The Streetcar 356 Rehabilitation Project

Streetcar 356 is one of four unique wooden streetcars built at Winnipeg’s Fort Rouge Garage. It rode the rails in Winnipeg from 1909 until the end of the City’s streetcar service in September 1955. Retired, Streetcar 356 had anything of value removed and a month later its empty body was sold for $100. Streetcar 356 was then left outside to decay until 1980 when it was rescued by the Old Market Square Association and acquired by Heritage Winnipeg. Now stored in the Winnipeg Railway Museum at the VIA Rail Canada Union Station on Main Street, Streetcar 356 is the last remaining wooden streetcar in Winnipeg. Heritage Winnipeg’s Streetcar 356 Committee has been painstakingly restoring Streetcar 356, determined to rehabilitate it and find a home where it can be celebrated for generations to come!

Winnipeg’s Street Car History

On October 20, 1882, the Winnipeg Street Railway Company began operations. Horses pulled the cars along the tracks on Main Street, which was soon extended west along Portage Avenue, north to St. John’s College, and south on Broadway.

At only 23, the CEO of the company, Albert Austin, proposed a new idea to Winnipeg’s City Council – electric streetcars. City Council was not enthused but suggested Austin test his idea on the outskirts of the city, in an area of bush that would later become River Avenue and Osborne Street. Austin had electric streetcar lines laid all the way down Osborne Street, and on January 27, 1891, the first electric streetcar took to the tracks in Winnipeg. Soon after, the idea of electric streetcars took off, with stiff competition in the City.

The Winnipeg Electric Street Railway Company eventually beat out the Austin’s company, becoming the Winnipeg Electric Company in 1904. It went on to provide streetcar and trolley bus transportation in Winnipeg until September 19, 1955, when all the streetcars were retired. In 64 years over 120 miles of rail lines had been laid on Winnipeg streets, with additional lines connecting to rural communities.

The street railway system greatly influenced the development of our urban landscape and built heritage, with many iconic downtown buildings purposely constructed where the streetcars ran. Heritage Winnipeg’s rehabilitation of Streetcar 356 is preserving the last original remnant of one of the strongest influences on Winnipeg’s historic growth.

You can help make the Streetcar 356 Rehabilitation Project possible!
Make a donation today and receive a complimentary copy of Winnipeg Public Transit Through the Years: A Historic Colouring Book Adventure along with your charitable tax receipt. You can learn more about becoming an official sponsor of the Streetcar 356 Rehabilitation Project in our Streetcar 356 Sponsorship Guide. Or show your support of the project by purchasing a Streetcar 356 t-shirt!

Learn more about Winnipeg’s streetcars:

The Streetcar 356 Rehabilitation Project: UPDATES

A huge thank you to all the amazing volunteers who work tirelessly to make the Streetcar 356 Rehabilitation Project come to life!

Streetcar 356 Committee

Steven Stothers · Rob Loiselle · Greg Agnew · Sean Kaputa · Cindy Tugwell

The Streetcar 356 Rehabilitation Project is made possible with the generous support of:

Jed’s Construction
Manitoba Transit Heritage Association
The Winnipeg Foundation
Wawanesa Insurance
Gerald Akerstream
Deianna Armitage
Joe & Di Bailey
Jerry Baltesson
Anne Bennett
Gladys Bodnarus
Scott Brown
William Caithness
Brian Darragh
Carol Darragh
Jacquelyn Dawson
Margaret Day
Tom Dixon
Susan Ekdahl
Barbara Evans
Allen Fergusson
Peter Finch
Peter Friesen
F. Giesbrecht
J. Handford

J. Handford
David Harris
H. Hawrysh
Stewart Herbert
Harry & Florence Hill
David Hrehoruk
Marjorie Jaman
Kathy Kennedy
Douglas & Sharon Keva
Lyn Kolles
James Carl Lawrence
Louis Lenz
Donna Maudryk
I. I. Mayba
David McDowell
Dorothy McDowell
John McGoey
B.T. & V.A. McGregor
William McKay
Irene Moore
John Moor
Ronald Newcomb
Edmond & Grace Pelletier
Lawrence Pitcairn

Randy Piwniuk
Richard & Ingrid Popel
Girard Raymond
Margaret Rey
Andrew Ross
Juliane Schiable
Carol Scott
M. Serafin
Charlene Shatsky
Morley Shatsky
Ed Shwedryk
Mark Strople
Robert & Eleanor Tilton
Elisha Toews
N. Unger
Gene Waltz
Paul Gehrs & Melanie White
Larry Whitney
Leona Wiens
John & Elaine Williams
Daria Zaplatynsky

Donations in memory of Brian Darragh:

Diane & Neil Allison
John Goodman
T. Dawn Hjalmarson

Lorraine Martin
Ashalata Pereira & Grant Edwards
Ingrid & Richard Pople

Charles Porter
Charlene & Morley Shatsky
Giuseppe Zimarino

Donations in memory of David McDowell:

Pattern Interactive
Loretta Baker
Coralie Bryant
Lorraine Clarkson
Rosalind Dick
Donna Goodman

Patricia Holbrow
Kathleen Innes
Joan Irvine
Nancy Klos
Anne MacVicar
Rosemary Malaher

Linda McDowell
Sally Nystrom
Catharine Phillipson
Nora Platte
Corinne Tellier
William Tweed

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