Winnipeg Cab History / 23: Cab Stands (1)
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The Queen's Hotel, Portage and Notre Dame Avenues, in 1900 (Notre Dame side). The Queen's Hotel, built in 1879, was Winnipeg's foremost hotel during the 1880's. Its 100-foot bar was the longest in Western Canada. Six inches of sawdust on the barroom floor soaked up the spills. The Queen's was purchased by the Bank of Toronto in 1945 and demolished in 1948.


[Queen's Hotel, Portage and Notre Dame, circa 1900]. Archives Manitoba, Winnipeg -- Hotels -- Queen's 1 (Negative N15415).

Winnipeg Cab History / 23

Cab Stands (1)

Cab drivers and the owners of properties fronting on busy streets had directly competing interests. Cab drivers wanted to park on streets with high pedestrian traffic -- that is, streets lined with businesses that attracted people. Meanwhile the business owners objected to lines of cabs interfering with deliveries and customer parking. Complaints from business owners prompted city council to establish designated cab stands.

To placate the business owners, city council tried to place cab stands in out of the way locations. As a result cab drivers generally ignored the stands and parked where they pleased, chiefly on the north-west corner of Portage and Main. Exasperated business owners, in turn, threatened to sue the city for not enforcing the cab stand bylaw.

In September, 1883, Boyd & Co., gunsmiths, complained of cabs standing "four abreast in front of our shop" and of having to endure this nuisance for the past three years. The Queen's Hotel proprietors complained of their "business and property being greatly injured" by the presence of loitering cabs.


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