Tag Archives: portage and main

Main and Graham

Main and Graham.

Main and Graham.

Main and Graham.

Main and Graham.

Main and Graham.

Main and Graham.

Main and Graham.

Main and Graham.

Main and Graham.

Main and Graham.

Main and Graham.

Main and Graham.

The leveling of the southwest corner of Portage and Main (almost entire block really, from Portage to Graham) in the late 1970s is one of the great tragedies in Winnipeg’s history. It’s hard to blame the city for allowing it though; the promise of not one but two sexy new skyscrapers was hard to resist. What better way of fast-tracking Winnipeg into the 21st century?

When only one of the proposed towers materialized, Main Street was left scarred, and as today’s photos demonstrate,  Main and Graham became a decades-long dead zone.

There is good news though, as it looks like this wrong will soon be righted. A new proposal for the corner looks promising and may finally bring life back to the once great corner.

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Near the Downtown Rail Bridge

Mill Street.

Mill Street.

Nutty Club (Lombard Avenue).

Nutty Club (Lombard Avenue).

Nutty Club (Lombard Avenue).

Nutty Club (Lombard Avenue).

Rail Bridge (Pioneer Avenue).

Rail Bridge (Pioneer Avenue).

Pazsteaks (William Stephenson Way).

Pazsteaks (William Stephenson Way).

Pazsteaks (William Stephenson Way).

Pazsteaks (William Stephenson Way).

Canadian Museum for Human Rights (Waterfront Drive).

Canadian Museum for Human Rights (Waterfront Drive).

Nutty VClub (Lombard Avenue).

Nutty VClub (Lombard Avenue).

Rail Bridge (Pioneer Avenue).

Rail Bridge (Pioneer Avenue).

Rail Bridge (Pioneer Avenue).

Rail Bridge (Pioneer Avenue).

Some shots under or near the rail bridge that runs parallel to Main Street and around Shaw Park. My office just recently moved into the neighborhood (yes, I have a 9-5 day job), so expect more from shots from the area over the next while.

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Portage and Main

Portage and Main (southwest corner).

Portage and Main (southwest corner).

Portage and Main (southeast corner).

Portage and Main (southeast corner).

Portage and Main (northwest corner).

Portage and Main (northwest corner).

Portage and Main (northeast corner).

Portage and Main (northeast corner).

Portage and Main (northeast corner).

Portage and Main (northeast corner).

Portage and Main (northeast corner).

Portage and Main (northeast corner).

Portage and Main (northeast corner).

Portage and Main (northeast corner).

Portage and Main (northwest corner).

Portage and Main (northwest corner).

Portage and Main (southeast corner).

Portage and Main (southeast corner).

A closer look at Portage and Main, Winnipeg’s infamous and contentious intersection.

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Night Moves

Elvis Pawn Shop (Main Street)

Elvis Pawn Shop (Main Street)

Back Alley (off McDermot Avenue)

Back Alley (off McDermot Avenue)

Main Street

Main Street

Parkade (Portage and Main)

Parkade (Portage and Main)

Bell Hotel (Main Street)

Bell Hotel (Main Street)

Boy, after eight years of Winnipeg Love Hate it’s become practically impossible to come up with names for these daily posts. Starting today, I’m going to go with a movie theme. Let’s see how long I can make it last.

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Pazsteaks

Pazsteaks (William Stephenson Way)

Pazsteaks (William Stephenson Way)

From the For Sale sign, it appears this place is no longer in business, which means I may never find out exactly what a pazsteak is.

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Tuesday Randomness

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A bit all over the place today. First, a couple of shots from a lovey winter day at The Forks; Boyd Autobody (Pembina Highway); and a couple of previously unseen shots—Nutty Club (Westbrook Street) and Towne Cinema (Notre Dame Avenue).

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The Annual Raiding of the Archives: Part 5

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Here’s the last batch of previously unseen or reworked photos from the archives for now…unless this lousy weather keeps up.

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A Portage and Main Staycation: Part 2

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More from our Portage and Main Staycation. These are from the net morning.

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A Portage and Main Staycation

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While having some work done at home that required being out of the house for 24 hours, my wife and I decided to have some fun with the situation. So together with our daughter, we booked a room at The Fairmont. You only live once right?

Feeling like a tourist in my own town, I must say it was a surreal experience. The new perspective on Portage and Main really drove home the dichotomy of the famous intersection: the hustle and bustle of Downtown life—the constant hum of traffic, sirens, random human noises— intertwined with the dehumanizing, lifeless concrete barriers that have been keeping people away for over 30 years. So while it was excitng to spend a night amongst the skyscrapers, our Portage and Main staycation was a sobering, humbling experience.

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Misadventures at Portage and Main

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Ah, life at Portage and Main, the barricaded heart of the city. In the first shot, a young couple—likely tourists—try to cross the intersection, perhaps unaware of the underground concourse. Meanwhile, in the second photo, a squeegee guy proves that where there’s a will there’s a way.

It’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure I’ve ranted on this website about how embarrassing the barricades at Portage and Main are. They’re a relic of 1960s city planning that puts the automobile before the human being, turning the intersection into a makeshift freeway designed to usher people through downtown rather than bring them to—and keep them—downtown. They’re a giant fuck-you to pedestrians, forcing people underground like Morlocks, down dark and cavernous stairways into a rat’s maze of sickening 1970s oranges and browns. In the process, they ensure that life above ground ceases to exist, deadening not just the intersection itself, but its surroundings as well.

But now that the city’s newest mayor has been sworn into office, all of this may change. One of Brian Bowman’s campaign promises was to ensure that the intersection would once again open to pedestrians when the contract to keep it closed expires in 2019. If this is going to happen, planning for that day has to start now—a new design isn’t rocket science, but these things do take time. Bowman’s actions in the coming months on Portage and Main will be quite telling. Will he provide the change at city hall that his campaign promised? If planning for a new Portage and Main begins soon, then perhaps he will.

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Dark Clouds over Main Street

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Looking south from Main and Bannatyne. I love shooting in wild weather, and this summer has provided some pretty great opportunities.  These ones were taken during a sunny patch on a stormy day back in May.

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Portage & Main

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Up close and personal with the cold concrete at Portage & Main, the heart and soul of our city.

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Downtown Dusk: Part 2

13301304004_ec32038db3_bhydroDonald Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba.Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Some more Portage Avenue dusk shots. From the top: A general eastward view down Portage Avenue; a couple of shots of Manitoba Hydro (built 2008); Metropolitan Theatre (Donald Street, built 1991, renovated 2013), looking good, but in dire need of a marquee; and the Air Canada Building (Portage and Smith, built 1985).

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Downtown Dusk

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Portage Avenue. Dusk. A warm, later winter night. The top four shots are looking east towards Portage and Main from Donald; Bottom shot, of course, is the MTS Centre.

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Shiny Downtown Streets

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Ever notice how the streets are always wet in the movies—even when there isn’t a cloud in the sky? Wet streets are beautiful, especially when the sun is shining, and when these conditions arise, I do everything I can to get out and shoot. The Spring melt is often such an occasion.

From the top: Looking towards Portage and Main from Garry and Notre Dame; looking west down Bannatyne across Main Street; looking south down Main from Bannatyne; the Canadian Wheat Board (Main Street, originally constructed 1929 with additions done in the 60s)’ an alley near McDermot and Princess; and a look towards Red River College down Adelaide Street.

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