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Old Posted Apr 1, 2017, 5:19 PM
balletomane balletomane is offline
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De-Amalgamation of Winnipeg

What could be the possible advantages and disadvantages of a
de-amalgamated Winnipeg?

Population of former municipalities currently in Winnipeg (1971, 2016, % change):
  1. Old Winnipeg 246,246 to 218,525 -11.3%
  2. Fort Garry 26,127 to 76,205 +191.7%
  3. St. Vital 32,963 to 69,027 +109.4%
  4. St. James 71,431 to 63,061 -11.7%
  5. St. Boniface 46,714 to 59,823 +28.1%
  6. North Kildonan 17,713 to 48,987 +176.6%
  7. Old Kildonan 1,984 to 44,420 +2138.9%
  8. Transcona 22,506 to 32,352 +43.7%
  9. East Kildonan 30,152 to 26,623 -11.7%
  10. Charleswood 12,180 to 25,347 +108.1%
  11. West Kildonan 23,959 to 22,391 -6.5%
  12. Tuxedo 3,258 to 18,483 +467.3%
Total 535,233 to 705,244 +31.8%

Census tracts in Winnipeg follow the boundaries of these former municipalities, which is how these numbers were determined.

Last edited by balletomane; Apr 2, 2017 at 9:53 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2017, 6:52 PM
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I'm hard pressed to think of any advantages of de-amalgamation beyond perhaps idealistic notions that a smaller municipal government would somehow be closer to its citizens. All I see is more administrative overhead (much like with our school boards) and a situation where there would be less integrated planning and more instances of developers playing one municipality against the others.
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Old Posted Apr 1, 2017, 7:38 PM
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In the case of the Old Winnipeg, I was wondering if the infrastructure might be better as compared to today. Proportionally, wouldn't more money go to building suburbs and repairing streets that connect downtown with the suburbs? A de-amalgamated Winnipeg could possibly mean infrastructure spending being spread more fairly, if it isn't already today.
It seems to work well for Vancouver, each city in that CMA maintains its independence while Metro Vancouver Regional District oversees development in the region.
Overall, it seems that unicity is viewed as a failure, many seem to argue that it resulted in the suburbs taking over the development of the entire urban area.

Last edited by balletomane; Apr 1, 2017 at 10:50 PM.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2017, 12:05 AM
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^ I wouldn't consider unicity to be a failure. If anything, I'd say that Winnipeg should be expanded to include the lands surrounding the city which are effectively part of the urban area.

Your point about Old Winnipeg benefiting from having the largest tax base is well taken, but if anything, I think that would encourage an "anything goes" mentality in the suburbs to spur development there. Even if Winnipeg adheres to the idea pretty half-heartedly, there is at least some effort made to contain things like sprawl, suburban shopping areas, etc. However, if places like Charleswood or North Kildonan suddenly found themselves on their own, I'd imagine that they would be allowing virtually anything to get built to expand the tax base.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2017, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by esquire View Post
^ I wouldn't consider unicity to be a failure. If anything, I'd say that Winnipeg should be expanded to include the lands surrounding the city which are effectively part of the urban area.

Your point about Old Winnipeg benefiting from having the largest tax base is well taken, but if anything, I think that would encourage an "anything goes" mentality in the suburbs to spur development there. Even if Winnipeg adheres to the idea pretty half-heartedly, there is at least some effort made to contain things like sprawl, suburban shopping areas, etc. However, if places like Charleswood or North Kildonan suddenly found themselves on their own, I'd imagine that they would be allowing virtually anything to get built to expand the tax base.
That makes a lot of sense, the fact that few US cities have undergone municipal amalgamations like Winnipeg, Toronto, Halifax, Ottawa and Hamilton means those satellite cities can have a "unrestricted" growth. That must play a big role in why many US cities have so much sprawl and low density. I feel like I've had an epiphany, I guess unicity had its merits, even if Old Winnipeg might've payed the cost in some instances.

A little extra info regarding pre-unicity Winnipeg,
In 1963, Old Winnipeg annexed the current Tyndall Park/Inkster Gardens area from the RM of Rosser.
In 1967, the City of St. James amalgamated with the Village of Brooklands.
In 1969, the City of St. James amalgamated with the RM of Assiniboia.

