Fred Morris

Fred Morris

St. James community correspondent

Fred Morris is a community correspondent for St. James.

Recent articles of Fred Morris

Tracing the history of King Edward Street

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Tracing the history of King Edward Street

Fred Morris 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

On Oct.10, 1909, a serious fire destroyed the King Edward Street homes of Samuel Thorenson (which was also a dairy) and Augustus Brian. Lilly and Kate Thorenson roused members of both families. At the time, King Edward had poor fire protection, a problem soon resolved by the 1912 construction of a firehall on nearby Berry Street.

During the early 1900s, a Methodist church was constructed on the west side of King Edward between Portage and Ness avenues. On Oct. 28, 1917, the children of the Methodist Church marched west to their new church on Parkview Street, which eventually became St. James United Church. On Dec. 3, 1917, the St. James Legion moved into the church building on King Edward and Legion events were held at 280 King Edward St. The Legion eventually moved to its current Portage Avenue location in the 1950s, and the modern front of the building was added in 1980.

In 1907, the Henderson Directory lists King Edward Street residents for the first time.

Many young residents of King Edward Street have made their mark in the community over th e years. Between 1927 and 1930, Gretta Ekman, Ellen Sheppard, Lilly Goodman, Lena Gobi, and Helen Gunn were mentioned as Sunbeams correspondents in the Winnipeg Free Press. In 1938, Vera Saul was named the St. James Collegiate athlete of the year. During the 1945-46 school year, Dorothy Broughton was editor of the St. James Collegiate yearbook and school newspaper The Roomers. In 1954, Bobby McKay won a bicycle in CKRC’s Robin Hood contest. The extraordinary electronic talent of 10-year-old George Rodgers was the subject of a 1961 Winnipeg Free Press story.

Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

The St. James Legion located at 1875 Portage Ave., between King Edward and Brooklyn streets, was originally housed in the former Methodist church building at 280 King Edward St.

A salute to the St. James Jr. Canucks

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A salute to the St. James Jr. Canucks

Fred Morris 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 1, 2022

On April 25, the St. James Jr. Canucks defeated the Pembina Valley Twisters 5-0 to win the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League championship and the Jack McKenzie Trophy. Let us talk about the champions.

In 1978-79 Carl Wullum and Tom Miller founded the Canucks, who joined the then-nine-year-old MMJHL. The Canucks defeated the St. Vital Victorias 7-2 in their first regular-season game and, on Oct. 13, 1978, the Canucks played their first game at St. James Civic Centre, with Wullum dropping the first puck. The evening also included performances by the St. James Figure Skating Club and a ringette team. Unfortunately, the Seven Oaks Raiders spoiled the party by winning the game 10-4. For the next 44 years, Canucks have continued to provide exciting hockey to the St. James Community.

In 2013, Tom Miller, known as “Mr. Hockey” in St. James, was inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame. On Jan. 22, 2016, the Canucks played in a game commemorating the 50th anniversary game of St. James Civic Centre Game, and defeated the Fort Garry-Fort Rouge Twins 8-0. Mitchell Lockhart scored the first goal and the first hat trick of the Civic Centre’s second 50 years. Tyler Weiss got the shutout.

In the 2018-19 season, the Canucks made a memorable playoff run, but their season ended in a heartbreaking one-goal, Game 7 loss in the final to the Pembina Valley Twisters in Morris. The Jack McKenzie Trophy was not awareded in 2020 or 2021 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wednesday, Jun. 1, 2022

The St. James Jr. Canucks celebrate a goal during the 2021-22 MMJHL playoffs. The Canucks went on to win the Jack McKenzie Trophy as league champions to cap off a dominating season.

The story of Douglas Park Road

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The story of Douglas Park Road

Fred Morris 3 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2022

Douglas Street is listed in the 1907 Henderson’s Directory as running between Portage Avenue and Assiniboine Avenue. In the 1909 directory , the first residents are listed Peter Sinclair, Horace Weldon, Charles Parker, and Henry Cotter. In the 1913 Henderson, the street is referred to as Douglas Park Road for the first time. In 1941, St. James council rejected a proposal to rename Sackville Street and extend Douglas Park Road north.

