A City Founder
Alderman, Merchant, Real Estate Agent, Trustee
Our 23rd inductee, William Gomez Fonseca (posthumous), is truly one of the founders of our great city. He was elected to Winnipeg’s first city council in 1873 and went on to serve eight consecutive terms as an alderman for the North Ward. Fonseca’s entrepreneurial spirit in business brought him to Winnipeg from the United States in 1860, and in this same spirit of seeking and realizing Winnipeg’s unique opportunities, he worked with others in establishing a number of Winnipeg’s founding institutions. He was instrumental and prominent in the set up of the Board of Trade (now Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce), the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg General Hospital, City Hall, and YMCA. Fonseca was also a key figure in bringing the CPR to Winnipeg by ensuring the Louise Bridge was erected.
In stating all of the above, Fonseca’s lasting legacy could well be his unbridled support and devotion to Winnipeg and its future. He was a philanthropist who gave so much of his time and money to ensure Winnipeg had a wonderful foundation to build upon.