home > wildwood

History of Wildwood

Home
Heritage Buildings
Heritage Resources

Wildwood was part of the Rural Municipality of Fort Garry (incorporated in 1912) when it became part of the City of Winnipeg which came into legal existence on January 1, 1972.

Wildwood is one of Winnipeg's best known residential neighbourhoods and one of its most unique. Its modern development began in 1908 when Colonel R.M. Thomson introduced the name "Wildwood" and attempted to organize a very exclusive residential neighbourhood along the lines of Wellington Crescent and Armstrong's Point. Roads were built and Thomson built his luxurious mansion on the banks of the Red River (now 400 South Drive). Unfortunately, Colonel Thomson died in World War I and the house stood empty and uncompleted for 17 years until its purchase by the RavenscourtSchool for Boys. St. John'sCollegeSchool (Anglican), which had been founded in 1849, joined Ravenscourt at the Wildwood site in 1950, creating St. John's-Ravenscourt School that continues to the use the building as part of it large educational complex today.

The rest of Wildwood developed in the late 1940s, the plan of Canadian builder/developer Hubert Bird. Planned as one of Western Canada's first residential/park developments, Wildwood was designed to separate cars and people and to replace the usual grid pattern of houses and streets and back lanes with common greenspaces as front lawns and looped back lanes. [1] Because of these interconnected parks, occupants of Wildwood quickly developed an extremely strong sense of community that is still present today.

[1] M.D. Martin, "The Landscapes of Winnipeg's WildwoodPark," in Urban History Review, October 1, 2001.