Manitoba Communities: West Kildonan (Unincorporated City)
In 1914 the Municipality of Kildonan, which spanned both sides of the Red River, was split into the Rural Municipalities of West Kildonan and East Kildonan. The first council met on 16 March 1914 and consisted of Reeve Edmund Partridge and councillors John H Gunn, W. C. Smith, Isaac Colish, and Thomas Sly. In 1921 the municipality was further split into Old Kildonan to the south and West Kildonan to the north and residents of West Kildonan voted in favour of town status. In 1961 council requested city status from the province.
A characteristic of the municipality was its residential nature. Council actively promoted development of new residential and retail areas and the population rose from 6,500 at the end of the Second World War to 19,000 by 1960, giving it one of the highest populations per square mile ratio of the suburban municipalities. It took a strong stand against any industrial development and by 1961 just 5 percent of its three square mile footprint was industrial use.
Like many of the surrounding municipalities, West Kildonan was wary of closer ties with the City of Winnipeg. In June 1971 an open letter endorsed by the entire council urged citizens to contact elected officials about the coming merger stating that “there is no doubt that there will be a substantial increase in your taxes in the years to come, far higher than you would normally expect from normal increases in operating costs and services provided to you.”
Reeves and Mayors
“Fire prevention week will open on Oct. 5,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 September 1930, page 9.
Manitoba Gazette, 1887-1959. Manitoba Legislative Library.
“W. K.—working man’s Tuxedo,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 July 1960, page 1.
“W. K. to seek city status,” Winnipeg Free Press, 26 January 1961, page 30.
“W. K. solicits views on midi-city bill,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 June 1971, page 28.
“West Kildonan, Scotland linked with 1,300-year-old name,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 1971, page 20.
West Kildonan – Pathways, City of Winnipeg Archives.
Page revised: 4 November 2017