Connect with us


Long before Google, Winnipeggers found answers in library’s Where File




There’s a wonderfully quirky and little-known information archive in downtown Winnipeg that predates Google and probably has more hidden secrets than the search engine giant.

It’s a rich resource for researchers, a rabbit hole for history lovers and a trivia buff’s bonanza.

Did you know: Winnipeg’s first civic holiday was observed Sept. 16, 1874? That Winnipeg’s first professional photographer offered to trade photos for wood or flour?

You can find, in this paper-based Winnipeg Public Library archive, the seating capacity of all of Winnipeg’s movie theatres in 1978, or the minimum wage rates for every year between 1921 (25 cents) and 2003 ($6.75).

Welcome to the Where File — as in “where can I find this?” or “where do I go for that?” or “where are those?”

Louis-Philippe Bujold goes through some of the entries in the Where File. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

“This was kind of our search engine before the Internet was widely available,” said Louis-Philippe Bujold, local history librarian at the Millennium Library. 

“It represents thousands of work hours from our librarians over many years who dedicated their time to try to answer the information needed of our city’s citizens and library patrons.”

There’s a drawer entirely devoted to clubs and how to find groups devoted to calligraphy, caves, dolls, pin collections, sasquatch, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Who, origami, orienteering, cats, Avon bottles.

There are entries for medievalists, miniatures enthusiasts, singles, sexaholics and skeptics — the latter for those “who believe the world is filled with superstitions and bizarre ideas.”

The Where File was made available to the public in 2017 after decades of being accessible only to library staff. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

The cabinet of index cards, located on the fourth floor of the library, was assembled by city librarians who decided to do something about the most common questions they were constantly fielding.

They wrote the answers on three-by-five catalogue cards, and if the answers were too long, they listed the books, magazines and newspapers — and specific pages — where the information could be found.

“Finding the answers to those questions sometimes involved a lot of work, so they created a catalogue that would [contain] their research in case it was going to be needed again. Having on-hand information saved a lot of time,” said Bujold.

The business file includes an entry about the now-closed Winnipeg vintage clothing shop If You Have To Get Dressed In the Morning. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

As entries multiplied, more drawers were added, and cards were reassembled into subject categories.

Sometimes paper clippings were added in makeshift pockets or paper clipped to the card, while more popular subjects expanded into multiple cards stapled together.

Never digitized

“Once you start looking in this, you can spend hours and find details and information you would never find otherwise,” said Bujold, noting the information was never digitized, so most of it only exists in the file.

“It’s a fallacy to say that everything is on the internet. That’s not true. And we still use the Where File precisely because for topics that are specialized on Manitoba, you’re less likely to find it anywhere else.”

There’s information on buildings, streets, communities, businesses and personalities — musicians, artists, authors, broadcasters, actors, athletes, politicians, military commanders.

Want to know about postal service in the pre-Winnipeg Red River Settlement or the dog-sled mail run from Norway House to Winnipeg? How about the Eaton’s Beauty Doll or Winnipeg’s connection to Playboy magazine?

Did you know there was once an honour, called the Order of the Gate, given to residents of Fort Garry for meritorious service to the community?

Want to know all about the Winnipeg’s bridges? The Where File will support that. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

Like a tree’s age is measured in rings, the passage of time can be seen in the ink used for Where File entries, progressing from fountain pens to typewriter ribbon and ballpoint pens.

“You feel the history of the catalogue. You see that so many people contributed to it,” said Bujold.

“It’s kind of a historical artifact in itself — a physical manifestation of the topics that were of interest to Winnipeggers during those years.”

The file on Winnipeg city history has seven cards — as does the one about the city’s bridges, containing the dates they were built, demolished and rebuilt. The oldest existing span, the Where File can tell you, is Redwood (now Harry Lazarenko Bridge) built in 1908, while the longest is Slaw Rebchuk at 660.2 metres.

The Winnipeg drawer is flush with facts and trivia about the city. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

It is well known that Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Winnipeg, but did you know he was actually a she? Winnie lived until May 12, 1934, when she was euthanized at age 20. Her skull was stored at the London Zoo and put on display in 2015.

“If we’re ever stumped by a question, the Where File has saved the day,” said Glen Morris, an information services assistant at the library.

While much of the content is Manitoba or Winnipeg-centric, there are hundreds of other cards on things like the phonetic spelling alphabet, the prayer for police officers and the one for fishermen, or Lou Brissie — the one-legged baseball player — and parachuting.

The first successful jump from an airplane happened in 1912 in St. Louis, but the first creature to jump with a parachute was a dog dropped from a hot-air balloon in France in 1785.

Some of the cards are bundled with clippings from newspapers and magazines. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

“It’s like parts of Winnipeg’s collective historical brain frozen in time,” said information services librarian Monique Woroniak. “What were people researching? What school assignments might they have had? What topics were of concern to them? The Where File tells us that.”