Weldon operated a downtown grocery store at 383 Portage Avenue which is the current address of Portage Place, exactly where many people are hoping for a new grocery store A very positive review of Weldon’s store appeared in the Winnipeg Tribune on Sept. 25, 1915. Horace’s daughter, Kathleen Weldon, taught various elementary grades at Linwood School during an education career that spanned six decades.

In 1935, Maurice Thompson came to Winnipeg to work for his father at Birt Saddlery and soon became the owner. In the early 1980s, his daughter Susan took over the business. For almost half a century, Maurice and Eleanor Thompson hosted the Douglas Park Road Victoria Day bonfire and fireworks. Between 1992 and 1998, Susan Thompson was the first female mayor of Winnipeg. The administration building at City Hall is now named in her honour.

Another Douglas Park resident, Tom Kilberry, founded Kilberry Industries, which eventually evolved into MacDon, a manufacturer of agricultural harvesting equipment

Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2022

Former Winnipeg mayor Susan Thompson grew up on Douglas Park Road, where her parents hosted an annual Victoria Day bonfire and fireworks display.

The history of Wallasey Street

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The history of Wallasey Street

Fred Morris 2 minute read Wednesday, Mar. 9, 2022

Residents of Wallasey Street, which is two blocks west of Moray Street in St. James, are first mentioned in the 1910 Henderson Directory. Between 1916 and 1974, residents north of Ness Avenue are listed.

Wallasey was once book-ended by animal facilities. Between 1954 and 1974, the Crozier Kennel was located at 743 Wallasey St. Hugh Crozier was well-known as a breeder of Labrador retrievers and was an honorary governor of the Delta Marsh Retriever Club. On July 11, 1959, Dr. Elmer (Al) Clark, and Dr. Frank Grant (changed from Gulyas) opened the Birchwood Animal Hospital at 2595 Portage Ave. Our family adopted our dog, Cindy, from Birchwood and it remains in operation to this day.

In 1911, Bannatyne School opened at 360 Wallasey St., named after William Bannatyne, a long-serving police magistrate in the St. James area. Additions were added to the school in 1962 and 1970, which have replaced the original building . The school’s current address is 363 Thompson Dr. The school has been the meeting place for the 28th Brownie Pack, which was founded in 1924 by Kathleen Thomson of 257 Wallasey St. Several generations of Kathleen’s’ family, including her daughters Nancy, Billy, and Betty, served in various roles with the pack.

Many Wallasey residents have been involved in education in St. James. Eugene Guilbert was the custodian of Bannatyne School between 1913 and 1950. Al Mayer and Al Wischnewski were St. James-Assiniboia School Division teachers and Nicole Bowering was elected to the St. James-Assiniboia school board in 2018.

Wednesday, Mar. 9, 2022

The original Bannatyne School was built in 1911 but has since been demolished, replaced by additions built in 1962 and 1970.

The people and stories of Rita Street

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The people and stories of Rita Street

Fred Morris 3 minute read Monday, Nov. 29, 2021

Residents of Rita Street were listed for the first time in the 1911 Henderson’s Directory. They were: Miss Paton, William Quirk, Thomas Mends and Oliver Anderson.

In the early 1930s, St. James Gladiola Gardens at Rita and Williamette Avenue (now Lodge ) sold peonies for 35 cents. By 1956, there were still only 11 homes listed in Henderson’s but the Sturgeon Creek Community Club was built that year at 210 Rita St. In 2011, a merger of the Sturgeon Creek and Silver Heights community clubs was finalized and a Sturgeon Heights C.C. building replaced the 1956 structure.

Education has been an important part of Rita Street. Long-time St. James educators Thaddeus (Ted) Witoski, George Colton and Larry Friesen all lived on Rita. Marilyn Bullied and Heather Yates fought hard to reverse the 2007 closure of Silver Heights Collegiate.

