (3.65 ha) National Historic Park. The park covers most of the city’s prime riverbank area with major green space and hard-edged riverbank facilities—walkways, marina, quay and interpretive units.”[i] Some of the developments are underway on the photo (taken on April 24, 1988), a marina 4 just north of the junction of the two rivers and two quays 5. Across the Red is Taché Dock 6 that leads up to St. Boniface Cathedral just off the photo to the east.

At the time the photo was taken the Johnson Terminal 7 and four other railway buildings 8 remain. Some tracks remain in the yards 9 as does a bridge 10 across the Assiniboine. This is now a footbridge; when in use as a rail bridge it could be raised and lowered to take the rail line into the old Fort Rouge Railway Yards (#30 in figure 12.17). To the west are four tracks 11 running past Union Station 12 and merging to cross the Assiniboine on another bridge 13 to run south along the west side of the Red.

The wide Main Street 14 runs west of Union Station and is joined by Assiniboine Avenue 15 and Broadway 16, the southern edge of central Winnipeg’s grid system. Individual buildings can be identified in this area: Hotel Fort Garry 17, Fort Garry Place, an apartment block with the mandatory revolving restaurant at the top 18, and the Wawanesa Building 19 as well as other apartment blocks 20. Also identifiable are Fort Garry Gate 21, on the original location of Fort Garry, and Bonnycastle Park along the Assiniboine 22.

South of the Assiniboine is South Point Park 23, which is now First Nations property and is to be developed as an Aboriginal Theme Park, with buildings to the west including a school 24 and The Winnipeg Winter Club 25. The large building between the road and the railway line 26 is the old Fort Garry Curling Club, demolished several years ago.

Main Street runs on to the Bridge of the Old Forts 27 across the Assiniboine and then Norwood Bridge 28 across the Red, to continue as St. Mary’s Road 29 with Goulet Street 30 leading into it. North of Goulet Street is Dominion Shopping Centre 31 with St. Boniface Hospital to the north 32. As is often the case near large hospitals and shopping centres much land is taken up by parking lots; individual cars can be identified 33. The scale is large enough that cars can be distinguished from buses such as those leaving Norwood Bridge 34.

The Taché Promenade runs along the east bank of the Red 35 with steps leading up from Taché Dock 36, and Taché Avenue 37 parallels the Promenade in the north. East of the avenue is La Verendrye Park 38 with the grounds of St. Boniface Cathedral and Museum to the north 39.

Figure 12.19: The Forks in 1988

Figure 12.19: The Forks in 1988

Figure 12.19

Vertical air photograph: AS88013-43

Flight height: 3250 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.033 mm

Scale 1:5,500 (approx.)

Date: April 24, 1988

Location: Township 10 and 11; Range 3E

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62H Winnipeg

                    1:50,000 62H/14 Winnipeg


[i] Carter, T. “The Forks” in Welsted, Everitt, and Stadel. op. cit., 1996, 150.