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  #41  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2015, 7:36 PM
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Today's Metro had an interesting look at some of the big projects that Winnipeg has to work on in the near future. The list includes some important things, yet somehow it doesn't seem quite as exciting as the big things we were looking forward to in the early 2000s. The current agenda includes:

-completing SWBRT and perhaps getting started on a new leg
-more residential development in urban areas (e.g., SkyCity)
-working on reducing homelessness
-some new downtown projects like True North Square

In addition to that, there are improvements coming to the Manitoba Museum.

It's not bad, but consider what was in the pipeline a decade ago:

-new stadium, arena, airport, CMHR, U of W campus expansion, Exchange District condos, Millennium Library, convention centre expansion, phase 1 RT, U of M campus redevelopment, RRC Princess Street Campus, Hydro

There was a ton of stuff happening. Now that it's done, there isn't much of a vision moving forward. I could get behind a plan to focus on improving existing areas by promoting small-scale infill and not pushing the larger megaproject-type development, but nothing like that has really been articulated. I don't want to see the city revert to the kind of aimless drifting that characterized much of the 90s.
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  #42  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2015, 9:03 PM
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I would like to think the will is present to not allow that to happen. Piecemeal revitalization efforts, however, must cease; collaboration must be front and centre. A good example is Leon A Brown's endeavor to transform Point Douglas, which as we all know, is connected to the Exchange. I know the firm is still working at finding the right tenants for their development, but I doubt they are receiving any assistance from Centreventure or FNPP. FNPP supports the plan, but as usual, it has decided to elongate the time to create a joint venture to "formulate a plan", insisting it must build a "roadmap", just as it is dragging its heals with parcel four development. CV and FNPP should merge to form one downtown agency dedicated to revitalize both the downtown and the periphery. Personally, if Higgins could be transformed into a version of Kansas City's Country Club Plaza, I would be thrilled.

Outside of the SHED, other areas of concern consist of the gap between the downtown and the HSC. William Avenue could become a thriving connector between the two with new three to four storey infills lining it. Bannatyne and McDermot also need attention.

Main street from Higgins (although further north too), to the Norwood Bridge is in desperate need of developments; the expansion of the museum is a great start, and could be the catalyst to spark increased developments in the area. I thought we would witness private investment changing the face of this stretch of Main when RRC finished its expansions.

Broadway is organically healthy, although the centre boulevard could use new landscaping, stonework, fountains, etc.

The area between Main Street, Higgins, Princess and William needs plenty of new developments as well.

Clearly complacency is not an option, as there is a lot of work to do. Visionaries apply within.
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  #43  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2015, 9:14 PM
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^ Good call. In much the same way that West Broadway has been revitalized over the last 15 years or so, it would be nice to see the same thing spread to other inner city neighbourhoods.

And by that I don't mean full-scale gentrification either... I'm not talking about kicking out the existing population. WB is still a pretty accessible neighbourhood with a wide socioeconomic range residing in the area. However, it is no longer the domain of the impoverished as it once was.

I have also thought that a thriving residential area between the Exchange and HSC would really do wonders for the city. It would be great to see something like this evolve, along with the continued improvement of Point Douglas.
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  #44  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2015, 9:42 PM
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Another thought is changing the face of Portage, mainly west of Main. If somehow some property owners could be convinced to reclad their buildings to brighten up the stretch from Main to Portage Place, that could go a long way. I love what was done to 225 Vaughan, and would like to see additional façade improvements around downtown. The former Dreman Place parkade could use a new façade, its neighbor 250 Portage, could benefit from some color, the Kensington Building would look much better if the large cement wall it boasts was covered with glass to appear as windows, a three storey glass addition to the Curry Building, a redeveloped St. Charles Hotel would enhance this gateway into downtown immensely.
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  #45  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2015, 9:52 PM
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^ That area of Portage needs some focus. At one time it was kind of a shopping and entertainment main drag, but for about the last 40 years it has been floundering... it isn't much of an office strip, and shopping/entertainment has all but disappeared.

A few renovations or new buildings would really freshen up the look of that stretch... right now it's pretty drab as a good chunk of what is arguably the most prominent stretch of road in the entire city (Portage from Fort to Smith) has not seen a new building go up on it since the 70s.
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  #46  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2015, 9:58 PM
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I completely agree. As the most important part of the downtown, it should be a focal point. It looks worse for wear.
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  #47  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2015, 1:24 AM
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I agree with everyone above.

In terms of West Broadway I think their number one priority should be to attempt to work with the 4 property owners at Sherbrook & Broadway to actually utilized the corners well. I know it's a very tall task, but that should be a signature corner, not 3 parking lots and a gas station.

I think if I had to pick one "downtown" area/initiative to focus on it'd have to be the connection from Portage to The Exchange (via Smith/King/Fort), including the St. Charles and that whole dead area.

