Winnipeg Cab History / 36: Railway Stations (1)
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The Countess of Dufferin was the first locomotive to operate in Manitoba. She arrived by barge in 1877 to work on the Canadian Pacific Railway's Pembina Branch, which was to link Winnipeg with U.S. rail lines south of the border.

The Countess worked in Western Canada until 1907. In 1909 she was discovered, disassembled, in British Columbia. She was shipped to Winnipeg in pieces and rebuilt in the CPR's Weston shops. In 1910 she was laid to rest in Sir William Whyte Park, across Higgins Avenue from the CPR station. This photo commemorates the event.


1910. Countess of Dufferin being moved to Sir William Whyte Park. Archives Manitoba, Foote 1023 (Negative N2623).

Winnipeg Cab History / 36

Railway Stations (1)

Researching Winnipeg cab history is often a matter of reading between the lines of documents and scrutinizing the background of photographs. This photo is a case in point. Looking beyond its immediate subject we can see some features that shed light on the Winnipeg cab business circa 1910, or that raise suggestive questions.

The yellow box in this photo shows a parking lot that seems reserved for omnibuses and cabs, much like a modern airport "corral" where taxis await incoming flights. There is a total of eight omnibuses and one cab in the lot.

Like the Winnipeg International Airport, the CPR station seems to have been a "closed concession" with the privilege of picking up passengers on railway property being sold to the highest bidder. The McMicken family's company, Manitoba Cartage, may have been a concession holder at some point. The McMickens had a historic relationship with the CPR and, according to the City of Winnipeg Auditor's Report, Manitoba Cartage had a fleet of ten omnibuses in 1906.

The yellow box includes an omnibus parked on Higgins Avenue behind one of the rare one-horse coupes that were licensed as cabs in Winnipeg. These two vehicles may be waiting their turn to move into the corral, or they may outsiders excluded from CPR property and forced to wait for any train passengers who wandered out to the street.

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