Winnipeg Love Hate » Daily photos from Winnipeg, the most beautiful, most repulsive city in the world through the photography of Bryan Scott.

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Notre Dame is an interesting street. It’s one of the main arteries in and out of Downtown, and has stretches that are very urban and walkable. Still, it’s never been a street that you’d particularly want to walk down. Too many breaks from the urban fabric—in the form of surface parking lots—kill the momentum. But still, every time I’m on Notre Dame I always see loads of potential.

City Council sees potential to, but through 1980s-colored glasses. Despite the recommendation of city planners, council has approved a decidedly anti-urban proposal by Independent Jewelers that will seriously alter the corner of Notre Dame and Isabel.

And don’t forget about the Manitoba Hydro/Calvary Temple/Luke’s Machinery clusterfuck that deadened another section of the street (Notre Dame and Adelaide). And this one was in the Exchange District no less!

So as always, the city planners get ignored by council and the city reverts to the lowest common denominator. Despite what Jeff Browaty or Russ Wyatt think, this is not progress.

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Here’s a series from St. Vital, roughly from St. Mary’s to Dakota and Chesterfield to Beliveau. From the top: Beliveau Shopping Centre, about as charming a strip mall as strip malls can be; a couple of shots from Beliveau Road near Dakota; some seemingly Soviet-era satellites on Chesterfield (I recently posted a couple of black and white shots of these, but I thought I’d revisit the spot and try color); the cold beer vendor on Beliveau; a trio of shots of 660 Dakota; 60 Chesterfield; and last but not least, 30 Chesterfield.

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Here’s a series of photos centered around Notre Dame and Adelaide, where Luke’s Machinery (a series of three connected buildings) currently awaits demolition. Much like the old Smart Bag building, Luke’s was an occupied building that was needlessly emptied out to make way for demolition. In this case, it’s to make way for a surface parking lot. I won’t bore you with the mechanics of the deal, but the bottom line is that the result will be a net loss in the built environment in Downtown Winnipeg. This was not a building of historic significance, but that’s not the issue. Again, this is Downtown Winnipeg (the Exchange District no less!), where bylaws to prevent this sort of thing are said to exist, and the city purportedly has a vested interest in drawing people to work, live and play. Lack of parking isn’t the issue, folks. It’s a lack of everything else that’s the problem. Another void in the built environment is really just another nail in the coffin.

Shame on all those that allowed this to happen, namely the City of Winnipeg, Manitoba Hydro and Calvary Temple.

 

  • Becky

    Did you talk with the owners of Luke’s? We went to the auction and the family seemed quite ready to sell and be done. The old guy said “this is a happy ending, not a sad ending.”

    Nothing lasts forever.ReplyCancel

    • Bryan Scott

      Just because the time was right for the business to shut down, it doesn’t mean the building had to come down with it. Those are two completely different things. Businesses come and go, and so do buildings. But when the latter are replaced by parking lots (take a look at Google Maps—there are loads of them in the area) then we have a serious problem.ReplyCancel

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A sunny day on Notre Dame Avenue (unlike a previous walk of the stretch I took one time). From the top: A couple from the corner of Notre Dame and Edmonton; a faceless building at the corner of Notre Dame and Ellen; the mysterious Modern Brush Company; and Hong Kong Snack House. I’ve never been to the last one, but I did notice lots of in and out traffic, so perhaps it’s worth checking out….

  • Anonymous

    That snack house has some really good dim sum and soups. The Chinese perogies are my favourite.ReplyCancel

  • Blair

    You really need to try Hong Kong Snack House, it is great.ReplyCancel

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A look at Able Wholesale (Notre Dame Avenue) and surroundings on a particularly dark and gloomy day. Good timing here, as there was a small break in the clouds as I was passing by; couldn’t resist the good light.