Chapter: Connections

Tribune Gargoyle 1914

"Gardens have gnomes, but newspapers have gargoyles"
1914 Tribune building gargoyle of City Editor - one of 14 Tribune Gargoyle 1914

Story

We now have limitless access to information at our fingertips. Content can be consumed by watching television, listening to the radio and of course online. In early Manitoba there was usually only one way to learn what was happening, especially outside of your own neighbourhood, and that was from the newspaper.

In the early 1900s Winnipeg was home to many different newspapers, each with their own perspectives. Ethnic and labour groups each had their own newspapers, and many were published in languages other than English. The majority of the city’s papers were all located in the same spot, known as Newspaper Row, found at McDermot Avenue and Albert Street. Founded in 1890, The Winnipeg Tribune was part of the row. The Tribune was an influential city newspaper with a special focus on local stories.

By 1913, the Tribune required larger premises and relocated to Smith Street. The new building was decorated with 14 unique gargoyles. Each gargoyle was dressed in medieval clothing and represented a particular role in the newspaper business such as printing. This particular gargoyle is “The City Editor” and he’s holding a pair of scissors in one hand and a sheet of paper in the other. In 1969 the building was renovated and the gargoyles were sold off to Tribune staff. The Manitoba Museum (Winnipeg) has two in their collection and is hoping to learn what happened to the other twelve.

After 90 years of production the presses were silenced in 1980.