Demographics for neighborhoods in Old Winnipeg (1971, 2016, % change)
  1. Downtown 14,417 to 17,826 +23.6%
  2. River Heights 72,939 to 60,661 -16.8%
  3. West End 76,265 to 58,668 -18.8%
  4. North End 63,107 to 48,320 -23.4%
  5. Elmwood 18,819 to 14,713 -21.8%
  6. Tyndall Park area 609 to 18,337 +2911.0%
  7. Kildonan Park 90 to 0 -100.0%

Without the Tyndall Park area, the population decline in Old Winnipeg is much more dramatic, from 265,429 (1961) to 200,188 (2016), about a 25% decline. This is in line with many US Rust Belt cities. These neighborhoods are on the rise again, as their 2001 count was 189,801.

Last edited by balletomane; Apr 2, 2017 at 9:59 PM.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2017, 5:55 PM
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Originally Posted by esquire View Post
^ I wouldn't consider unicity to be a failure. If anything, I'd say that Winnipeg should be expanded to include the lands surrounding the city which are effectively part of the urban area.
NOOOOOOO!

If the exurbs want to build unsustainable, third-world level serviced sprawl, that's their lookout. We're already stuck paying for the sprawl we have, why would we ever want to take on more? The damage is done; let the RMs and province deal with that mess. And we don't need pseudo-rural types voting on issues in the city, either.

I don't want de-amalgamation, but I often believe we'd be better off if it never happened.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2017, 6:30 PM
balletomane balletomane is offline
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It'd be interesting to see what Canada's urban landscape would look like without unicity, its possible that other Canadian cities would've never amalgamated with their surrounding municipalities had Winnipeg not. In that case, Montreal would still be largest (pop. 1.1 million) followed by Toronto at 800,000. North York and Scarborough would also be in Canada's top 10 largest cities, each with about 650,000. Whenever I see Mississauga listed as Canada's 6th largest city, bumping Winnipeg to 7th, I feel annoyed! Two other suburban cities would be cause for more annoyance. Ottawa would have about 330,000, Hamilton 400,000 and Halifax 130,000. Saskatoon and Regina would both be larger than Winnipeg's 200,000.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2017, 6:41 PM
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Maybe without Unicity we wouldn't be facing the out of control civic labour costs we are now.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2017, 7:02 PM
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That is a possibility. Amalgamation usually doesn't yield the cost savings people hope because wages across the board tend to rise to those of the best paying pre-amalgamation jurisdiction. In non-unicity Winnipeg's case, the police and fire/paramedics would probably be under some kind of metro jurisdiction and would have a harder time eating our lunch like they do.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2017, 7:13 PM
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Originally Posted by biguc View Post
NOOOOOOO!

If the exurbs want to build unsustainable, third-world level serviced sprawl, that's their lookout. We're already stuck paying for the sprawl we have, why would we ever want to take on more? The damage is done; let the RMs and province deal with that mess. And we don't need pseudo-rural types voting on issues in the city, either.

I don't want de-amalgamation, but I often believe we'd be better off if it never happened.
With annexation of outlying areas, Winnipeg would gain huge swaths of land but relatively little population... it's not like Rosser and Tache would suddenly begin calling the shots if they were part of the city. It would be a nice way to nip serious sprawl in the bud.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2017, 8:57 PM
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Originally Posted by biguc View Post
In non-unicity Winnipeg's case, the police and fire/paramedics would probably be under some kind of metro jurisdiction and would have a harder time eating our lunch like they do.
Nah. Small Ontario municipalities have had the exact same kind of crazy salary spirals. The police can't strike, but they're unionized, so all the wage disputes get settled by arbitration, which creates an upward push on salaries that spreads across municipalities.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2017, 9:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balletomane View Post
What could be the possible advantages and disadvantages of a
de-amalgamated Winnipeg?

Population of former municipalities currently in Winnipeg (1971, 2016, % change):
  1. Old Winnipeg 246,246 to 218,525 -11.3%
  2. Fort Garry 26,127 to 76,205 +191.7%
  3. St. Vital 32,963 to 69,027 +109.4%
  4. St. James 71,431 to 63,061 -11.7%
  5. St. Boniface 46,714 to 59,823 +28.1%
  6. North Kildonan 17,713 to 48,987 +176.6%
  7. Old Kildonan 1,984 to 44,420 +2138.9%
  8. Transcona 22,506 to 32,352 +43.7%
  9. East Kildonan 30,152 to 26,623 -11.7%
  10. Charleswood 12,180 to 25,347 +108.1%
  11. West Kildonan 23,959 to 22,391 -6.5%
  12. Tuxedo 3,258 to 18,483 +467.3%
Total 535,233 to 705,244 +31.8%

