Transcona, arguably Winnipeg's most easily-defined and oft-maligned neighbourhood, is turning a century old this spring.
Transcona was founded as the site of the repair shops for the Grand Trunk Pacific and National Transcontinental Railways. Its name is an amalgam of Transcontinental and Strathcona, the latter from Donald Smith, Lord Strathcona, a former Manitoban who was instrumental in building Canada's first railway.
It was Lord Strathcona who drove the last spike into the CPR railway in 1885.
The CNR Transcona Shops opened in 1913 and during the First World War, the shops were used for the manufacture of munitions.
Transcona attained city status in 1961 and in 1972 it amalgamated with the City of Winnipeg, along with 11 other communities.
Centennial committee chairman Peter Martin says people from around the world have made their home in Transcona over the years.
The neighbourhood stands apart from the rest of Winnipeg, Martin said.
"We have a good sense of community," he told CBC News.
"I'm not sure if it's better. I just know, in my opinion, it's easier to define the boundary for Transcona."
For decades, the CN whistle was sounded several times a day to call railway employees to work, signal their lunch breaks, and indicate the end of their work days.
Martin said life in Transcona revolved has around the railway and the CN whistle.
"A lot of people that I talk to are saying, 'I can't wait to hear that whistle again,'" he said. "That will bring back the memories of Transcona."
Martin added that the centennial celebrations will include some age-old jokes about Transcona, with some people planning to wear pink flamingo T-shirts and pins.
(Courtesy of the Transcona Historical Museum and the Transcona Centennial Committee.)
Transcona's Hi Neighbour Festival which itself have been around for more than 40 years brings the community together at the beginning of each June. It's like a giant three-day street party celebrating this unique community. Nevermore so than this year the community's 100th birthday.
Photo Credits: www.hineighbourfestival.com