Winnipeg Cab History / 6: Ham McMicken (3)
Previous page Next page Winnipeg Cab History Taxi Library Home

Click on the picture to see a larger version.

The Manitoba Hotel omnibus, probably about 1910. The characteristic roof bulge was designed to provide headroom in the aisle between the two bench seats that ran along the sides. Other hotel omnibuses were more gaudily painted; see pictures at Ham McMicken (5) and Street Cabs vs Livery Cabs.


Manitoba Hotel Buss cor Main & Portage. Archives Manitoba, Stovell Advocate Collection 99 (Negative N19851).

Winnipeg Cab History / 6

Ham McMicken (3)

In 1878 a CPR branch line reached Winnipeg from Pembina, North Dakota providing an all-rail link to eastern Canada via U.S. railways. In the same year Sir John A. MacDonald was reelected after being out of power since 1873. The McMickens reaped the benefits of their Conservative Party connections by being awarded a monopoly to ship CPR freight throughout western Canada.

McMicken created the North West Omnibus and Transfer Company in 1878 primarily to handle his freighting interests but the word "omnibus" in the company name indicated his continuing fascination with passenger service.

North West Omnibus and Transfer ran omnibuses to and from the CPR railway station across the Red River in St. Boniface. The omnibuses had to cross the river by ferry until 1880 when a railway bridge finally brought the Pembina Branch line into Winnipeg.


Previous page Next page Winnipeg Cab History Taxi Library Home