St. James community correspondent
Fred Morris is a community correspondent for St. James.
Recent articles of Fred Morris
Duffield Street runs off of Portage Avenue in between the west side of the Deer Lodge Hospital and a diversely used building at 2145 Portage Ave.
Over its 70 year existence, 2145 Portage has been home to various offices, the Lodge Theatre, a Shop Easy grocery store, Blockbuster Video, and is currently the home of Meta Cannabis Supply.
This story remembers some of the people who lived part of their life on Duffield Street and a few nearby houses to the south east on Portage Avenue.
In the 1914 Henderson’s Directory, Dr. George Knipe, a general practitioner, is the first listed resident of Duffield Street. George and wife Hannah emigrated to Canada in 1912, and one of their children, Roger, became a doctor and went on to hold many medical administrative positions throughout North America.
The residents of Riverbend Crescent and Garden Road are first mentioned in the 1948 Henderson Directory.
The use of the name Riverbend created immediate confusion with St. Vital’s Riverbend Avenue.
There are three exact duplicate addresses. In the 1970 Henderson Directory residents of the Kiltarton Towers 1710 and 1712 Portage are first mentioned. I remember some of the people who lived part of their life in this neighbourhood.
Allan (lawyer at Thompson, Dorfman, and Sweatman) and Lorraine Sweatman were original residents of a Riverbend Crescent house. In the 1949 provincial election, Allan was the official agent for Reg Wightman’s successful campaign. In 1995, Allan was the chairman of The Save the (1.0) Winnipeg Jets Campaign.
Many well-known people have called Woodhaven home.
William Bannatyne (1864- 1931) was a reeve, school trustee, and magistrate. Bannatyne School is named after him. William, Mary Jane and family lived at 3000 Portage. Between 1911 and 1956, Elbridge Parker was a leading St. James School administrator. James and Jean King raised their family in Woodhaven. Jimmy Jr. became a well-known musician and bandleader. In 1942, May King was the 1942 St. James Collegiate athlete of the year. Various family members owned King’s Florist. May Johnston (nee King) is remembered on the Hill with a memorial park bench with the 1922 cornerstone of Woodhaven School underneath the bench.
Between 1949 and 1954, Vinie Glass played on five St. Vital West Kildonan Tigerettes championship softball teams; the team is in the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame. While winning four Grey Cups in five years between 1958 and 1962, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defence was anchored by Manitoba Sports Hall of Famers Steve Patrick and Gordie Rowland. In 1960, Rowland was the hero in an unusual last-play regular-season victory, when he kicked a game-winning single after a teammate’s interception on the same play.
In December 1962, Patrick won a Grey Cup and a provincial election in the same month and went on to serve 15 years as a responsible Opposition Liberal critic to both Progressive Conservative and NDP governments. He was also the father of NHL players Steve and James Patrick (now head coach of the WHL's Winnipeg Ice) and grandfather of Philadelphia Flyers forward Nolan Patrick.
After the Second World War, St. James saw residential development on both sides of Silver Heights.
Between Conway and Davidson streets, the site of the former Strathcona Estate remained undeveloped. The land was owned by the municipality of St. James. In 1949, Frank Lount purchased the parcel and began an ambitious 500-home development in which houses were built on bays running off Mount Royal Road. Apartments and a commercial component were built along Portage Avenue. The northern edge of Silver Heights became home to several church buildings.
Silver Heights United Church began as a Sunday school at Strathmillan School. Church services started in a portable building on the southwest corner of Ness Avenue and Mount Royal. A permanent church building to replace the portable structure was built in two stages at the corner of Garrioch Avenue and Mount Royal. The Christian Education building opened on Easter Sunday in 1957 and the sanctuary was opened in June 1965. The building is famous for its architecture, which is a modern duplication of gothic cathedrals.
In 2018, Silver Heights United amalgamated with two other United churches and became part of the Prairie Spirit United Church on Thompson Drive. The Garrioch Avenue building is currently being used by the Church of Christ (Iglesia Ni Cristo).