And quite a bit has actually happened on William in the last few years, in terms of image at least. Several houses/duplexes have been replaced or redone, lots of the business have upgraded their exteriors, there's the immigrant (?) centre, the road/sidewalk is in good condition. If the owners would split up & develop that parking lot beside the lighting store that would be amazing. It'd be awesome to see U of M step in to build some housing or whatever there to accomodate the expansions at their HSC campus.
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  #48  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2015, 2:11 AM
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Great points, Buzz.
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  #49  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2015, 4:16 AM
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South Point Douglas and Evergreen.ca

[QUOTE=Urban recluse;7221635] Personally, if Higgins could be transformed into a version of Kansas City's Country Club Plaza, I would be thrilled.


Hey Toto!

Something along the lines of Evergreen.ca would be a much better fit for the tip of South Point Douglas.

This type of reclamation would organically rejuvenate the area much in the way The Brick Works was successful in Toronto. I encourage all to explore their web page to see what they do and imagine what could happen in this area for us...
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  #50  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2015, 1:10 PM
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(Chuckle) Of course I was being out to lunch, the Evergreen inspiration is more realistic.
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  #51  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2015, 4:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzg View Post
In terms of West Broadway I think their number one priority should be to attempt to work with the 4 property owners at Sherbrook & Broadway to actually utilized the corners well. I know it's a very tall task, but that should be a signature corner, not 3 parking lots and a gas station..
The southwest corner was just fine until Nygard came around a few years back.

At this point, the only real hope for that corner is the northwest side, where development seems to have been encouraged at least a few years ago.

The gas station doesn't appear to be going anywhere (and serves a function in the area), and until the funeral home closes or moves, I doubt anyone will be touching that giant wasteland on the Northeast.
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  #52  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2015, 4:32 PM
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^ This is often the case in Winnipeg it seems, where you have vibrant neighbourhood strips in the middle of the block and ugly voids at the intersections.
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  #53  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2016, 3:50 PM
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I can only hope that P&M will be something we can look back at in a decade and go, that was a mistake of epic proportions, hopefully we learned from it and start looking at this city from the centre out..to much to hope for? Maybe.. one step at a time..
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  #54  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2016, 4:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban recluse View Post
I would like to think the will is present to not allow that to happen. Piecemeal revitalization efforts, however, must cease; collaboration must be front and centre. A good example is Leon A Brown's endeavor to transform Point Douglas, which as we all know, is connected to the Exchange. I know the firm is still working at finding the right tenants for their development, but I doubt they are receiving any assistance from Centreventure or FNPP. FNPP supports the plan, but as usual, it has decided to elongate the time to create a joint venture to "formulate a plan", insisting it must build a "roadmap", just as it is dragging its heals with parcel four development. CV and FNPP should merge to form one downtown agency dedicated to revitalize both the downtown and the periphery. Personally, if Higgins could be transformed into a version of Kansas City's Country Club Plaza, I would be thrilled.

Outside of the SHED, other areas of concern consist of the gap between the downtown and the HSC. William Avenue could become a thriving connector between the two with new three to four storey infills lining it. Bannatyne and McDermot also need attention.

Main street from Higgins (although further north too), to the Norwood Bridge is in desperate need of developments; the expansion of the museum is a great start, and could be the catalyst to spark increased developments in the area. I thought we would witness private investment changing the face of this stretch of Main when RRC finished its expansions.

Broadway is organically healthy, although the centre boulevard could use new landscaping, stonework, fountains, etc.

The area between Main Street, Higgins, Princess and William needs plenty of new developments as well.

Clearly complacency is not an option, as there is a lot of work to do. Visionaries apply within.
Looks fabulous. It looks much more sophisticated and eventful compared to our Osborne Village and Corydon.
I would welcome that kind of initiative for sure as long as we can create a demand for it, let's go for it!
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  #55  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2018, 6:45 PM
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While I was out and about earlier today, I was thinking about another "long view" issue, and that is the state of Portage Avenue.

While there are many positive progressive urbanist things that have happened in Winnipeg over the last 15-20 years, the continually depressed condition of Portage Avenue from sidewalk level is not one of them. Walking by the Kensington Building really drove the point home... the sidewalks were somewhat busy if not bustling, the building itself has people coming and going, but there continues to be absolutely nothing in the highly visible CRU space at the bottom. Even the various government offices that were there would be better than the nothing that currently exists there.

There is so much more going on downtown these days than there was at the turn of the century... loads of sports, lots of entertainment, residents doing their thing, etc., but the storefronts just feel like a void. The last time there was any real improvement was under Glen Murray's watch when the ball got rolling for MTS Centre and Manitoba Hydro Place, and some retailers were lured back. But since 2004 it just been in a perpetual state of barely hanging on, not quite dead but not quite alive either. Not surprisingly, I haven't heard a peep about it this municipal election... there's a lot of talk about Portage and Main but barely a word about improving the surrounding area.
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