Prairie Metropolis

New Essays on Winnipeg Social History

Esyllt W. Jones (Editor), Gerald Friesen (Editor)


At the turn of the twentieth century, Winnipeg was the fastest-growing city in North America. But its days as a diverse and culturally rich metropolis did not end when the boom collapsed. Prairie Metropolis brings together some of the best new graduate research on the history of Winnipeg and makes a groundbreaking contribution to the history of the city between 1900 and the 1980s. The essays in this collection explore the development of social institutions such as the city’s police force, juvenile court, health care institutions, volunteer organizations, and cultural centres. They offer critical analyses on ethnic, gender, and class inequality and conflict, while placing Winnipeg’s experiences in national and international contexts.


Carol Shields City of Winnipeg Book Award (2009)

About the Authors

Esyllt W. Jones is a history professor at University of Manitoba and is the author of the award-winning Influenza 1918: Death, Disease and Struggle in Winnipeg.

Gerald Friesen taught Canadian history at the University of Manitoba from 1970–2011. He has written several books, including The Canadian Prairies: A History and Citizens and Nation, and is co-author of Immigrants in Prairie Cities. Former president of the Canadian Historical Association, he was an advisor on CBC-Radio Canada’s television series Canada: A People’s History. He lives in Winnipeg.

Other contributors: Dale Barbour, Crista Bradley, Angela E. Davis, Lesley Hall, Kurt Korneski, Megan Kozminski, Marion McKay, Tamara Miller, Jody Perrun, Ed Rea, Janis Thiessen, Cassandra Woloschuk

Table of Contents

Part One: Reform and Growth in the First 60 Years
1. Minnie J.B. Campbell, Reform, and Empire / 2. Empty-handed Constables and Notorious Offenders: Policing an Early Prairie City “According to Order” / 3. Protecting and Policing Children: The Origins and Nature of Juvenile Justice in Winnipeg / 4. The Margaret Scott Nursing Mission / 5. The Tubercular Cow Must Go: Business, Politics, and Winnipeg’s Milk Supply 1894–1922 / 6. Brigden’s and the Eaton’s Catalogue: Business and Art in Winnipeg 1914–1940

Part Two: War and Post-War in Winnipeg
7. “Gloaming” to Growing: The Experience of the Institutionalized Elderly at Winnipeg’s Middlechurch Home, 1907–1984 / 8. The Spirit of Service: Winnipeg’s Voluntary War Services During the Second World War / 9. Drinking together: The Role of Gender in Changing Manitoba’s Liquor Laws in the 1950s / 10. Winnipeg’s Palliser Furniture in the Context of Mennonite Views on Industrial Relations, 1974–1996 / 11. The History of the Winnipeg Indian and Métis Friendship Centre, 1951–1968 / Epilogue: Prairie Meropolis: A Personal View