Census tracts in Winnipeg follow the boundaries of these former municipalities, which is how these numbers were determined.
Good stuff, thanks for sharing.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2017, 10:39 PM
balletomane balletomane is offline
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Originally Posted by Docere View Post
Good stuff, thanks for sharing.
No problem! I find these things interesting. I'd have to considering it took a few hours to find out this information, it meant going into census archives and adding up all census tracts to find out the population of the former municipalities. Here's some extra demographic info in case you or anyone else is interested. Bolded indicates the former city,

Year.................2001........2006........2011........2016
Downtown......15,954 > 15,960 > 16,673 > 17,826
River Heights..60,002 > 59,897 > 59,159 > 60,661
West End........56,055 > 56,340 > 56,521 > 58,668
North End.......43,427 > 44,156 > 46,766 > 48,320
Elmwood........14,363 > 14,358 > 14,806 > 14,713
Inkster...........17,097 > 16,728 > 17,311 > 18,337

Fort Garry.........54,480 > 58,191 > 63,270 > 76,205
St. Vital............60,649 > 62,488 > 66,149 > 69,027
St. James..........62,097 > 61,095 > 61,764 > 63,061
St. Boniface.......46,318 > 49,826 > 54,201 > 59,823
North Kildonan...42,764 > 43,258 > 45,547 > 48,987
Old Kildonan......29,493 > 32,340 > 39,358 > 44,420
Transcona..........28,414 > 28,812 > 30,540 > 32,352
East Kildonan.....26,485 > 26,057 > 26,278 > 26,623
Charleswood......26,746 > 26,332 > 25,679 > 25,347
West Kildonan....20,650 > 20,794 > 21,649 > 22,391
Tuxedo..............14,550 > 16,819 > 17,946 > 18,483

Downtown had a peak population of 27,543 in 1941, the West End had a peak population of 87,294 in 1961 and the North End had a peak population of 70,912 in 1961.

Winnipeg total:
2001: 619,544
2006: 633,451
2011: 663,617
2016: 705,244

Population history of the original wards of Winnipeg (Downtown, River Heights, West End, North End, Elmwood):

1871: 241
1881: 7,995
1891: 26,529
1901: 42,340
1911: 136,035
1921: 179,097
1931: 218,785
1941: 221,960
1951: 235,710
1961: 265,429
1971: 245,637
1981: 200,002
1991: 196,384
2001: 189,801
2011: 193,925
2016: 200,188

There seems to be nothing online about the demographics of the former municipalities in Winnipeg (or its very hard to find!), so at least its online now!

Last edited by balletomane; Apr 2, 2017 at 11:53 PM.
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Old Posted Apr 3, 2017, 3:09 PM
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On a high level if De-Amalgamation was considered it would need to look at:

Police Services
Fire Services
Paramedic Services
Public Works (Snow clearing)
Water and waste

AKA it is not going to be something easily accomplished.

This whole de-amalgamation angle seems to trace back to the 2014 election with the Gord Steeves campaign. It wasn't stated directly or officially but that all seemed to have a lot of "south Winnipeg isn't getting their fare share" and the north end needs to pay for themselves sentiment.

De-amalgamation seems to have the potential to cause more issues than it might solve, especially if the driver is to more localize the spending of tax dollars. That is going to just widen the gap and push issues into other parts of the city.
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Old Posted Apr 4, 2017, 8:23 PM
balletomane balletomane is offline
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Originally Posted by CoryB View Post
On a high level if De-Amalgamation was considered it would need to look at:

Police Services
Fire Services
Paramedic Services
Public Works (Snow clearing)
Water and waste

AKA it is not going to be something easily accomplished.

This whole de-amalgamation angle seems to trace back to the 2014 election with the Gord Steeves campaign. It wasn't stated directly or officially but that all seemed to have a lot of "south Winnipeg isn't getting their fare share" and the north end needs to pay for themselves sentiment.

De-amalgamation seems to have the potential to cause more issues than it might solve, especially if the driver is to more localize the spending of tax dollars. That is going to just widen the gap and push issues into other parts of the city.
Its funny that Steeves campaign would've suggested in some form that the North End needs to pay for themselves considering that the North End was always a part of the city...