Bobby Chrystal played 132 NHL games and is a member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame. In overtime of Game 7 of the 1953 AHL Calder Cup Final, Chrystal scored the Cup winning goal for the Cleveland Barons when a clearing attempt took a strange bounce into the net. He also played for the 1957 Brandon Regals Western Hockey League championship team.

Monday, Nov. 29, 2021

Canstar file photo by Eva Wasney
The outdoor rinks at Sturgeon Heights Community Centre are still big draws for locals on Rita Street.

The story of Truro Street

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The story of Truro Street

Fred Morris 3 minute read Friday, Oct. 29, 2021

Truro Street residences are first listed in the 1913 Henderson’s Directory and, until the late 1940s there were no listings of odd-numbered homes.

All the houses on Truro between Portage and Bruce avenues, and north of Silver Avenue have been demolished and not replaced.

Between 1920 and 1958, the six-sheet Deer Lodge Curling Club was located at the southeast corner of Bruce and Truro. In 1947, Jimmie Welsh, Alex Welsh, Jock Reid, and Harry Monk of Deer Lodge won the Canadian men’s curling championship, the Brier.

In 1955, the Greater Winnipeg Planning Commission proposed an extension of Truro Street to Ellice Avenue which never materialized.

Friday, Oct. 29, 2021

Winnipeg Free Press photo archive
Norm Rauhaus was a one-time Truro Street resident who played for four Grey Cup-winning Winnipeg Blue Bombers teams.

A walk through the past on Duffield Street

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A walk through the past on Duffield Street

Fred Morris 3 minute read Friday, Oct. 1, 2021

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.

Friday, Oct. 1, 2021

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 life and times of Riverbend Crescent residents

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The life and times of Riverbend Crescent residents

Fred Morris 3 minute read Friday, Sep. 10, 2021

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.

Friday, Sep. 10, 2021

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.

The history of Moorgate Street

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The history of Moorgate Street

Fred Morris 3 minute read Monday, Aug. 16, 2021

Moorgate Street in St. James is mentioned the 1914 Henderson Directory, which shows two houses on the street. By 1940, there were 13 addresses listed on Moorgate between Portage and Bruce avenues Most of the houses on the street and the Moorgate Apartments at 2187 Portage Ave., were built after the Second World War.

Moorgate is distinguished by two 110-year-old stone monuments.at the corner of Portage and Moorgate. The iconic, 64-year-old Silver Heights Restaurant operated by the Siwicki family is located just west of the corner and, while CIBC and Champs KFC are long gone, they are not forgotten.

There are a couple of mentions of Moorgate Street children in the archives of local newspapers. In 1957, Paul Tremblay and four other Cubs became Scouts in a ceremony at the RCAF Station and, in 1968, Maureen Korda won the Eaton’s Draw Your Dad contest.

Many well-known people lived on Moorgate. It was the last home of golfer Eric Bannister, the St. Charles Country Club professional between 1921 and 1947 who won the Manitoba Open in 1931.

Monday, Aug. 16, 2021

HockeyDB.com
Ray Mikulan, who was born and raised in Winnipeg, played goalie for the Winnipeg Warriors of the Western Hockey League in the 1957-58 and ’58-59 seasons.

The history of Deer Lodge Place

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The history of Deer Lodge Place

Fred Morris 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 14, 2021

July 24 is the 65th anniversary of the opening of the St. James City Hall at 2000 Portage Ave.

What is now called Deer Lodge Place surrounds the former city hall. According to the 1909 Henderson’s directory, Berlin Street and Oakdale Place are the streets which became Deer Lodge Place.

During the First World War, Berlin was renamed Lyle Street. In 1959, the Deer Lodge Place name was given to Oakdale Place, Lyle south of Portage and one house on Assiniboine Avenue. The apartment block at 205 Lyle St. became 1960 Portage Avenue.

Politicians, athletes, business people, an artist, and several writers have lived parts of their lives on Deer Lodge Place.

Wednesday, Jul. 14, 2021

Winnipeg Architecture Foundation
The former St. James City Hall is located at 2000 Portage Ave., which is surrounded by what is now known as Deer Lodge Place.

