Manufacturing industries were traditionally located in the central area of the North American city. There were many advantages to such a location in the early periods of urbanization. Ease of distribution, proximity to labor force, proximity to rail facilities and warehouses, and other factors created the Downtown manufacturing enclave. In many cities this was the most important concentration of industry in the entire urban area, and in the case of Winnipeg this was certainly true.
But after World War I, and in many instances prior to, and even because of the war, changes occurred which are continuing even today. There is a general movement of manufacturing industry out of the central area of the North American city. Winnipeg's Downtown is experiencing the same loss. A Market Analysis for Metropolitan Winnipeg, prepared by Reid, Crowther, and Partners Ltd. in 1966, states that there has been virtually no new manufacturing, in the Downtown, since about 1950. The statistical information available from the Dominion Bureau of Statistics not only bears out this contention, but clearly indicates a decline of manufacturing in the central area.
The Downtown as defined for purposes of this study does not include that part of the central business district in which most of the manufacturing firms established. Urban renewal areas 2 and 3, north of Notre Dame Avenue and east of Main Street respectively, contain the majority of manufacturing firms in the central area. Nevertheless, in 1961 there were in the Downtown as defined for this study, 83 manufacturing firms. Five years later, in 1966, there were 70 firms a drop of 13 firms representing a decline of about 15.6% from the numbers in 1961. In the larger area of the central business district, including urban renewal areas 2 and 3 and extending west to Sherbrook Street, the decline was not quite as dramatic. In 1961 in the larger area, there were 332 firms, which fell to 304 in 1966. This was a decline of about 8% in the sector of the city where, traditionally, manufacturing has been abundant and firmly entrenched.
During the same period, 1961-1966, the number of manufacturing establishments grew in the Metropolitan area as a whole. There were 984 manufacturing enterprises in Greater Winnipeg in 1961; that number increased to 1,027, or by about 4�% by 1966. The increase of course was accommodated n the industrial parks of Winnipeg and the outlying municipalities, as were also most if not all of the industries which moved out of the central area.
Figures for employment in manufacturing Downtown tell the same story. In 1961, in the study area, there was a total of 2,121 people employed in manufacturing, including working owners and proprietors. In 1966 the number was 1,899 a drop of 222 in absolute numbers, or just over 10%. The same thing occurred in the larger central area. In 1961 in the central business district as a whole, there were 11,806 people employed in manufacturing, including working owners and proprietors. In 1966 there were 11,408, a drop of 398 or about 3.5%. During the same period, in the entire Metropolitan area employment in manufacturing rose from 35,554 to 38,939 of working owners exclusive of working owners and proprietors, an increase of about 9.5%. The number of working owners and proprietors in Metropolitan Winnipeg is not available from the Dominion Bureau of Statistics for 1961.
It is interesting to note that there has been an increase in productivity in manufacturing industries generally. This applies to the Metropolitan area as a whole as well as to the central business district and the study area. In the Metro area, between 1961 and 1966, the dollar value of shipments of manufactured goods, in constant 1961 dollars, increased by 30.2%. In the central business district as a whole in the same period, the increase was 8.3%, and in the study area the increase was 4.2%. These increases are a reflection of the rising standard of productivity which is being experienced in Canada generally and in Manitoba and Metropolitan Winnipeg. The figures relating to manufacturing are set out in Tables 2.2 to 2.4.
These figures do not indicate a massive decline in manufacturing industries Downtown. Nevertheless the figures do indicate a downward trend in both number of establishments and number of persons employed in manufacturing industries Downtown, and the decline is of a large enough scale to indicate quite convincingly that manufacturing industries cannot be expected to provide any significant basis for future growth of the central business district.
It [XMLmind] be noted that the figures quoted with reference to manufacturing are Dominion Bureau of Statistics figures. Often there are discrepancies between D.B.S. figures and local agency figures for various types of data. These discrepancies however can usually be reconciled and explained on the basis of different assumptions and definitions used by the respective agencies. In the case of the number of manufacturing establishments for example there is a discrepancy between the D.B.S. figures and the Metropolitan Assessment figures in respect of the number of establishments in Downtown Winnipeg: the local figures (quoted in Table 2.2) show fourteen fewer establishments than the D.B.S. figures. The difference is explained by the facts that, firstly, there is a year's difference in the time reference of the data, and there could have been a substantial reduction in numbers in that year; and secondly, there are a number of establishments which both manufacture products and wholesale them. It is altogether likely that some of these enough to make up the discrepancy were included under the wholesaling category by the Metropolitan Corporation's Assessment Division, and under the manufacturing category by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics. In any case, the D.B.S. figures are internally consistent since they are gathered by the same technique and under the same definitions and concepts from census to census, and are therefore reliable indicators of trends. The trend which they reveal in Downtown manufacturing is one of decline, of the order indicated in the foregoing discussion.