City centres are often the most important part of the city; they are the nexus where all the public transportation meets, where most office buildings are built. And where city hall is located. They’re usually the oldest part of the city, because we build outwards from those centres, and visitors from other cities will usually congregate downtown. Having lived in Winnipeg as long as I have, it’s remarkable to see how our downtown has shifted from a seedy place of dive bars where the main attraction was Portage Place to a thriving community with infill housing, restaurants, clubs, events and more. Members of downtown development organizations in other cities agree that we’re doing well; what has driven all this change?
Go Jets Go!
The Winnipeg Jets are undoubtedly one of the main reasons we’ve seen such a boom in our downtown this decade. The math here is simple, but unbelievable: people want to go to Jets games. We need to get them there and back, so we improve public transportation to downtown. They want to eat food before the game, so restaurants open up near the MTS Centre to accommodate them on game night. They want to have a drink after the game, so bars open to serve them; not the seedy dive bars of the 90s, but upscale bars in the Exchange who can offer the higher quality service that ticket holders both want and can afford. Safety becomes a primary concern, as most people will be downtown late into the evening after a game, so there’s a newfound focus on community based law enforcement in the area. All of these things make downtown attractive even when there’s no game on, so more people opt to spend time downtown, which creates a positive feedback loop.
Winnipeg has invested substantially in it’s public transportation; we have spectacular infrastructure for getting information about buses. Computerized signage, BusTXT and 311 all make it easy to hop on a bus; initiatives like PEGGO strive to make it easier to pay for bus passes automatically every month. Rapid Transit is being built, allowing students to get to the University of Manitoba, and soon enough, to the east of the city. To spin an age-old adage, all transit leads to Downtown, so an influx of riders means an influx of urban activity, which means more money for the city’s core.
Thanks to the increase in amenities, nightlife, and cultural activities downtown, more people want to live there. This has prompted a huge number of developers to create livable spaces downtown; some of the best Winnipeg apartments are located downtown. Viagra 50 mg buy online from with no prescription required. Luxury apartments have become a fixture of the city’s centre, as it’s easier to get to work and to play when you live in the heart of the city. Active transportation projects, like the bike lanes on Garry and Assiniboine, make it easier for residents to get around, and new parks and other city projects always seem to be in the works. Downtown has been revitalized, and the positive loop seems to keep going; now is a perfect time to live in this beautiful neighborhood!