If de-amalgamation ever became a campaign issue (which I don't foresee happening), the only areas that I think would potentially separate is Fort Garry, St. Vital, St. Boniface and Transcona. Everywhere else is geographically and historically more integrated with the city, St. Boniface and St. Vita have their French influence and Transcona is separated by large areas of industrial.
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Old Posted Apr 5, 2017, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by balletomane View Post
No problem! I find these things interesting. I'd have to considering it took a few hours to find out this information, it meant going into census archives and adding up all census tracts to find out the population of the former municipalities. Here's some extra demographic info in case you or anyone else is interested. Bolded indicates the former city,

Year.................2001........2006........2011........2016
Downtown......15,954 > 15,960 > 16,673 > 17,826
River Heights..60,002 > 59,897 > 59,159 > 60,661
West End........56,055 > 56,340 > 56,521 > 58,668
North End.......43,427 > 44,156 > 46,766 > 48,320
Elmwood........14,363 > 14,358 > 14,806 > 14,713
Inkster...........17,097 > 16,728 > 17,311 > 18,337

Fort Garry.........54,480 > 58,191 > 63,270 > 76,205
St. Vital............60,649 > 62,488 > 66,149 > 69,027
St. James..........62,097 > 61,095 > 61,764 > 63,061
St. Boniface.......46,318 > 49,826 > 54,201 > 59,823
North Kildonan...42,764 > 43,258 > 45,547 > 48,987
Old Kildonan......29,493 > 32,340 > 39,358 > 44,420
Transcona..........28,414 > 28,812 > 30,540 > 32,352
East Kildonan.....26,485 > 26,057 > 26,278 > 26,623
Charleswood......26,746 > 26,332 > 25,679 > 25,347
West Kildonan....20,650 > 20,794 > 21,649 > 22,391
Tuxedo..............14,550 > 16,819 > 17,946 > 18,483
This is great. I had been wondering what the current population of St. Vital was. Interesting that the population of downtown is up only 12% over the past 15 years.
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Old Posted Apr 5, 2017, 12:39 AM
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This is great. I had been wondering what the current population of St. Vital was. Interesting that the population of downtown is up only 12% over the past 15 years.
I assume that the population of the downtown zoning by-law area would be up slightly more than this. The zoning by-law area follows slightly smaller boundaries than the census tracts (13,14,23,24,25) that make up the downtown area. Most of the growth downtown has likely been within the by-law area.
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Old Posted Apr 5, 2017, 12:55 AM
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Hopefully my last string of demographics surrounding this topic...population growth of the former city of Winnipeg vs the suburbs (11 other municipalities amalgamated in 1972) from 1901 to 2016. They are rounded to the nearest thousand because there are slight differences between some census archives (perhaps due to revisions?)

Year > Former City > Suburbs
1901: 42,000 > 6,000
1906: 90,000 > n/a
1911: 136,000 > 21,000
1916: 163,000 > n/a
1921: 179,000 > 50,000
1926: 192,000 > n/a
1931: 219,000 > 76,000
1936: 216,000 > n/a
1941: 222,000 > 78,000
1946: 229,000 > n/a
1951: 236,000 > 118,000
1956: 255,000 > 154,000
1961: 265,000 > 207,000
1966: 256,000 > 249,000
1971: 246,000 > 290,000
1976: 220,000 > 341,000
1981: 200,000 > 364,000
1986: 202,000 > 393,000
1991: 196,000 > 421,000
1996: 191,000 > 427,000
2001: 190,000 > 430,000
2006: 191,000 > 442,000
2011: 194,000 > 470,000
2016: 200,000 > 505,000
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Old Posted Apr 5, 2017, 3:28 PM
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Originally Posted by balletomane View Post
If de-amalgamation ever became a campaign issue (which I don't foresee happening), the only areas that I think would potentially separate is Fort Garry, St. Vital, St. Boniface and Transcona. Everywhere else is geographically and historically more integrated with the city, St. Boniface and St. Vita have their French influence and Transcona is separated by large areas of industrial.
The sentiment seems to be that anything south of Ellice including the airport and likely making a slight jog north to carve out City Hall, the concert hall, Manitoba Museum and the east exchange, with a similar jog to include the RRC Notre Dame Campus and the airport would be one city and everything north of that would be a new city called "Not My Winnipeg". The boundary of course heading east would be the CN main line heading east from downtown until it reached Lag when it would basically follow Lag south until Fermor before heading east and out to the Perimeter.

In terms of operations, taxes, etc "Winnipeg" and "Not My Winnipeg" would be legally distinct cities like Grand Forks/East Grand Forks, Fargo/Moorehead or Minneapolis/St Paul. Of course any infrastructure pieces that needed to be shared like water supply would be split in such a way that they were "revenue neutral". The one downside of this split is the Brady Road landfill would be closed immediately and relocated to somewhere just north of the Perimeter.
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Old Posted Apr 9, 2017, 2:39 AM
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