Winnipeg Cab History / 8: Ham McMicken (5)
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The Brunswick Hotel omnibus parked outside the hotel. The hotel was located at 571 Main Street on the northeast corner of Rupert Avenue. It was demolished in 1976. The Seymour Hotel omnibus was painted in a similar pattern.


Brunswick Hotel. McLaren Bros. Proprietors. Archives Manitoba, Outsize 133/414 [Steen, James Elder (1846-1909), Illustrated Souvenir of Winnipeg (Winnipeg, Martel's, 1903) p. 184]. The same source has a photo of the Seymour Hotel and omnibus on page 54.

Winnipeg Cab History / 8

Ham McMicken (5)

McMicken may have been behind an experiment in public transportation that lasted for one day in 1877. An omnibus plied a route up and down Main Street charging a fare of ten cents, but it did not attract enough customers to make the service worthwhile.

The only other attempt at creating a regular city bus service before 1918 was a proposal by Dave Storey and seven partners to run "herdic" coaches and cabs on certain streets but nothing came of it.

In 1882 Winnipeg got its first transit service but this was provided by horse-drawn street cars rather than omnibuses. The street railway proved its worth in wet weather when Winnipeg's notorious mud brought all other wheeled traffic to a standstill.

McMicken's railway station bus service soon had competition from local hotels which began sending their own omnibuses to the station. The brightly painted vehicles were rolling advertisements for the hotels and the drivers touted aggressively on behalf of their rival establishments.


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