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Stephen Magnacca, change maker

Stephen Magnacca Daly House Museum

Stephen Magnacca (1902-1980) was Brandon’s Mayor of Brandon from 1961-1969. photo: Daly House Museum

Stephen Magnacca, prominent realtor and building contractor, was arguably the most popular mayor the city ever knew. – Fred McGuinness, The Wheat City: A Pictorial History of Brandon, 1988

Prior to becoming mayor, Stephen Magnacca was the driving force behind the residential development in Brandon’s west end, beginning in 1949.

Fred McGuinness:

Stephen Magnacca, an army colonel stationed in Brandon during the war, remained in peacetime to become a prominent realtor and building contractor.

In 1949 he petitioned council for the privilege of buying 150 building lots in the west end at a dollar apiece.

This dramatic move brought other bidders into the ring, and in the end Magnacca secured eighty-one residential building sites for $3,874.


He was back in the news again three years later when he made an offer for a further 200 lots, the bulk of which were between Twentieth and Twenty-Fourth streets, and McTavish and College avenues.

Magnacca, who later became arguably the most popular mayor the city ever knew, is credited with transforming the former ”buffalo wallows” west of Oxford School into an attractive-and suitably well-drained-residential subdivision. – The Wheat City: A Pictorial History of Brandon

Born in Winnipeg, Stephen Magnacca joined the Winnipeg Highland Cadets in 1914 and the Winnipeg Light Infantry in 1917.

He received the rank of Lieutenant in 1923 and promoted to the rank of Major in 1933.

Stephen Magnacca, his wife, Grace, daughter Patricia, and son Allan lived in Winnipeg until 1940. That year he was posted to Brandon to open the A4 Canadian Artillery Training Centre.

After the Second World War, he was transferred to the militia from active service and became a hospital manager with the Department of Veteran Affairs.

He resigned in 1947 to start Magnacca Real Estate Agencies in Brandon.

Mr. Magnacca remained interested in military matters and was made an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the 26th Field Artillery Regiment in 1956.

Eleven years later he was bestowed the rank of Honorary Colonel.

As mayor, Stephen Magnacca was instrumental in the building of the Keystone Centre, the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium, the Brandon Airport Terminal, a new Civic Administration Centre and many infrastructure upgrades within the City.

An active community member, he was involved with the Brandon Lions Club, Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 3, Brandon Progressive Conservative Association and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.

The Mayor was also active in preserving the community’s heritage as president of the Assiniboine Historical Society and the Brandon Museum Inc. between 1973 and 1980.

During this time, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Daly House Museum in 1976.

In recognition of his community service, Mayor Magnacca was awarded the Manitoba Golden Boy Award in 1969, the Order of Canada in 1973 and the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977.

Brandon’s Magnacca Crescent and the Magnacca Research Centre at Daly House Museum commemorate him.

The Daly House Museum



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Jordan Ludwig, owner, Brandon Business Interiors

Jordan Ludwig, owner, Brandon Business Interiors

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