‘A Winnipeg thing’

The collection was started in the 1960s and maintained until the early 2000s. The cabinet was stored in a staff room and used exclusively by library employees.

Bujold isn’t entirely sure how many entries are in the Where File but said “we’re talking several thousands.”

You’ll find the Where File in the Local History Room, at the back of the stacks on the fourth floor of the Millennium Library. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

It was not available to the public until a few months ago, when it took up its new place in the Millennium Library’s Local History Room, prompted by suggestions from current librarians like Woroniak.

“When people contact their public library and ask a question, whether it’s something straightforward or something related very personally to a need they have, I like to think they are gifting us a little part of themselves and that it’s our responsibility to care for those questions until we’ve found an answer, and then gift it back to the person asking,” she said.

“For me, evidence of library work, like what was stored in the Where File, is evidence of care and engagement with the community. I wanted people to see that care and even have it at their fingertips.”

The entries on the cards are like miniature time capsules in themselves, going from being marked with fountain pens to ballpoint pens as the years went by. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

Although the file hasn’t been regularly updated since the early 2000s, occasionally a librarian might add an entry on an existing card or create a new one for a topic of significant interest.

For instance, a recent one is about Faron Hall, the man who became known as Winnipeg’s homeless hero after he jumped into the flood-swollen Red River to rescue a teen in 2009. In 2014, Hall’s body was pulled from that same river.

“My sister has worked in libraries across the country, from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island, and she’s never heard of something called the Where File,” said Mary Robinson, an information services assistant.

“This is a Winnipeg thing.”

More from the Where File

  • The font used for the motto on the City of Winnipeg crest is Futura Bold.
  • The first-ever movie shown in Winnipeg was A Magic Lantern at St. John’s Hall on April 5, 1861.
  • The first live theatre in Winnipeg was started by British troops who came to Fort Garry with the Wolseley expedition in 1870. The stage was in the store owned by Andrew McDermot (near present-day McDermot Avenue).
  • The first “talkie” was shown at the Metropolitan in October 1928.
  • The first indoor rink was on Princess Street but it collapsed because it was structurally unsound. It was rebuilt in 1892 and the Manitoba Northwest Hockey League played there.
  • The first Participark — a concept combining a jogging track with exercise stations — was located in Transcona’s Crocus Park.
  • The last dollar bill was issued to chartered banks at 3 p.m. on June 30, 1989.
  • St. Boniface is Winnipeg’s oldest hospital, opening in 1871 with four beds. But there was another that opened at the same time, at the corner of McDermot Avenue and Albert Street. Village housewives tended to gunshot wounds, typhoid fever and malaria. The hospital closed soon after due to a lack of funds, but was reopened in 1872 and charged $1 per day for a public bed. It later moved locations and is now known as the Health Sciences Centre.


Source link

قالب وردپرس


Tiger-Cats claim victory against the Argos to maintain home record on Labour Day




The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were at their devastating best against the Toronto Argonauts when the two locked horns on Labour Day at the Tim Hortons Field.

Just like with previous Labour Day fixtures, the Ticats produced a stellar performance with Dane Evans throwing two touchdown passes while Frankie Williams scored on a 67-yard punt return as they claimed a 32-19 victory on Monday. With this vital win, the Ticats extended their Labour Day home record to 7-0.

For players and fans of the Tiger-Cats, games on Labour Day are a lot more special and losing is something the Ticats aren’t used to.

“We know the fans are going to be behind us, we know Toronto is going to be chippy, we know it’s going to be sunny; we know it’s going to be windy. Everything that happened (Monday) we prepared for. There is something extremely special about Tim Hortons Field on Labour Day . . . you can feel it in the air, I can’t put it into words,” said Evans.

After the COVID-19 induced hiatus, the CFL is back in full action and fans can now bet on their favourite teams and just like with online slots Canada, real money can be won. Hamilton (2-2) recorded its second straight win to move into a tie atop the CFL East Division standings with Montreal Alouettes (2-2). Also, the Ticats lead the overall Labour Day series with Toronto 36-13-1.

In the sun-drenched gathering of 15,000—the maximum allowed under Ontario government COVID-19 protocols—the fans loved every minute of this feisty game. After all, this was the Ticats first home game in 659 days, since their 36-16 East Division final win over Edmonton in November 2019.

The contest between the Ticats and Argos was certainly not bereft of emotions, typical of a Labour Day fixture, as it ended with an on-field melee. But the Argos often found themselves on the wrong end of the decisions with several penalty calls and most of the game’s explosive plays.

Hamilton quarterback Evans completed 21-of-29 passing for 248 yards and the two touchdowns while Toronto’s make-shift quarterback Arbuckle completed 18-of-32 attempts for 207 yards. Arbuckle also made a touchdown and two interceptions before eventually being substituted by McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

Bethel-Thompson made an eight-yard TD pass to wide receiver Eric Rogers late in the final quarter of the game.