The history of Strathmillan Road

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The history of Strathmillan Road

Fred Morris 3 minute read Friday, Jun. 18, 2021

Joseph McMillan was born in 1849 in St. Boniface. At the age of 13, he moved to St. James, where farmed at the Strathmillan estate and also taught school at Sturgeon Creek. He was a member of the first Assiniboia council and was later reeve, leaving public life in 1912.

He died at his Maddock Street residence on Oct. 5, 1923.

In the 1911 Henderson’s Directory, Strathmillan Road is referred to as McMillan Crossing. By 1914, the street was called Maddock Street. It has been known as Strathmillan Road since 1929.

The name Strathmillan remembers both the McMillan family and the neighbouring Strathcona Estate (now Silver Heights).

Friday, Jun. 18, 2021

Photo by Linda Vermette / Winnip
Strathmillan School celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2003 and then vice-principal Patrick Betz (above) invited former students to join in the celebration.

The notable names of Woodhaven

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The notable names of Woodhaven

Fred Morris 3 minute read Friday, May. 21, 2021

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.

Friday, May. 21, 2021

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.

The history of Harcourt Street

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The history of Harcourt Street

Fred Morris 3 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 21, 2021

It is unclear for whom Harcourt Street is named but it seems to be a transferred family name. In the 1909 Henderson Directory, just one resident, Alfred Hayes, was listed at number 2.

Between 1910 and 1917, there was a steady increase in the number of houses and properties, all without numbers. By 1918, about 40 houses or properties had been numbered. At the time, Harcourt ran from Portage Avenue to Saskatchewan Avenue, whereas now it ends at Ness Avenue. A few houses existed north of Ness well into the 1960s.

In the early 1960s, the residential neighbourhood seemed destined to change. Winnipeg’s metro government wanted to build a bridge connecting St. James and Charleswood at the end of neighbouring street Thompson Drive. St. James had been planning for about 20 years to build the bridge further east, at Moray Street. The Thompson Avenue bridge idea died when the City of St. James developed vacant land between Harcourt and Thompson on what is now known as Nightingale Road.

A couple of distinctive buildings built in the 1960s define Harcourt just north of Portage Avenue. In 1964, the auditorium of St. Basil’s Ukrainian Catholic Church opened and has become a regular and familiar home to community teas, smorgasbords and perogy dinners. In 1967, the headquarters of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, McMaster House, opened at 191 Harcourt St.

Wednesday, Apr. 21, 2021

File photo
George Knudson, pictured here at the 1968 Canadian Open, grew up on Harcourt Streeet and went on to be named Canada's golfer of the century by the Royal Canadian Golf Association.

The story of Turner Avenue

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The story of Turner Avenue

Fred Morris 3 minute read Wednesday, Mar. 24, 2021

To celebrate the St. James centennial, which is this year, I am planning to do a few stories on individual streets similar to my August 2020 column about Mandeville Street.

The houses on Turner Avenue were constructed in the mid 1950s and the street itself is named for Philip Turner, the first full-time surveyor for the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Anne and Gordon Keatch were original Turner Avenue residents. Gordon served as president of the Silver Heights Community Club, as a member of the St. James school board and as a St. James alderman. During his time on the St. James council, the St. James Civic Centre was opened. Don Keatch, one of the couple’s two sons played in the first game held at the Civic Centre, and Gordon helped organize the 50th anniversary game.

George McCloy was a Turner Avenue resident who was an original CJOB broadcaster and worked at the station for 41 years. He became famous for his midday show, as well as his Sunday Morning Shut-Ins Show. George also did play-by-play briefly for Winnipeg Blue Bombers game. His calm on air demeanour was much appreciated during the Bombers’ one-win 1964 season. In recognition of his service to the community, George was named to the Order of the Buffalo Hunt.

Wednesday, Mar. 24, 2021

WInnipeg Free Press photo archive
Long-serving CJOB announcer George McCloy was a resident of Turner Avenue in St. James.

