Portage Place, Portage Avenue.
The Portage Place walkways have got to be among the most depressing places in Winnipeg. Aside from offering a reprieve from the cold, there really aren’t many positives they have to offer. They’re bulky and dated—they scream 1980s—and are three times as large as they need to be.
Lining the walkways with storefronts may have been a nifty idea when the mall first opened, but the mostly empty shops are definitive proof that the idea has failed.
Meanwhile, without any natural backroom storage, the spaces that are occupied have junk piled up from the floor to the ceiling. This doesn’t exactly help the aesthetics when viewed from the street.
I’m not going to try to make the argument that the walkways should be abolished, thereby returning foot traffic to the street (although one could indeed make that argument). This is Winnipeg, and it’s fucking cold. But still, I can’t wait for the day when these beasts are torn down and replaced with simple, subtle, elegant structures. I’m not holding my breath though.