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Fort Garry

From Academic Kids

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UpperFortGarryEarly1870s.jpg
Upper Fort Garry in the early 1870s

Fort Garry also known as Upper Fort Garry was a Hudson's Bay Company trading post at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers in what is now downtown Winnipeg. It was established in 1822 on or near the site of the North West Company's Fort Gibraltar. Fort Garry was named after Nicholas Garry, deputy governor of the Hudson's Bay Company. It served as the centre of fur trade within the Red River Settlement. Unfortunately in 1826, a severe flood destroyed the fort. It was rebuilt in 1836 by the HBC and named Upper Fort Garry to differentiate it from "the Lower Fort," or Lower Fort Garry, 32 km downriver, which was established in 1832. Throughout the mid to late 1800s, Upper Fort Garry played a minor role in the actual trading of furs, but was central to the administration of the HBC and the surrounding settlement. The Council of Assiniboia, the administrative and judicial body of the Red River Settlement mainly run by HBC officials, met at Upper Fort Garry.

In 1869, the Hudson's Bay Company agreed to give up its monopoly in the North-West, including Upper Fort Garry. In late 1869 and early 1870, the fort was seized by Louis Riel and his Métis followers during the Red River Rebellion. After the Rebellion, the area around the fort continued to grow. In 1874, the city of Winnipeg was established and the name Fort Garry no was longer used. By the end of the 1880s, the majority of the fort had been demolished to straighten Main Street.

Although only the main gate of the fort remains today, the name "Fort Garry" lives on through various institutions and businesses. An area of Winnipeg running along the Red River south of the original fort is called Fort Garry. The hotel beside the fort is called the Fort Garry Hotel, which was originally constructed for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway company. The two streets on either side of the hotel are Fort Street and Garry Street. Many companies have adopted the name, such as Fort Garry Industries and the Fort Garry Brewing Company. It was designated a site of national historic significance in 1924.

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