I devoured this book in one day! If you’re at all interested in the history of this city, wondered about some of the place names, or why the bridges and rails are where they are, then you really need to read this book many interesting trivia bits, you won’t drive downtown without looking a little harder. As the author mentions in the preface the sights of 1912 are all around us. Can you imagine the mingling of horse carriage, new autos, and streetcars all around Portage & Main or better yet from the grand homes of Roslyn over the new Osborne St bridge?

No city on the continent was growing faster or was more aggressive than Winnipeg in 1912. No year in this city’s history epitomized energy and optimism more than 1912. As Canada’s most cosmopolitan and ethnically diverse centre, with 21 millionaires, with most of its population under the age of forty, Winnipeg was also the country’s liveliest (and third largest) city. Winnipeg was the centre of banking, the grain trade, and railroad operations.

But only one year later, trumblingngs of the First World War ended the flow of investments and economic activity ground to a halt, sending the city into near bankruptcy and a recession that would last four decades.

In Winnipeg 1912, historian Jim Blanchard guides us through Winnipeg’s golden year. Beginning New Year’s Day at the Royal Alexandra, Blanchard takes us through backrooms and boardrooms, business deals and social events, right through to the following New Year’s Eve, giving us a surprising and illuminating look at our city. Winnipeg 1912 takes us on a visit to the Industrial Exhibition in July where Winnipeggers watched one of the first airplane flights over the city, the Horse Show where the city’s high society went to see and be seen, and two “lost neighbourhoods”: Roslyn Road and the Jewish district north of the Canadian Pacific Railway yards. You’ll meet the people, rich and poor, who made the city, for a time, a vibrant boom town.