There is a tendency to view the distant past as something that existed in black and white. Most still and moving images we’ve seen from the time, in history books, Hollywood movies, and your grandma’s photo albums, show a world without colour. Colour, we think, was something they invented during the Carter administration.
Of course, this is not actually the case, and although these photos of Winnipeg and St. Boniface (all found at the University of Manitoba’s Winnipeg Building Index) look like they have one of those weird Instagram filters no one uses, they still help add a little texture to the world that existed here 51 years ago.
Winnipeg (and its smaller sister city across the Red, St. Boniface) in 1962 was a place that was energized by an optimism not seen since before the 1914. Postwar prosperity and the promise of Modernity — particularly Modern planning and architecture as a catalyst for urban renewal — were two things that gave hope to the citizens.
However, all of this had yet to manifest itself physically to any significant degree, and central Winnipeg and old St. Boniface still looked much like they did at the outbreak of the First World War. This change would come later in the 1960s and 1970s, and these images show an old city that would soon disappear.
Robert Galston likes to write about Winnipeg, urbanism, and other very, very exciting topics. Follow him on Twitter @riseandsprawl