Downtown, our City

Monday July 23, 2018

Tonight was a great night of meeting people from within and outside Winnipeg as I canvassed the downtown area of Fort Rouge/East Fort Garry.

I was able to chat with a fellow who works for Great West Life and who has travelled all around the world. He was walking from Osborne Village and planned to use the concourse to get back to the Fairmont Hotel @fairmontwinnipeg.   I shared the plans for the Osborne walking bridge and its location.  When asked about Portage and Main he  vocalized that he especially appreciated using the underground concourse in the winter time as he only has to be outside for one block in the cold for his walk to work.  He also had a few suggestions regarding how to improve the signage and he offered his opinion that the unique shape of the intersection means that it is not set up to be a  classic 4 corner pedestrian walking intersection.  It was a great conversation and I ended by suggesting that he try Mitzi’s Chicken Finger Restaurant, one of the best family owned downtown restaurants. Shirley and her staff do an amazing job every time.

I was able to speak with a member of the Downtown Biz Enviro-Team.  I was extremely impressed with his positive attitude regardless of the challenges he faces in his work.  This is a credit to his team and work ethic.  The group does an amazing job in all the seasons. @DowntownWinnipegBiz

My next stop was the IdeaMill on the 3rd floor of the Millennium Library on Donald Street.  This is an absolutely wonderful public facility.  In the past I used to go to the Centennial Library to study for school and to play chess on the 2nd floor.  More recently the Library has been a good place for office workers to have their lunches in the wonderful outdoor green space area. The purpose of today’s visit was to recieve a tour of the IdeaMill and to lend my support to these initiatives.  I was able to meet with Arron, a helpful member of the planning team, for an extensive tour of the IdeaMill which is very impressive. Winnipeg needs places and ideas like this to help us grown and develop.

Tourism is an important part of downtown Winnipeg.  I speak from experience as a past rickshaw operator where I served as an unofficial ambassador and tour guide of our wonderful city.  It is important to make people feel welcome, safe and entertained in our downtown. Tonight I was able to speak with a wonderful couple from Moncton, NB. It was lovely to hear their thoughts on downtown.   They offered that they thought it might be a good place to move to and of course I agreed and did my best to highlight the reasons why.

I also had the opportunity to listen to a group of Winnipeg Transit drivers.  Winnipeg Transit serves an important function for citizens to commute to and from work and to travel with their families within the city.  It is made up of an amazing group of people who not only drive the buses but who also act as informal city ambassadors and tour guides.  I strongly support this amazing group of people who are helping to transport thousands of people.  Having been a past 12 hour and then 10 hour shift worker, I can appreciate the hard work that they do.

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