East Kildonan’s historical boundaries defined
While the boundaries between East Kildonan, North Kildonan, Elmwood and Transcona are unknown by many people, they are absolutely clear for Jim Smith.
Smith is the president of and historian for the North East Winnipeg Historical Society, a group dedicated to preserving the area’s history. He said a look to history can settle any arguments over where the boundaries lie.
The southern boundary between East Kildonan and Elmwood is the back lane between Harrison and Larsen Avenues; fitting because Larsen Avenue is named after Walter Peter Larsen, East Kildonan’s longest-serving mayor (they were called reeves then), who held the title from 1934-1947.
“People call that area Elmwood and that’s not accurate,” Smith said. “That is still the boundary line between the River East Transcona School Division and the Winnipeg School Division. When I read or see somebody talk about Bowman or Larsen or any of those streets and they talk about Elmwood, it’s not Elmwood.”
East Kildonan’s northern boundary is the middle of Oakland Avenue, Smith said. Draw a straight line to the Red River and you’ll roughly end up at the northern end of Frasers Grove Park.
Head east along the Pioneers Trail and follow a southern line to the back lane between Dunrobin and Helmsdale Avenues. Take a straight line to Molson Avenue and the former city boundary and that is East Kildonan.
The boundaries of neighbouring areas are also often misunderstood, Smith said. North Kildonan, for example, went as far east as Plessis Road.
“What people call Transcona, that area around Grassie Boulevard and Kildonan Place, that was never part of Transcona,” Smith said.
The boundary between Transcona and North Kildonan ran through what is now the parking lot of Kildonan Place, Smith said. The land east from the middle of Plessis Road to Gunn Road was Transcona.
“The land where the new Transcona Library is now, that wasn’t part of Transcona at all,” Smith said.