The storied hockey career of Rudy Pilous

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The storied hockey career of Rudy Pilous

Fred Morris 4 minute read Monday, Mar. 1, 2021

2021 is the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of Brooklands as a village. The family of Anton and Theresia Pilous were original residents. The Pilous family later moved to Winnipeg’s Weston neighbourhood.

Rudolph (Rudy) Pilous was born on Aug.11, 1914, and grew up to be a fine hockey player who made his life in the game.

A left winger, Rudy played for Portage and Winnipeg Monarchs of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. After a brief career in the minor professional leagues, he remained involved in hockey for more than four decades as a coach, manager, owner and promoter. His uncanny ability to put together dynamic forward lines helped him assemble seven championship teams.

In 1943 44,  Rudy co-founded the St. Catharines Falcons of the Ontario Junior League. After the 1945 46 season, he left the Falcons to become a minor-league coach and general manager, winning championships as GM with the 1947-48 Houston Huskies of the USHL and as a coach the 1948-49 San Diego Skyhawks of the Pacific Coast Hockey League. In 1950 51, Rudy returned to St. Catharines to coach and manage the Teepees (the new name of the Falcons).  

Monday, Mar. 1, 2021

File photo
Weston's Rudy Pilous is shown coaching the Chicago Black Hawks in this undated photo. Bobby Hull (wearing number 16, with which he started his NHL career) sits on the bench in front of him, beside Pierre Pilote.

Remembering Ray Torgrud

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Remembering Ray Torgrud

Fred Morris 3 minute read Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021

Former CKY and CJAY TV host Ray Torgrud was born in Red Deer, Alta., on June 28, 1930. In 1947, he became a newspaper correspondent for three different sources and began his broadcasting career at CKRD radio in Red Deer.

During the 1950s, Ray worked at various broadcast outlets in British Columbia and Alberta, including

CHCT Calgary, which was Alberta’s first TV station. In 1960, Ray and his wife Karen tossed a coin when he was offered a job at a brand new Winnipeg TV station. The coin said no - but they still came to Winnipeg.

On Sat., Nov. 12, 1960, Ray introduced CJAY to Winnipeg, on channel 7. The first show it aired was Panorama 7. The station was located west of Winnipeg Stadium and was separated from the then-open-air Polo Park Shopping Centre by an open field.

Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021

Supplied photo
Betty-Jewel Canning and Ray Torgrud, on-air personalities for CJAY TV (later CKY) pose for a promotional photo in the 1960s.

Happy 25th to the Charleswood Bridge

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Happy 25th to the Charleswood Bridge

Fred Morris 2 minute read Monday, Dec. 28, 2020

On Oct. 24, 1995, the Charleswood Bridge opened the day before the civic election. It had been in the planning stages for more than 50 years.

St. James mayor Bill Hanks was quoted in a Winnipeg Free Press article on Jan. 26, 1963, saying that St. James had been planning for a Moray Street Bridge “for some 20-odd years.”

      A front page headline on the Aug. 13, 1957 edition of the Free Press read “13 Bridges Needed in the next 43 Years,” and the story indicated that a Charleswood bridge was included in the 1957 Greater Winnipeg Traffic Study.

By the end of 1990, 10 of the other 12 bridges mentioned in that 1957 report had been built at or near the suggested locations.

Monday, Dec. 28, 2020

Photo by Ken Gigliotti / Winnipeg Free Press
A view of ice pans on the Assiniboine River under the Charleswood Bridge. The bridge opened on Oct. 25, 1995.

The ‘church campus’ of Silver Heights

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The ‘church campus’ of Silver Heights

Fred Morris 3 minute read Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020

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).

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020

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).

Local product now playing pro in Sweden

Fred Morris 2 minute read Preview

Local product now playing pro in Sweden

Fred Morris 2 minute read Friday, Nov. 6, 2020

Aaron Ryback’s story is a classic ‘local boy makes good’ tale.

Ryback, 25, plays hockey for Solleftea in the Swedish second division, where he also helps coach the club’s U16 team. He plays on the power play and penalty kill and, through, Oct. 27, he had seven points in the team’s first four games of the season.

