From 1913 to 1972, Charleswood — or more correctly, the rural municipality — grew.
A school, a store, a church and all the makings of a small community could be found in Charleswood. After the Second World War, land was provided to veterans at a very low cost, increasing Charleswood’s population. Roblin Park, Varsity View and Marlton Street grew with huge housing lots.
To this day, Charleswood enjoys a semi-rural environment with lots of green space between homes, forests, gravel roads and ditches. In 1972 the Unicity Act brought together Winnipeg and 13 other municipalities to form a larger city, and Charleswood became a neighbourhood. In fact, the federal riding captures the memory of these independent municipalities by including Charleswood, St. James, Assiniboia and Headingley. Headingley went into the union in 1972 and left the union in 1993, but that’s another story!
One-hundred years on, Charleswood has a population of over 25,000, and a new phase of the neighbourhood is going to be created in the next decade north of Wilkes Avenue.
Hopefully the semi-rural feeling will remain. We are fortunate to have the Assiniboine Forest with its many trails. In fact, the Trans-Canada trail passes right through Charleswood and Headingley. This trail is accessible by almost anyone and is a lovely example of the nature that can be found in Charleswood. There are other trails that have been newly built in our area, including the Yellow Ribbon Trail in St. James, which starts near 17 Wing and travels south of the airport into older St. James. There is the Grand Trunk Trail in Headingley, where one can now walk along the river bank from east of Taylor Bridge to Headingley Proper. I wish to thank the Charleswood Historical Museum for reminding all of us of our shared history. The Charleswood Museum is located at 5006 Roblin Blvd. by the Charleswood Library, and anyone with an interest in the history of our area should visit.
To celebrate our history we also have Grant’s Old Mill in St. James and the St. James Museum across from the Superstore. The museum is the white log house at the intersection of Portage and Banting. It is amazing to think how much has changed since that house was built.
Please share any stories, pictures, and articles of our community’s history with the Charleswood Museum, or feel free to drop by my office at 3111A Portage Ave and we will make sure the information gets to the museum.