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North section of Kildonan Drive to be explored

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The North East Winnipeg Historical Society is gearing up for a busy September.

The organization is debuting a new walking tour and bringing another back by popular demand.
After hosting a south Kildonan Drive tour as part of the Jane’s Walk weekend earlier this summer, the society is planning a tour of the north section of the Kildonan Drive tour on Sept. 8. The walk begins at 1 p.m., rain or shine, at the corner of Kildonan Drive and Rowandale Crescent. The tour will take approximately 90 minutes.

"There are some historical houses, and people who are well-known and had prominence in the past," society historian Jim Smith, who will serve as the tour guide, said.

Some past area residents who will be featured as part of the tour will be former city councillor Angus McKay, Palliser Furniture founder Abram DeFehr, and hardware store owner and politician Henry Redekop.

In addition to providing details about old homes in the area, Smith said the old railroad bridge, which sits disassembled in the Red River and can be seen when taking the Chief Peguis Trail crossing, will be discussed. Smith said the bridge was built in 1913 by Canadian Pacific Railway, which was considering moving its yards at the time.

"The bridge was built so the crossing would avoid downtown Winnipeg," said Smith, a North Kildonan resident. "As things turned out, World War I came and after that, there was the Depression, so things never happened. But the bridge is still there."

Smith estimated approximately 50 people attended the Kildonan Drive South walk in May. He said sometimes, people get drawn in along the way, too.

"You’re walking by, and people are working outside the house. I’m talking about so-and-so, and they’ll say ‘Oh I didn’t know so-and-so used to live here,’" Smith said.

The second walk of September will be the West Elmwood/Glenelm/Glenwood Crescent tour, which has been held twice before. The group will meet at 1 p.m. on Sept. 29 at the corner of Glenwood Crescent and Harbison Avenue West. Smith will again serve as the guide.

"Some people have missed out, so they’ve requested that we do that again," Smith said, noting his father grew up in the neighbourhood, making the tour a little more special for him.

As well, the group will hold a local history presentation on Sept. 26 at the Henderson Library (1-1050 Henderson Hwy.) There will be short historical stories, pictures, and maps on display.

Lastly, the society will hold its monthly meeting at Access River East (975 Henderson Hwy.) on Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.


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