North End, Winnipeg

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North End
Skyline of North End
Country Canada
Province Manitoba

Winnipeg's North End is a large urban area located to the north and northwest of Downtown Winnipeg.[1] It is bordered by the Red River on the east, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) mainline on the south, the City of Winnipeg boundary (Brookside Boulevard) on the west and Jefferson Avenue, Keewatin Street, Carruthers Avenue, McGregor Street and the lane between McAdam and Smithfield Avenues on the north. It is the northern section of the City of Winnipeg as it existed prior to the 1972 municipal amalgamation. Winnipeg's northern suburbs such as West Kildonan and Old Kildonan are not considered part of the North End. The CPR mainline and its Winnipeg yards, which are one of the largest railway yards in the world, act as a physical barrier between the North End and the rest of Winnipeg to the south.[2] This has resulted in the North End remaining a very distinct and unique part of Winnipeg.

The areas to the east of McPhillips Street are considered the Old North End, and were developed in the late 19th century and early 20th century, while the areas to the west were generally developed in the 1940s and later. The North End is primarily residential, though there is some light industrial development in Inkster Industrial Park and adjacent to Oak Point Highway and Brookside Boulevard.


The site of the North End was part of the Selkirk Settlement, which was established in 1812. The boundaries of the narrow farm lots surveyed by Peter Fidler early in the 19th century form many of the east-west streets in the North End, and many of these streets are named after settlers who lived in the area, such as Pritchard, Inkster, and Bannerman. The North End is located in the Anglican Parish of St. John, and much of the North End was referred to as "St. John's" in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The City of Winnipeg was incorporated, and its northern boundary was Burrows Avenue. Gradually the boundary of the City of Winnipeg was extended north and parts of the North End today are in the Parish of Kildonan. It is one of the oldest settled parts of Winnipeg. It was the location of Fort Douglas, built by the Selkirk settlers in 1812. The present-day North End was divided into long, narrow farming lots occupied by Selkirk Settlers.

The arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway to Winnipeg would have a significant impact on the development of the North End as a largely working class neighbourhood. The main railway passed through what was then the northern end of the small City of Winnipeg. The presence of this busy railroad and associated rail yards would effectively divide the North End from the rest of the city. As Winnipeg began to experience rapid growth in the late 19th century, the North End began to develop as a largely working class residential area, beginning in the 1880s. Streetcar service on Main Street commenced in 1892, although early patrons were forced to walk across the railway tracks for transportation to Downtown Winnipeg until completion of the Main Street underpass in 1904.

Main Street underpass, looking south, circa 1910

By the 1910s the area was heavily developed and had a large population of immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe.[3][4]. The area was known for its high incidences of extreme poverty and relatively high prevalence of diseases such as typhoid fever and cholera. In the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919, the North End, as a working class area, was largely pro-strike.[5]

The area has long been acknowledged as the most socially deprived part of the city of Winnipeg. Parts of the area, especially east of McPhillips Street and south of Mountain Avenue are marked by high drug use and its associated crime and gang violence. Since the 1980s, attempts to revitalize parts of the North End have been made with many grassroot organizations sprouting up along with many not-for-profit organizations. Together with neighbourhood grants and the grants through Manitoba Hydro, the area has seen a major improvement in its housing. Manitoba Hydro's grant alone accounted for a large number of homes to be totally insulated and have their furnaces upgraded.

The North End was considered Ward Three in the Old City of Winnipeg and historically voted for left of centre parties. It was represented by Communist Party of Canada aldermen (Jacob Penner and Joseph Zuken) from 1933 to 1983. The area also elected communists James Litterick and Bill Kardash to the Manitoba Legislative Assembly. From the 1990s until recently, the area has tended to support the New Democratic Party in Federal elections.


Regarding the boundaries of the North End, it would contain 18 neighbourhoods;[6] North Point Douglas,[7] Lord Selkirk Park, Dufferin, Dufferin Industrial and William Whyte, which are a part of the Point Douglas South neighbourhood cluster; Mynarski, Burrows Central, Robertson, Inkster-Faraday, St John's, St. Johns Park and Luxton, which are a part of the Point Douglas North neighbourhood cluster; Weston Shops, Inkster Industrial, Burrows-Keewatin and Shaughnessy Park of the Inkster East neighbourhood cluster, and; Tyndall Park and Oak Point Highway of the Inkster West neighbourhood cluster. The neighborhoods in bold are a part of the "Old North End".[8]


All rates per 100,000

In 2011, there were 18 homicides in the North End alone, making a rate per 100,000 people at 32.6,[9] but the following year there were only 1/3 the number of homicides, 6, making the rate 10.2. Midway through 2013, the rate is on pace to be even lower, at 7.2.

The crime in the Old North End is very high. In 2012, there were 374 robberies (1175.0 per 100,000 residents), 352 auto thefts (1105.9), 624 break-ins (1960.4) and 17 shootings (53.4).[10]


The population of the North End according to the 2006 Census, is 55,240 people (Old North End: 31,830).[6][11]

Racial Groups in the North End, Winnipeg[6]
Population group Population (2006) % of total population (2006)
White 26,525 48%
Visible minority group South Asian 1,020 1.8%
East Asian 915 1.7%
Black 700 1.3%
Latin American 550 1%
Arab & West Asian 100 0.2%
Southeast Asian 10,815 19.6%
Other 145 0.3%
Multiracial 900 1.6%
Total visible minority population 15,145 27.4%
Aboriginal group First Nations 6,260 11.3%
Métis 6,150 11.1%
Inuit 40 0.1%
Aboriginal, n.i.e. 355 0.6%
Multiple Aboriginal identities 765 1.4%
Total Aboriginal population 13,570 24.6%
Total population 55,240 100%

Famous North-Enders[edit]

Game show host and producer Monty Hall, novelist Adele Wiseman, comedian David Steinberg, journalist Larry Zolf, politician Lloyd Axworthy, musician Burton Cummings of the Guess Who, scientist Louis Slotin and NHL player's Bill Mosienko and Terry Sawchuk.

The Genie Award winning documentary Ted Baryluk's Grocery was filmed in the area.

Katherena Vermette's poetry collection North End Love Songs, which won the Governor General's Award for English-language poetry in 2013, is titled for and inspired by the neighbourhood.[12]


  1. ^ Paskievich, John. The North End Revisited, Photographs by John Paskievich. University of Manitoba Press, Winnipeg 2017.
  2. ^ Gourluck, Russ. The Mosaic Village, An Illustrated History of Winnipeg’s North End. Great Plains Publications, Winnipeg, 2010, page 14.
  3. ^ Martynowych, Orest T. "Ukrainian Immigrants in the City" (PDF). Ukrainian Canadian Studies at the University of Manitoba. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  4. ^ Herstein, Harvey H.,. "The Growth of the Winnipeg Jewish Community". Manitoba Historical Society. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  5. ^ Penner, Norman (ed.). Winnipeg 1919: The strikers’ own history of The Winnipeg General Strike, Second Edition. James Lorimer & Company, Publishers, Toronto 1975.
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^ "Walking Tour of North Point Douglas". Manitoba Historical Society. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  8. ^ Paquette, A.J., Markings : scenes and recollections of Winnipeg's North End, Loch & Mayberry Fine Art Inc., Winnipeg, 1995.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Crime in Winnipeg by Neighbourhoods (2012), info gathered from CrimeStat. Retrieved December 3rd, 2013
  11. ^
  12. ^ Interview with Katherena Vermette. As It Happens, November 13, 2013.

External links[edit]