Winnipeg isn’t known for mild winters, but even by the Manitoban capital’s standards, 1966 was a bad one.

The worst of that season occurred on March 4th, when a blizzard blanketed the city with 35 centimetres of snow, one Winnipeg’s worst winter storms ever.

Below, check out 13 photos that show how hard the province’s most populous urban centre was hit that winter half a century ago.

Up to the roof in snow

winnipeg-blizzard-1966-1 Photo: University of Manitoba

While records show 35 centimetres of snow fell during the blizzard, snowdrifts piled up higher in some neighbourhoods.


blizzard-1966-winnipeg-2 Photo: University of Manitoba

The blizzard stranded more than 1,500 people in downtown Winnipeg. Unable to get home, they holed up in department stores, CBC reports.

Snowblowers came in handy

winnipeg-blizzard-1966-7 Photo: University of Manitoba

The blizzard began on the night of the 4th. Afterwards, the arduous cleanup process was underway as this photo, dated March 7th, 1966, shows.

Digging out

winnipeg-blizzard-1966-4 Photo: University of Manitoba

Digging a way out required some creativity — and maybe the help of a ladder.

Standstill traffic

winnipeg-blizzard-1966-5 Photo: Jerry Olenko

Jerry Olenko, who provided the above photo, was six years old when the blizzard struck. While driving around probably wasn’t much, Olenko remembers it as “almost a joyous occasion,” and getting to take three full days off school, playing outside in the snow instead of being cooped up in a classroom.

More fun and games

winnipeg-blizzard-3 Photo: University of Manitoba

Olenko wasn’t the only one taking advantage of the mountains of snow. In Winnipeg’s Garden City, some of the city’s younger denizens hit the slopes in the aftermath, too.

Burrows Avenue

winnipeg-blizzard-1966-6 Photo: Jerry Olenko

A snow-lined stretch of Burrows Avenue between Fife Avenue and Railway Street.

Old Man Winter

winter-winnipeg-april-1966 Photo: University of Manitoba

Even by April, Old Man Winter hadn’t loosened his grip on Winnipeg.

Digging out — again

winter-winnipeg-1966-car Photo: University of Manitoba

Those in the snowplow businesses back then may have been the only ones not complaining about the long winter.

Metro employees

winnipeg-winter-1966-2 Photo: University of Manitoba

Metro employees in creative garb during an April storm.


winnipeg-winter-1966 Photo: University of Manitoba

A trusty pair of snowshoes helped this young Winnipegger on his paper route delivering copies of the now-defunct Tribune in Fort Garry in May, when there was still snow on the ground that year.

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