Manitoba Historical Society
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Historic Sites of Manitoba: James Avenue Pumping Station (109 James Avenue, Winnipeg)

Designed by Winnipeg City Engineer H. N. Ruttan, this one-storey brick building was constructed in 1906 to improve the city’s inadequate water supply system for firefighting. It drew water from the Red River and distributed it through eight miles of lines to over seventy hydrants in the downtown area. Six pumps were powered by gas derived from coal. In 1962, the engines were converted to natural gas and electricity. The facility, now a municipally-designated historic site, was closed in 1986.

In 2016, a proposal to turn the vacant building into a mixed-use facility, along with two other new structures on its east and west facades, was approved by the City of Winnipeg. A floor plate will be installed inside the building, above the original historic floor, with its turn-of-the-century machinery. Tenants of the new office space above will be able to view the machine works below.

James Avenue Pumping Station

James Avenue Pumping Station (October 2014)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

James Avenue Pumping Station

James Avenue Pumping Station (December 2018)
Source: George Penner

James Avenue Pumping Station

James Avenue Pumping Station (January 2020)
Source: George Penner

James Avenue Pumping Station

Interior of the James Avenue Pumping Station (September 2019)
Source: Rose Kuzina

James Avenue Pumping Station

Interior of the James Avenue Pumping Station (September 2019)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.89889, W97.13365
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites

Firewater - The James Avenue Pumping Station by Sheila Grover
Manitoba History, Number 13, Spring 1987

Sources:

High Pressure Pumping Station, 109 James Avenue, Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, May 1982.

We thank George Penner and Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 22 December 2020

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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