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Do you know the history of your street name?

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Cindy Klassen Way in North Kildonan is named for Winnipeg’s 2006 Olympic hero.

PHOTO BY RICK SPARLING Enlarge Image

Cindy Klassen Way in North Kildonan is named for Winnipeg’s 2006 Olympic hero. Photo Store

There are streets in Winnipeg named after certain themes. For example one area of Fort Garry has used the names of planets — Jupiter, Mercury, Neptune, Saturn and Mars.

There is an area just off Selkirk Avenue and Keewatin Street, running west, in which the street names are in alphabetical order.  — Arrow, Brazil, Code, Dingle, Ellington, Featherstone, Gainsborough, Huber and Inglis.

In The Maples, there are several streets beginning with the letters "Ma" — Massena, Majorca, Madera, Mannerly, Magenta, Manford, Madrill, Maberly, Manorview, Mandalay and more. Confusing or what?

In Waverley Heights, there’s an area with a lake theme — Lake Glen, Lake Crest, Lake Island, Lake Grove, Lake Fall, Lake Village, Lake Lindero, Lake Albrin, Lakedale, Lake Side, and Lake Pointe. There are at least another six streets with "Lake" in them.

I think my favourite street names are these named after people. For the most part, these streets use people’s surnames.

In Elmwood, Nairn Avenue was named for Stephen Nairn, who was director of Winnipeg’s Grain Exchange, Winnipeg Board of Trade, director of the Winnipeg General Hospital and commissioner of Winnipeg Parks Board.

East Kildonan has Grey Street, named for Lord Grey, Governor General of Canada from 1904 to 1911 and after whom the Grey Cup, emblematic of the Canadian Football League championship, was named.

Devonshire Drive in Transcona was named for Victor Christian Cavendish, ninth Duke of Devonshire who served as Governor General from 1916 to 1921.

Perhaps it’s because of the age of the area that North Kildonan doesn’t have a great deal of history reflected in street names.

We do have Jim Smith Drive, named after the youngest of eight children (born in 1911), who had too many accomplishments to list all of them in this column. However, he was a school trustee, city councillor, and a Court of Queen’s Bench Justice.

We also have Cindy Klassen Way, named for our Olympic speed skating champion, who won five medals at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

I have searched extensively, but it looks like no one has recorded the history behind the naming of these North Kildonan streets — Wynyard Bay, Tomkins Bay, Strongberg Drive, Hanson Street, Manthorne Avenue, Hovingham Street, Popko Crescent, Drobot Place, Middlehurst Crescent, Strood Avenue and Alberhill Crescent.

I have researched "City of Winnipeg Street history" via Google and consulted the book Mosaic of Winnipeg Street Names, by J.B. Rudnykyj, but it  looks as if there haven’t been any updates for a number of years.

Do you know the history behind your street?

Rick Sparling is a community correspondent for North Kildonan. Email him at ricksparling@shaw.ca

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