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The development of the Town of Tuxedo is intimately connected to Frederick William Heubach who had arrived in Winnipeg in 1879 as the private secretary of the Land Commissioner of the Hudson’s Bay Company. He stayed with the Company until 1893 when he took over the position of Manager of the Winnipeg Industrial Development Exhibition Association. In May 1905, he incorporated the Tuxedo Park Company Limited, the list of investors included businessmen from all over North America. The Company acquired, for the princely sum of $500,000, 3,000 acres of land from a number of local farming families and hired Montreal-based landscape architect Rickson A. Outhet to draw up plans for the “Tuxedo Park” development. This development failed to materialize because other up-scale districts such as Crescentwood, were closer to downtown Winnipeg and attracted a number of the potential Tuxedo Park investors.  [1]

Heubach reorganized his land company into the South Winnipeg Company in 1910 and increased his holdings to 11,000 acres with the help of new backers that included several from Great Britain. A new design, completed by the renowned American firm of Olmsted Brothers of Brookline, Massachusetts, was hired and the new subdivision created. This plan would be the blueprint for the future development of Tuxedo with only subtle changes.  [2] One of the important developmental aspects of the plan was the land set aside for an agriculture college. This 47-hectares site was purchased by the Province in 1903 and when the College opened in November 1906, it was the first of its kind in the West.  [3] The College moved to Fort Garry (now the University of Manitoba) in 1911-1913 and the site was reused. Another large section of land, 130 hectares, was set aside and became Assiniboine Park in 1904. To the south is the 287-hectare Assiniboine Forest, an aspen parkland officially opened on September 25, 1980. In 1918, the ownership of 5.5 hectares of land along the Assiniboine River and Wellington Crescent was transferred by the Town to the City of Winnipeg to provide a “continuous permanent parkway” between the Park and the City.

In 1912, Canada Cement Company constructed a massive cement plant at the southern boundary of Tuxedo that furnished construction material for much of Western Canada.  [4]

In January 1913, the Town of Tuxedo was incorporated with F. W. Heubach its first Mayor. When F. W. Heubach died in June 1914, David R. Finkelstein (1880-1952), a junior partner of Heubach’s, assumed the position, one that he held, except for 1926, continuously until 1951.

Although the first home was built in 1915 by architect Raymond Carey, it was not until the late 1920s that significant construction occurred, all mainly in what is now the neighbourhood of Old Tuxedo. It would be several decades before more of Tuxedo developed. In 1925, strict guidelines for this residential development were introduced to ensure that the original concept of the “Suburb Beautiful” was maintained – one of the first examples of town planning in Canada.  [5] Lot sizes were large, 15.2 x 39.6 metres, and set back 15.2 metres from the town property line. Houses were to cost a minimum of $10,000, only one house per lot, the structure could not occupy more than 40% of its lot and could be no more than 18.3 metres high. These regulations were written into the new by-laws when Tuxedo formally became part of the City of Winnipeg in 1971.

[1] Tuxedo: A History and Walking Tour (Winnipeg: Tuxedo Tour Committee, 1991), n.p.

[2] Ibid., n.p.

[3] "Fort Osborne Barracks, Formerly Manitoba Agricultural College," report of the Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage and Recreation, Historic Resources Branch, March 1988.

[4] Tuxedo Detailed Area Plan (Winnipeg, MB: Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg, Planning Division, 1970), p. 5.

[5] Ibid., p. 5.