Aaron was educated at Winnipeg Mennonite Elementary school , Lincoln Middle School (where  he was athlete of the year for three straight years), and Westwood Collegiate, from which he graduated in 2013. He played many sports growing up, including lacrosse, badminton, volleyball and ultimate, with many of his teams winning championships. At Westwood, he played basketball soccer and golf, and was named the school’s golfer of the year in 2012.

Hockey has always been Aaron’s major sport. He played two of years of high school hockey for Westwood Collegiate and in 2012-13, he played for the Lundar Falcons of the Keystone Junior Hockey League, averaging over a point a game. He made the league all-star team that season and was named the Falcons’ rookie of the year.     

Friday, Nov. 6, 2020

Supplied photo
Aaron Ryback is a St. James boy who has made good in the world of sport.

The Leckow family of St. Stephen’s Lutheran

By Fred Morris 2 minute read Preview

The Leckow family of St. Stephen’s Lutheran

By Fred Morris 2 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020

Meros Leckow was born on Sept. 5, 1919. He grew up in Winnipeg’s North End, where he attended King Edward and Isaac Brock schools and later went on to earn a B.A. from United College (now the University of Winnipeg).

At an early age, Leckow became an excellent dancer and entertainer and won countless awards. According to a Winnipeg Tribune advertisement published on Sept. 24, 1934, he was part of a vaudeville show at the Beacon Theatre when he was just 15, and he continued to entertain for many years.

During his decades-long entertainment career, Meros toured with the Winnipeg Kiddies, entertained Canadian troops, appeared in a Ukrainian musical in New York,  performed and managed the Don Cossack dancers and created his own touring Ukrainian dance group.

In 1944, Meros married Lilja Thorsteinson. After their wedding, the Leckows  lived in New York and Los Angeles but returned to Greater Winnipeg in 1952 and became the original residents of a Hearne Avenue home in Silver Heights, where they became active charter members of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in 1956.

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020

File photo
Meros Leckow, pictured in his younger days as a popular entertainer.

The legend of Sugar Jim

By Fred Morris 3 minute read Preview

The legend of Sugar Jim

By Fred Morris 3 minute read Tuesday, Sep. 8, 2020

Samuel James Henry was born on Oct. 23, 1920. He grew up on William Avenue in the Weston area. Due to his love of brown sugar, he became known as Sugar Jim.

In 1939, he led the Brandon Elks to the MJHL Championship, the Turnbull Cup. In 1941, he won the Allan Cup with the Regina Rangers. During his first NHL season (1941-42), he led the New York Rangers to first place. They lost to Toronto in the playoffs. His NHL career was halted due to the Second World War. In 1943, he won another Allan Cup with the Ottawa Commandos. After the war, Charlie Rayner and Jim split the Ranger goal tending duties for three seasons. In the 1948-49 season, Jim was traded to Chicago. In 1950, he won the Charles Gardiner Trophy for best USHL goalie while playing for the Kansas City Mohawks.

In 1951, Jim started a four-year run with the Boston Bruins. Due to Jim’s stellar play the Bruins challenged the dominance of Detroit and Montreal. In 1951-52, Jim and fellow Winnipegger Terry Sawchuk, of the Detroit Red Wings, were the NHL All-Star goaltenders.

In the 1952 semifinals against Montreal, Boston won games 3, 4, and 5 to take a 3-2 series lead. In Game 6, the Bruins led in the third period when Jim broke his nose. Rocket Richard tied the game, and the Canadiens won in double overtime. In Game 7, the Bruins and Canadians were tied late in the third period. Richard returned after a head injury to score the winning goal.

Tuesday, Sep. 8, 2020

Photo by Phil Hossack / Winnipeg Free Press files
Former Boston Bruin's goaltender, Sugar Jim Henry reminices about the night the Rocket Richard came back into the Stanly Cup Final game to score a last minute goal agains him in the early fifties. He holds a painting (reproduced from a newsphoto) showing the Rocket shaking his hand after the game. Turner's tale.

