Rural Municipality of Headingley, Manitoba Canada

Discover the Rural Municipality of Headingley, Manitoba: A Blend of History and Modernity

Introduction to the Rural Municipality of Headingley, Manitoba

Headingley, sometimes spelled Headingly, is a rural municipality in Manitoba, Canada. Located directly west of Winnipeg, it had a population of 3,579 people as of the 2016 census. The Trans-Canada Highway and the Assiniboine River run through the municipality. The unincorporated community of Headingley is situated within the municipality along Manitoba Provincial Road 334 near the Trans-Canada Highway. The municipality takes its name from the suburb of Headingley in the city of Leeds in West Yorkshire, England.

The Rich History of the Rural Municipality of Headingley, Manitoba

The first permanent European residents of the present-day Headingley area are believed to have been Oliver Gowler (1814-1865) and his wife, Mary (Nee Lady Neville Braybrooke) (1816-1878), who came to Canada together in the fall of 1836. They were hired by the Hudson’s Bay Company to work on their experimental farm at Red River. After owning a farm in Fort Garry in 1846, the Gowlers fled westward after the 1852 Red River flood, whereupon they began the first farm on Headingley soil. There, Oliver Gowler eventually became one of the most successful early farmers in what would become western Canada.

In November 1852, Reverend Griffith Owen Corbett was sent from England and was tasked with organizing a new parish west of the Parish of St. James, itself created in 1850. Corbett established the parish of Headingley, naming it after his sponsoring parish of the same name in Leeds, England, and immediately built a house where he conducted services.

In the late 1860s, Reverend George Young, the first Methodist missionary in Red River, began to visit Headingley regularly. Following the passing of the federal Manitoba Act on 12 May 1870, which created the Province of Manitoba, provincial elections were held in November that year, upon which John Taylor was declared the first M.L.A of Headingley, with a majority of one vote.

In November 1904, telegraph service was extended to Headingley, but were still missing modern conveniences of a streetcar and voice telephone service. In 1911, Headingley received its first telephones, with 13 phones being listed in the first phone book.

The Secession of the Rural Municipality of Headingley, Manitoba from Winnipeg

From 1 January 1972 until 31 December 1992, Headingley was part of the City of Winnipeg. Initial discussions about Headingley seceding from Winnipeg began in March 1987 over concerns about municipal tax rates. A referendum was held on 14 November 1991 asking Headingley residents if they wanted to break away from Winnipeg. It seceded from the larger city in 1993 after extensive complaints that the local needs of the mostly-rural community were not being met as part of a large urban city.

Local Services in the Rural Municipality of Headingley, Manitoba

Police service in Headingley is provided by the Stonewall/Headingley RCMP detachment, along with the Headingley Highway Patrol who are responsible for the highway system in and around the Headingley region. A provincial jail is also located in the municipality, called the Headingley Correctional Institution.

In terms of health services, Headingley falls within the jurisdiction of Manitoba's Southern Regional Health Authority. The municipality is serviced by a 25-member volunteer fire department, which includes a first responders unit and operates out of the Headingley Fire Hall. Headingley is also a member of the Boyne River Mutual Aid Fire District, which provides backup and support services on an as-required basis.

Water Management in the Rural Municipality of Headingley, Manitoba

The Cartier Regional Water Co-op manages the water supply to the R.M. of Headingley, as well as several other nearby rural municipalities such as Cartier, Rosser, Macdonald. The Headingley Water Treatment Plant is one of two operated by the Co-op, the other being located in Cartier. Intake source water comes from the Assiniboine River via a pipe, from where it is then moved to a facility on the site of the Headingley Correctional Centre River Intake Building where debris and silt are removed.

Recreation and Local Business in the Rural Municipality of Headingley, Manitoba

Camp Manitou is a summer camp and year-round outdoor recreation facility located in Headingley. Headingley has two community centres: the older Phoenix Community Centre (153 Seekings Street), and the newer $1.8-million Headingley Community Centre (5353 Portage Avenue). Headingley also houses four small churches, including Headingley United Church and Holy Trinity Anglican Church.

The Headingley Grand Trunk Trail is the abandoned rail line that runs through both the Rural Municipalities of Headingley and Cartier from the Perimeter Highway to Beaudry Park. The railway bed was originally built by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and was used from 1894 to 1972. The municipality is also home to a heritage museum about the Canadian petroleum industry, called Jim's Vintage Garages Heritage Museum.

Demographics of the Rural Municipality of Headingley, Manitoba

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Headingley had a population of 4,331 living in 1,307 of its 1,342 total private dwellings, a change of 21% from its 2016 population of 3,579. With a land area of 107.53 km2 (41.52 sq mi), it had a population density of 40.3/km2 (104.3/sq mi) in 2021.