Memorable Manitobans: Stephen H. “Steve” Juba (1914-1993)
Municipal official, MLA (1954-1957), MLA (1958-1959), Mayor of Winnipeg (1957-1959, 1960-1977)
Born as Stephen Dziuba at Winnipeg on 1 July 1914, son of Ukrainian immigrants Gregory Juba (c1884-1958) and Agathia “Sophie” Juba (1887-1970), brother of Daniel Harry Juba, he was educated at United College. He founded Keystone Supply, a wholesale firm, in 1944.
Shortly after Anglicizing his surname to Juba, he ran as an independent in the 1949 federal election and came in last place. Candidacy in the 1949 provincial election was likewise unsuccessful. He was elected as an Independent in the 1953 and 1958 provincial general elections. Elected Mayor of Winnipeg in 1956, he drove to City Hall in his bright yellow Cadillac. Juba came out of Winnipeg’s multi-ethnic North End, and his election as Mayor symbolized the end of WASP domination of city politics.
Known as a quick wit, he had few avocations but politics. Juba was a populist who supported development and lower taxes. In 1959 he introduced the three-digit emergency phone number into North America. He worked hard to get the Pan-Am games for Winnipeg in 1967. He also sabotaged the concept of cabinet government intended for Unicity, forcing the continuation of the Mayor as a strong executive independent of the city council. He was Mayor when the well-known “Gingerbread City Hall” was demolished to make way for the present structure. He retired in 1977 and moved to Petersfield, but ran again as an Independent in the 1981 provincial general election.
He was married twice, first on 14 April 1946 to Jennie Juba (?-?) from whom he was divorced less than three years later. He later married Elva Eileen Juba (?-?, late wife of Michael Aleck Mitenko). He had no children. In recognition of his community service, he was inducted into the Manitoba Order of the Buffalo Hunt in 1957 for leading a Manitoba delegation along the “Pine to Palm” Highway. In 1970, he became an Officer in the Order of Canada and was awarded the Centennial Medal of Honour by the Manitoba Historical Society (1970) and the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977). The University of Winnipeg gave him an honorary doctorate in 1974.
Juba died at his home at Petersfield on 2 May 1993 and was buried in the All Saints Cemetery. He was an inaugural inductee into the Winnipeg Citizens Hall of Fame.
“Final decrees in 30 divorces,” Winnipeg Free Press, 12 January 1949, page 3.
“Notice of application for a change of name,” Winnipeg Tribune, 7 May 1949, page 22.
“4 to contest North Centre,” Winnipeg Tribune, 11 May 1949, page 4.
“Mayor Juba's father dies at age 74,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 July 1958, page 12.
“Winnipeg's perennial mayor,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 March 1971.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 5 May 1993, page 39.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
Obituary [Michael Aleck Mitenko], Winnipeg Free Press, 5 October 2013, page 48.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 15 April 2022