Winnipeg's final streetcar to get restoration treatment
Sheila North Wilson, CTV Winnipeg
Published Wednesday, June 10, 2015 5:23PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, June 10, 2015 5:35PM CST
Up until 1955 streetcars were all over Winnipeg streets but now, except for one, they’re almost all gone.
Streetcar 356 is the last one left and there are plans to restore it.
Many street cars were built in Winnipeg and operated on city streets from early 1900's until 1955.
David Mcdowell, past president of Heritage Winnipeg, remembers them.
"It's part of Winnipeg's history because it was made here in Winnipeg. The street car helped the city expand," said Mc Dowell.
While it's a little weathered now, Car 356 has retained some of its former glory with a solid structure and original designs still evident.
Now with help from 40 students the car will be restored .
Students Devon Cook and Leslie Crow, who are learning to be carpenters, are helping with the restoration.
"Feels like I'm making history too and I'm glad to be part of it," said Cook.
"I'm hoping to pursue my dream and just finish my level four all in four years," said Crow.
Instructor Robert Loiselle is excited to know he and his students will be part of the restoration project which he calls a way to connect him and his young First Nations students with both the past and the future.
"My grandfather was a street car driver and he actually worked for Winnipeg Transit for 40 years. He started on the street car and moved on to the trolley buses, then diesel buses and he finished his career as a transit supervisor," said Loiselle of the Manitoba Institute of Trade and Technology Youth Build program.
Cindy Tugwell of Winnipeg Heritage believes once the car is restored, it will connect even more people to the past helping revitalize history.
"Other generations are getting a chance to see what were on the streets. They never had an opportunity to see them running so, revitalizing that history, that important history to Winnipeg," said Tugwell.
The public will get a chance board the rail car in 2019 when Heritage Winnipeg hopes to have it fully restored and on displayed just in time for the 1919 Anniversary of the General Strike.
Once the work to restore Car 356 is done, it will be on display at the Winnipeg Railway Museum.