“They got after us a bit . . . we didn’t block, or pass protect well,” said Ryan Dinwiddie, rookie head coach of the Argos in a post-match interview. “They just kicked our butts; we’ve got to come back and be a better team next week.”

The Labour Day contest was the first of four fixtures this year between Toronto and Hamilton. The two teams would face off again on Friday at BMO Field. Afterwards, the Tim Hortons Field will play host to the Argonauts again on Oct. 11 with the regular-season finale scheduled for Nov. 12 in Toronto.

Continue Reading


Roughriders looking to bounce back after Labor Day defeat




In what an unusual feeling for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, they would now need to dust themselves up after a 23-8 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in what was a Labor Day Classic showdown in front of a full capacity crowd at Mosaic stadium.

Craig Dickenson, head coach of the Riders, witnessed his team with an unbeaten record get utterly dominated by a more superior team from Winnipeg. Now, he has got a lot of work on his hands getting his team back to winning ways as they visit the Banjo Bowl next.

“We’re going to see what we’re made of now…the jury’s out,” said Dickenson.

Dan Clark, who played centre for the Riders expressed his disappointment in losing what was “the biggest game of the year”.

 “If you lose every other game, you don’t want to lose that one. We’ve just got to take the next step,” said Clark in a report. “There are 12 steps to the Grey Cup left and it’s just about taking that next step and focusing on what Saturday will bring.”

With their first defeat to Winnipeg, the Riders (3-1) now rank second place in the CFL’s West Division, trailing the Bombers by one victory (4-1). However, the Riders will have the chance to even the season series during their trip to Winnipeg this Saturday. With the CFL heating up, fans can now enjoy online sports betting Canada as they look forward to their team’s victory.

The Rider’s offensive line will once again have a busy time dealing with the Blue Bombers’ defence.

Quarterback Cody Fajardo, who played one of the best games of his career two weeks earlier, had quite a stinker against the Bombers in the Labour Day Classic—which is the most anticipated game for Rider fans.

Fajardo had a 59 per cent completion percentage which wasn’t quite indicative of what the actual figure was considering he was at 50 per cent before going on a late drive in the final quarter with the Bombers already becoming laid back just to protect the win.

Fajardo also registered a personal worst when he threw three interceptions, but in all fairness, he was always swarmed by the Bomber’s defence.

While Fajardo has claimed responsibility for the loss and letting his teammates down, many would be curious to see how the team fares in their next game and with less than a week of preparation.

Dickenson is confident that his team would improve during their rematch in the 17th edition of the Banjo Bowl in Winnipeg. The only challenge now would be the loss of home advantage and dealing with the noisy home crowd, he added.

Continue Reading


Canadian report reveals spike in food-related litter during pandemic




TORONTO — Restaurants’ inability to offer their usual dine-in service during much of 2020 may explain why an unusually high amount of food-related litter was found across the country, a new report says.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup (GCSC) is an annual program in which volunteers are encouraged to clean up green spaces and other natural areas.

Last year, single-use food and beverage containers made up 26.6 per cent of waste collected through the program – nearly twice as high a percentage as in 2019, before the pandemic.

“We suspect the change may be one of the many implications of COVID-19, including more people ordering restaurant takeaway and consuming more individually packaged foods,” GCSC spokesperson Julia Wakeling said in a press release.

While food- and beverage-related litter accounted for a greater percentage of waste uncovered by GCSC than in the past, it wasn’t the single largest category of items picked up through the program last year.

That dubious honour goes to cigarette butts and other smoking-related paraphernalia, which comprised nearly 29 per cent of all items collected. There were more than 83,000 cigarette butts among the 42,000 kilograms of waste found and clean up last year.

So-called “tiny trash” – little pieces of plastic and foam – also accounted for a sizeable share of the waste, making up 26.8 per cent of the total haul.

In addition to smoking-related items and tiny trash, the main pieces of litter removed by GCSC volunteers last year included nearly 22,000 food wrappers, more than 17,500 pieces of paper, more than 13,000 bottle caps and more than 10,000 beverage cans.

Discarded face masks and other forms of personal protective equipment were also detected and cleaned up, although not tallied in their own category.  PPE waste has been repeatedly cited as a concern by environmental advocates during the pandemic; a robin in Chilliwack, B.C. is the earliest known example of an animal that died due to coronavirus-related litter.

The GCSC is an annual program organized by Ocean Wise and the World Wildlife Fund Canada. Its operations were disrupted by the pandemic as well; only 15,000 volunteers took part in the program last year, versus 85,000 in 2019, due to delays and public health restrictions making large group clean-ups impossible.

Still, there was GCSC participation from every province and the Northwest Territories in 2020. Nearly half of the volunteers who took part were based in B.C., where the program began in 1994.

Data from past GCSC reports was used as part of the research backing Canada’s ban on certain single-use plastic items, which is scheduled to take effect by the end of 2021.

Continue Reading