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Old Posted Dec 30, 2020, 9:42 AM
NewIreland NewIreland is offline
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Winnipeg's Tunnels

I came across this map on CBC's website yesterday and I was shocked to see an isolated underground network connecting the Manitoba museum, Centennial Theatre, Pantages theatre, City Hall, and the old (and now gone) police HQ. Is this still in use? Does anyone have any pictures? Are there plans to expand it? Also, are the rumors of a vast network of walkable steam tunnels throughout downtown actually true?

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Old Posted Dec 30, 2020, 6:11 PM
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I remember using those tunnels on a field trip when I was young (in the late 90s).
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Old Posted Dec 30, 2020, 7:06 PM
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Originally Posted by NewIreland View Post
I came across this map on CBC's website yesterday and I was shocked to see an isolated underground network connecting the Manitoba museum, Centennial Theatre, Pantages theatre, City Hall, and the old (and now gone) police HQ. Is this still in use? Does anyone have any pictures? Are there plans to expand it? Also, are the rumors of a vast network of walkable steam tunnels throughout downtown actually true?
That was how you got from the Concert Hall to the Civic Centre Parkade after a WSO concert. I guess it's now ancient history although it's still shown on the Sherlock's Map. I was actually wondering if it was still in use. In today's downtown environment I'm not sure how enticing it would be. It was a long concrete hallway from what I remember.
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Old Posted Dec 30, 2020, 7:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy6 View Post
That was how you got from the Concert Hall to the Civic Centre Parkade after a WSO concert. I guess it's now ancient history although it's still shown on the Sherlock's Map. I was actually wondering if it was still in use. In today's downtown environment I'm not sure how enticing it would be. It was a long concrete hallway from what I remember.
Is the tunnel winter-proof?
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Old Posted Dec 30, 2020, 7:17 PM
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There is indeed a tunnel between City Hall and the Manitoba Museum/Centennial Theatre that is still in regular use. It runs underneath Main Street (obviously) and is winter-proof.

It's not used by many people, mainly for the few elected officials/staff at City Hall who park in the Centennial Centre parkade which is connected to the small tunnel system. The segment of the tunnel that connects to the now gone police HQ is blocked off.
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Old Posted Dec 30, 2020, 7:42 PM
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HSC has a very elaborate tunnel system connecting all major buildings and parkades. Watch out for the electric cars.
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Old Posted Dec 30, 2020, 7:43 PM
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HSC has a very elaborate tunnel system connecting all major buildings and parkades. Watch out for the electric cars.
St. Boniface too.
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  #8  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2020, 7:46 PM
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Totally amazing how much goes on down there.
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Old Posted Dec 30, 2020, 7:49 PM
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Anyone who attended U of Manitoba would know this, but most of the buildings on the Fort Garry campus are connected by tunnels. Most are wide corridors, but at least one looks to be a converted steam tunnel.
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Old Posted Dec 30, 2020, 9:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy6 View Post
That was how you got from the Concert Hall to the Civic Centre Parkade after a WSO concert. I guess it's now ancient history although it's still shown on the Sherlock's Map. I was actually wondering if it was still in use. In today's downtown environment I'm not sure how enticing it would be. It was a long concrete hallway from what I remember.
I used it pretty regularly for the year I was a student doing a co-op placement at City Hall in the early 2000s. I remember it felt more like a utility tunnel than anything else, but it was clean and well kept. Even though it's open to the public I really don't remember seeing many people down there other than the odd municipal employee.

