One of the most asked questions I get from readers is: where was the St. Vital garbage dump located? Many questioners are not happy when they learn they live near the place.
The dump was located along the Seine River at the east end of Lavallee and Beliveau Roads, and besides being a place for refuse, the dump was a place to shoot rats for those of us who had a .22 rifle and were willing to put up with the many odours.
Residential garbage wasn’t picked up by trucks in the 1950s, but by horse-drawn wagons. The garbage men had burlap sacks hanging from the back of the wagons in which they gathered bottle, copper wire and even car batteries. Yes, they recycled long before the practice became popular and made money on the side.
There used to be a chick hatchery on St. Mary’s Road north of the junction. Unfortunately for most of the male chicks, their fate was a trip to the dump where they became fodder for the rats and other predators.
The keeper of the dump lived at the end of Lavallee Road. Mr. Blais was also the "Honey Man" of St. Vital. He didn’t have bees, he drove his team of horses through St. Vital emptying the outhouses of human waste so homeowners wouldn’t have to dig another hole in the backyard.
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The St. Vital Museum officially unveiled its new look Sept. 11-12 during Doors Open Winnipeg, sponsored by Heritage Winnipeg.
One of the highlights is the expanded display featuring St. Vital musicians, including the gold and platinum records of The Guess Who, which were donated bythe band's original bassist, Jim Kale.
St. Vital community correspondent
Bob Holliday is a community correspondent for St. Vital.