Remembering my Mandeville home

By Fred Morris 3 minute read Preview

Remembering my Mandeville home

By Fred Morris 3 minute read Monday, Aug. 10, 2020

On Sept. 1, 1950, our family moved into a brand new, $8,400, unfinished house on Mandeville Street. For the next 23 years, Mandeville Street was our home.

During our Mandeville Street years, we had easy access to many of life’s needed amenities — the Deer Lodge tennis club (and the world’s biggest tennis racquet), the Assiniboine Golf Club and a playground with a small skating rink were all close to our house.

At the other end of the street were coffee shops, Cowtun’s Deer Lodge Pharmacy, a barber shop, a bakery, a grocery store, a hardware store, a clothing store, a dry cleaner, and a florist shop.

Many well-known people lived at least part of their lives on Mandeville Street. Our immediate neighbours included the Tilleys, the Harms, the Pantings, and the Clubines.

Monday, Aug. 10, 2020

Supplied photo
Correspondent Fred Morris grew up on Mandeville Street in St. James and is pictured here in December, 1959, at the nearby skating rink.

Remember political trailblazer Norma Price

By Fred Morris 3 minute read Preview

Remember political trailblazer Norma Price

By Fred Morris 3 minute read Monday, Jul. 20, 2020

We are approaching the 100th anniversary of the birth of Norma Price, Manitoba’s second female cabinet minister, and the first from a Winnipeg riding.

On Aug, 19, 1920, Norma Lorraine Killeen was born in Winnipeg. She was educated at Immaculate Conception School and St. Mary’s Academy and became a trailblazer in business and politics.

According to the Manitoba Historical Society, Price (the married name she used as a politician and businesswoman) was the first female general manager of a major Canadian hotel when she took that job at the Viscount Gort and later became sales and public relations manager for the International Inn (now the Victoria Inn). She then moved from the hotel business to insurance and became an underwriter for Sun Life Assurance Company, later ensuring that Sun Life’s human resource manuals became gender neutral. In May 1977, Price became the first woman to address the Sun Life Assurance leaders conference in San Diego, Calif.

Prior to the 1973 provincial election, Price defeated Ted Speers to win the Progressive Conservative nomination for Assiniboia but went on to lose to Liberal incumbent Steve Patrick by 796 votes. In 1976, she again won the Assiniboia nomination and this time defeated Patrick by 3,592 votes. She was the only woman elected in that general election.

Monday, Jul. 20, 2020

UM Digital Collections
Norma Price draws winning names in a Winnipeg Art Gallery Lottery while auditor Bob Tollefson looks on in this undated photo from the Winnipeg Tribune photo collection held by the University of Manitoba Archives.

Housing near airport shouldn’t be a problem

By Fred Morris 3 minute read Preview

Housing near airport shouldn’t be a problem

By Fred Morris 3 minute read Monday, Jun. 15, 2020

In May, 1928, Stevenson Field (now the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport) was opened by the Winnipeg Flying Club and named for Manitoba aviator and pioneer bush pilot, Capt. Fred J. Stevenson.

St. James, which had a population of 13,393 at the time, surrounded the airport. By 1961, the population had doubled to 34,000. After the Second World War, many homes were built closer to the airport. On Nov. 8, 1949,  a Winnipeg Tribune headline announced the construction of 500 new homes on undeveloped land which had formerly been part of Lord Strathcona’s estate. Thus was born the Silver Heights neighbourhood, and St. James and the airport co-existed right next door to each other.

There are more recent examples of new St. James housing close to the airport. After the closure of Silver Heights Collegiate, the Silver Heights Condominiums were built. Infill houses have been constructed on the Collegiate Street site of the former Airways Community Club.  Habitat for Humanity homes have been built on the site of the former St. James police station on Lyle Street. Various concerns were articulated about these projects but there wasn’t any suggestion that new housing could not be built on these sites due to airport noise.

City council is currently considering issues related to the rezoning of Polo Park-area land to allow for new residential development.

Monday, Jun. 15, 2020

Winnipeg Free Press photo archives
The City of Winnipeg is still grappling with the issue of whether to rezone the former site of Winnipeg Stadium (known as Canad Inns Stadium in its latter days) to allow for residential development.