Winnipeg Firefighters Museum

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Brick front of an early 1900s fire station with four red garage doors
An old fire station in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, now houses a museum with vintage firefighting vehicles and equipment

Housed in a former fire station, the Winnipeg Firefighters Museum contains an impressive collection of antique vehicles, fire-fighting apparatus, and memorabilia, providing a glimpse into the fire-fighting history of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

The station housing the museum was built in 1904 as one of 5 stations built that year and was in continuous service until 1980. It was identified as Station #3 or North until the amalgamation of Winnipeg and surrounding municipalities in 1972 when it was relabeled Station #2.

Collection of vintage fire fighting vehicles on the main floor of a former fire station

Much of the main floor area, which has a pressed tin ceiling, contains vintage vehicles.

Mannequin in fire fighting apparel in front of 1870 hand-drawn hose-wheel wagon in museum display
1870 hand-drawn hose-wheel wagon
Fire hoses rolled up in the back of a horse-drawn wagon
Hoses in the back of a 1900 horse-drawn wagon

A one-and-a-half-story section at the rear of the building originally contained a stable housing 10 horses, a hay loft, an oat bin, and a harness room. The Winnipeg Fire Department phased out horses in 1912, but at one time had owned 95 horses.

1966 red pumper truck at firefighters museum
1966 pumper truck
Fire alarm box on display among other memorabilia at Winnipeg Firefighters Museum

The alarm box in the above photo sat at the corner of Manitoba and Keewatin until 1974. Telegraphic fire alarm boxes were installed in the 1880s for notifying the fire department before the general availability of phones. When the lever was pulled, a four-digit code identifying the location was transmitted.

Other displays at the museum include a wide range of fire-fighting equipment, information on detecting arson, safety masks, first aid equipment, hats, and historical photographs.

Displays continue on the second floor.

Fire pole in firefighters museum

The museum has an impressive collection of memorabilia and information, certainly more than I expected it to have when I visited. The Winnipeg Firefighters Museum is run by the Winnipeg Firefighters Historical Society and is open on Sundays from 10am to 2pm.  Admission is donation based. The main floor is wheelchair accessible.

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  1. I wonder if modern firehouses still have poles that you slide down? Seems archaic but I don’t think anyone has yet invented a faster way to drop down a floor. Great museum. Like the alarm boxes.

    1. Good question, Ken. I may have to check that out the next time the fire station down the street from me has an open house.