To preserve and promote the community spirit of Transcona, through sharing our history and stories for the benefit of all.
History of Transcona Museum - Origins
The Transcona Museum, a registered not-for-profit charity, was established in 1967 as Transcona’s Centennial Project for the 100th anniversary of Confederation of Canada. Following a motion made at a City of Transcona Council Meeting on 10 April 1967 by Alderman Paul Martin (former Mayor for the Town of Transcona), the Council approved the creation of a Museum “in Principle” a week later on April 17th. Following a meeting between Mayor Harry Fuller and the Transcona Public Library to discuss potential arrangements for the location of the museum, space was allocated in the basement of the library. The Transcona City Council contributed $3,000 for renovations to the library basement and a grant of $200 to help the museum in other areas.
Shortly after the Museum’s official creation, a group of interested citizens headed by Mr. Paul Martin formed a separate Museum Board to oversee its operations. The museum collection was started by a civilian committee which went door to door requesting donations. The museum officially opened to the public on October 16, 1968. During the first years, the Transcona Museum Board Members operated the museum, collected artifacts and set up exhibits. Additional volunteers served as museum attendants and supervised the displays three evenings per week.
The museum in the Roland Michener Arena
In 1970, the expansion of library services, together with the growth of the museum necessitated the need for relocation to a larger area. After considerable study, the Transcona City Council decided that space would be made available in the Roland Michener Arena at 1131 Wabasha Street by redesigning a portion of the basement area in the complex which was then still under construction. The Museum closed its doors in the library in October of 1970 and with the help of volunteer labour, the Museum was packed and moved to the arena location by November 1971. The museum was re-opened to the public in the second location in March of 1972. Displays were set up to coincide with the “christening” of the new facility, by the Governor-General of the time, Roland Michener.
In the Bank of Toronto & Transcona Municipal Office Building
In 1979 the Museum once again began to look for a new home since the arena hoped to use the museum space for gymnasium purposes. In August it was suggested that the Museum be relocated to either 401 Pandora Avenue West or the former Civic Offices at 141 Regent Avenue West. At the same time, the old Transcona Municipal Office which was built in 1925 by the former Bank of Toronto, was added to the Historic Buildings Inventory and designated a Class III Historic Building by the City of Winnipeg. As such, it was the first, and one of only two buildings to date, in Transcona to receive a historical designation. In June 1980 the former Municipal Office at Regent and Bond was officially assigned as the new home of the Transcona Museum.
The Museum's second major move took place on November 5th and 6th, 1981. Once again, volunteers played a heavy roll in the movement and unpacking of the collection. A limited number of displays were opened to the public in May of 1982, with the official re-opening ceremony taking place in June of 1983.
The heart of Transcona's vibrant history and culture.
History of Transcona
The name "Transcona" was chosen to commemorate the railway to which the town owes its existence. It is claimed that the name "Transcona" was chosen from thousands of contest entries and was a combination of "Transcontinental" and "Strathcona".
"Transcontinental" - either for the CPR Transcontinental trains that passed through the area or for the National Transcontinental Railway who constructed the shops in cooperation with the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway
"Strathcona" for Donald Alexander Smith, also known as Lord Strathcona. He headed one of the groups responsible for constructing the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1885, Lord Strathcona drove the last spike into the CPR railway.