What’s in a Name? The Stories Behind RidgeWood West’s Streets

May 09, 2016

Street names form an important part of the spirit and culture of a community — and Winnipeg’s RidgeWood West is no exception.

This vibrant new Charleswood community is located in southwest Winnipeg and will offer a diverse range of home styles in a beautiful landscape that incorporates the natural surroundings that the area is known for. From wetland vistas, forests, parks, graceful grasses and extensive walking trails, it’s ideal for those who feel most at home close to nature, yet still enjoy having all the conveniences of city life just a stone’s throw away.

A lot of research, care and attention went into choosing the street names for RidgeWood West, and each one promotes a valuable characteristic of this welcoming community. Some names reflect the natural environment of this area, while others serve as important reminders of the rich history of Charleswood. Here’s are the street names from Phase 1 and the stories behind each.

Couture Crescent

Joseph Arthur Leo Couture was born in St. Boniface in 1921 and lived on Roblin Boulevard close to Charleswood Road. Growing up, he attended Charleswood School and at the age of 20 he enlisted as a Flight Lieutenant for the 578 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Airforce. Joseph was killed in action over Holland, July 21, 1944, and was laid to rest at the Uden War Cemetery in the Netherlands.

Hofsted Drive

John and Marie Hofsted moved to Charleswood in 1929, and five years later purchased 30 acres at the corner of Loudoun Road and Wilkes Avenue. In 1941 they built their house, which still stands on Wilkes Ave. John and Marie were market gardeners for over 30 years, selling to wholesalers in the north end of the city, as well as delivering vegetables, chickens and eggs to regular customers. During World War II, John and Marie grew vegetables for the government, which were to be dehydrated and sent to the troops overseas.

Kelly Place

Ralph Gordon Kelly lived on Wexford Street in Charleswood. He was enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a Pilot Officer, and went missing in action during a raid on Liepsic in 1944. During the raid 80 other planes were lost. Ralph was laid to rest at the Chiloy Cemetery in France, and was decorated posthumously.

Kowalsky Crescent

The Kowalsky family has a rich history in the Charleswood area. Cliff and Rosemary both served in World War II, and back home helped organized the Teen Drop-In Centre and other events at the Roblin Park Community Centre.

Rosemary was a well known artist, and her works are in many public and private collections around the world. Cliff helped build the Charleswood United Church and as a scout master participated in many local musicals. Their daughter, Elaine Kowalsky, was an internationally recognized printmaker and artist’s rights activist, and after her death in 2005 the Kowalsky Gallery was founded in her honour. 

McKellar Drive

Malcolm McKellar lived on Roblin Boulevard across from Chapman School. He enlisted as a Flight Sergeant in the Bombardier 419 Moose Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force and was killed in action at age 20 on Nov. 21, 1943, during a bombing raid on Berlin. He was laid to rest in Cemetery Diever, Netherlands.

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Point

Powerful and fast‐flying, the Peregrine falcon hunts medium‐sized birds and bats, dropping down on them from high above at speeds that can top 320 kilometres per hour! These birds travel widely, up to 25,000 kilometres per year, which earned them their name, which means ‘wanderer’. 

Although Peregrines are among the world’s most common birds of prey, in North America they became endangered during the mid 20th Century due to the widespread use of chemicals, especially in agriculture. Today, populations have recovered thanks to conservation efforts, and Peregrines are now designated as a ‘species of concern,’ the lowest at-risk designation under the Federal Species-at-Risk Act. 

You can learn more about Manitoba’s Peregrines at the Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project, including Winnipeg’s very own Falcon Cams.

Singleton Court

Leo and Laura Singleton came to Winnipeg in 1917. Leo was a piano tuner and Laura a teacher at Charleswood School and then Chapman School. She had a knack of making school interesting - starting numerous extra-curricular activities not common at that time, such as dancing classes at noon. She also organized baseball and other games, parents' day, Christmas concerts, nature study, and more. The Singletons were both active in the district, in the local tennis club, directing the adult dramatic club which provided entertainment in Charleswood, and the Boys' and Girls' Club project.

Vesper Sparrow

Vesper Court

The Vesper Sparrow is a large American sparrow, making its home in grasslands and fields across central Canada. Adults are a light grayish brown with a darker streaked chest and back. They have a white eye ring and a long dark brown tail which shows white outer feathers in flight. The Vesper Sparrow is very adaptable, responding to shifts in habitat and having regional variations in song. It has even been recorded that one bird learned to sing the tune of a wren! 

Show Homes Coming Soon

Show homes will be open and ready to welcome homebuyers this summer for a tour through Phase 1 of RidgeWood West. If you’re busy at the cottage or camping during the summer months, make your first visit during the Fall Parade of Homes 2016.

Already interested? Contact a builder today to learn more about available home sites.

We look forward to seeing you!