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History of Elm Park

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Elm Park was part of the City of St. Vital when it became part of the City of Winnipeg which came into legal existence on January 1, 1972.

The land which now comprises the Elm Park neighbourhood was original part of a large park, also known as Elm Park, created in 1890 by Albert William Austin and his Winnipeg Street Railway Company. A trolley line had been extended along what is now Osborne Street and in an effort to increase ridership, Austin developed the park, with access via a pontoon foot bridge across the Red River. [1] The park became a popular summer picnic spot, however the popularity was short-lived and part of the property was purchased and converted into a dairy farm by a Mr. Nevin by the turn-of-the-century. He operated a concession stand in the summer and several summer cottages were built. In 1911, the Elm Park Company was formed to subdivide the property. To ensure their plans to develop a prestigious district succeeded, the company only allowed homes valued from $6,000 to $8,000 to be built. A new steel toll bridge was begun by the developers in the summer of 1912 to replace the pontoon structure and it was officially opened on March 14, 1914 when Joseph Snowdon, the first private home builder of Elm Park, drove his Cadillac over the structure. [2]

Several decades of development led to the extensive residential neighbourhood of today. This area was one of Winnipeg's hardest hit neighbourhoods during 1950 flood; the earthen dike along Kingston Row and Crescent and sandbags has protected the area since. Most of the area's building stock dates to the era between the two World Wars, although there are a handful of pre-1915 homes still standing.

[1] Information from "The Coaster Enthusiasts of Canada Website," (http://cec.chebucto.org/ClosPark/Elm-Park.html), no date.

[2] Winnipeg Free Press , February 29, 1964, p. 23.