What's funny about it is that the tunnel is pretty austere and narrow, but then you get to City Hall and a part branches off to become a big, wide, nicely decorated corridor as though they were expecting thousands of people to pass through there every day. (Maybe it was built with the thought of one day connecting it to a larger network? I do recall that until maybe about 20 years ago, the skywalk maps often included a dotted line from Portage & Main to City Hall showing a planned connection that was never realized)

After my co-op ended I used to use it for the reason Andy6 mentioned, to park at the Civic Centre parkade and to then walk to the Concert Hall indoors when attending performances. But that is no longer an option of course, although the tunnels are still there. I wonder if the Marketlands development will include an underground connection?
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Old Posted Dec 30, 2020, 9:21 PM
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Unless it's been shuttered, you should still be able to walk from the Portage and Main concourse all the way to City Hall. I used to walk it on a semi-regular basis so I know it did exist but today I'm not sure.
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Old Posted Dec 30, 2020, 9:33 PM
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Unless it's been shuttered, you should still be able to walk from the Portage and Main concourse all the way to City Hall. I used to walk it on a semi-regular basis so I know it did exist but today I'm not sure.
I've worked at a couple of places along Main Street over the years and I'm pretty familiar with the surroundings, but I am unaware of any public link from Portage and Main to City Hall. The farthest north you can get on the main skywalk system is to the Grain Exchange Building.
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Old Posted Dec 30, 2020, 9:57 PM
NewIreland NewIreland is offline
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Unless it's been shuttered, you should still be able to walk from the Portage and Main concourse all the way to City Hall. I used to walk it on a semi-regular basis so I know it did exist but today I'm not sure.
Wow! Does anyone have more info?
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Old Posted Dec 30, 2020, 10:31 PM
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There has never been a connection between City Hall and Portage and Main. There was some talk of building one years ago but nothing ever came of it. The farthest north you can go in the main system is the Grain Exchange building.

The last time I was at the Manitoba Museum the tunnel across to City Hall was definitely open.
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  #15  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2020, 11:09 PM
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Anyone who attended U of Manitoba would know this, but most of the buildings on the Fort Garry campus are connected by tunnels. Most are wide corridors, but at least one looks to be a converted steam tunnel.
Yes, the part we used to take under the science buildings to Tier was a steam tunnel, complete with pipes. They added the link to University Centre later. I was pretty shocked when I came to University of Toronto and there were no tunnels. That and the absence of electrical outlets in the parking lots, and the wooden posts and stringers that they’re usually attached to.
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Old Posted Dec 31, 2020, 12:19 AM
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I realize I am more pro-skywalk than most around here, but I wish that planned leg from Portage and Main to City Hall had been completed... it would have made reaching the Exchange District even more convenient on cold/rainy days. But I guess there were never any developments in that area which could have resulted in pushing the network north.
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Old Posted Dec 31, 2020, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by esquire View Post
I realize I am more pro-skywalk than most around here, but I wish that planned leg from Portage and Main to City Hall had been completed... it would have made reaching the Exchange District even more convenient on cold/rainy days. But I guess there were never any developments in that area which could have resulted in pushing the network north.
To my knowledge there IS a steam tunnel that runs from Portage and Main all the way down Main and then turns down Alexander and ends where the the substation is on Lily. It could likely be converted.
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  #18  
Old Posted Dec 31, 2020, 12:29 AM
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Here's a screenshot from the 'Big City Steam' trailer on YouTube.

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  #19  
Old Posted Dec 31, 2020, 3:32 AM
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When I was going to Red River College downtown, I would take the tunnels from the now demolished Civic Centre Parkade, and walk all the way through to the Centennial Concert Hall and out to the bus stop in front of the Concert Hall in the winter time.

As someone mentioned already, not too many people know about that, and I knew about that after a fellow classmate told me about it.

Absolutely blew my mind. Too bad that tunnel system is isolated from the rest of the Winnipeg Walkway network.

HSC's vast tunnel network is very interesting. You can easily get lost in there if you don't pay attention to the signages.
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  #20  
Old Posted Dec 31, 2020, 4:52 AM
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When I worked for the province I would sometimes take the tunnel from the Provincial Archives to the Norquay, but it isn't public. I think you can get to the Law Courts, Woodsworth and Leg through there too.
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