This detail from a postcard published about 1912 shows a horse cab (in yellow circle) parked on the south side of Higgins Avenue, across the street from the C.P.R. station. Behind the cab is a horse-drawn dray.
The picture is taken from the little park in which the locomotive "Countess of Dufferin" was laid to rest in 1910. The cars parked on the north side of Higgins may be taxicabs on a public stand.
The horse cab and the dray seem to be waiting for spaces to open up on the north side of the street, or perhaps in the parking area at the east (right) end of the station.
This photo was taken during the twilight of the horse-cab era in Winnipeg, when motor vehicles were rapidly replacing horse-drawn transport. In 1910 there were 1,755 registered motor vehicles in Manitoba, more than half of them from Winnipeg. In 1912 the number of registrations increased to over 4,600 and by 1914 there were more than 7,000.
Although it is not possible to see this in the version above, there seems to be a second horse cab at the head of the line of parked cars. It is partly hidden behind the team of horses in the foreground, but it appears to be a two-wheeled hansom cab with a man climbing up to or down from the "dickey" or driver's seat at the rear. If this is the case, the postcard is the only solid evidence so far that hansom cabs operated in Winnipeg.
Picture source: University of Saskatchewan Archives, XXIX 102.55, "C.P.R. Royal Alexandra Hotel, Winnipeg, Man. Canada." Valentine postcard no. 109023.
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Revised February 13, 1998