Winnipeg Cab History / 77: Postwar to the 1950s (4)
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Above: The CNR (Union) station taxi stand in the 1950s and below in 1952. Cabs hanging back to allow cabs from other companies to cut in?


Top: C.N.R. Union Station Winnipeg, Man., Canada. Winnipeg, [Western] Smallwares and Stationery, no date. Bottom: 1952. CNR Station Winnipeg. Archives Manitoba, Hall, Frank 33.

Winnipeg Cab History / 77

Postwar to the 1950s (4)

Compared to the turmoil it went through in the '20s and '30s the postwar Winnipeg cab industry enjoyed a period of relative peace and prosperity. The Greater Winnipeg Taxi Owners Association gave the industry a mechanism for cooperative action on common concerns. It also seems to have fostered friendly relations among the owners and managers of its member companies.

This spirit of cordiality was evidenced in the "gentlemen's agreement" that governed unofficial taxi stands on streets adjacent to hotels or other venues. These so-called stands were not designated by the city council as public taxi stands. They were simply parking spaces on public streets and were open to anybody. Nevertheless, certain companies were deemed to have traditional rights to these spaces and the "gentlemen's agreement" ensured that these rights were respected.

A company's "right" to a particular stand may have originated because it had a paid concession on private property nearby, or because the company at one time had a telephone call box on the stand. For example, Yellow Taxi was conceded street parking rights at the CPR station.

The CNR (Union) Station was a special case. The Manitoba Taxicab Board is supposed to have issued an order that only one cab from each company was to park on the CNR stand but it is more likely that this arrangement was a product of the "gentlemen's agreement" and was intended to give small, one-cab operators better access to the stand. These operators were much more dependent on street pickups than the larger fleets.

In the pictures at left cabs seem to be hanging back and leaving space for other cabs to cut in. This is presumably because a cab from the same company is already parked at the front end of the stand.


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