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The area known as North Kildonan was first organized by the new provincial government of Manitoba as the Municipality of Kildonan in 1876, using the name of a Scottish parish from which many of the original 1812-1813 Selkirk Settlers had originated. The large municipality encompassed land on both sides of the Red River, stretching north from what was then the tiny City of Winnipeg. The land had been surveyed into River Lots, long strips of land laid out from the riverbank so that each land owner had access to the river. On these lots farmed many members of the original Selkirk Settler families that had first settled on the west side of the Red in the early 1810s. Added to these were retiring fur trade employees and Métis families. 

By the early 1900s, some of the area, similar to Winnipeg and the surrounding communities, experienced a sometimes frantic growth phase that would last until World War I. This growth included all facets of life - new industries and businesses organized, old residential districts expanded and new districts were created and services, such as streetcars, began pushing further and further from the downtown.

On the east side of the Red River in Kildonan, this expansion translated into a number of significant changes. The southern part of the Municipality became part of the City of Winnipeg as Ward 7 (Elmwood) in 1906. In 1914 the Municipality of Kildonan was divided into the municipalities of East and West Kildonan with the Red River as the dividing line.

As with West Kildonan, East Kildonan evolved into two disparate regions- the south saw increased residential and commercial development, taking on a more urban character, while in the north, the large tracts of farmland and market gardens continued, with little new development. As a result, in 1925, the northern portion separated to form the Municipality of North Kildonan (the boundary was Oakland Avenue), after agreeing to pay $80,000 as its share of the East Kildonan debt.

North Kildonan has continued its slow growth, with new residential developments such as Sun Valley, River East, Valley Gardens and Eaglemere that have added to its population base since the 1970s. The Concordia Hospital, Bunn's Creek Centennial Park, McLeod Industrial and River East Collegiate/Chief Peguis Junior High School are just some of the important sites and facilities within North Kildonan's old boundaries.