Land, class formation, and state consolidation in Winnipeg, 1870-1885
Velasco, Gustavo F.
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The organization of Winnipeg from 1870 until 1885 can be described as an intense period of spatial transformation and expansion. After the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) surrendered Rupert’s Land and the North-West Territories to the Crown in 1870, the re-formulation of land tenure transformed the urban space. Different actors in the still young and small community used diverse mechanisms to secure common land as private property allowing the formation of a dynamic real estate market. During those years Winnipeg expanded rapidly and the availability of city lots soon became limited. Lot prices soared and land transformed into a commodity generated the conditions for the reproduction and circulation of capital in the city. The arrival of investors and financial institutions helped to create the real estate boom of 1881-82 and transform a small village into a modern capitalist city. By 1885, Winnipeg was ready to initiate an uneven and fast transition to industrial capitalism.