Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"I hear Child's has great ribs"

Gail Asper got up in front of a group of Winnipeg businesspeople that if Winnipeg doesn't start looking like a living museum of tolerance and social equity, it's going to make her future Candian Museum of Human Rights at the Forks look foolish. "We have to be seen as a leader of human rights," she said.

City needs cleanup: Asper - WFP

Getting to things more tangible, Ms. Asper said that it's time to Do Something To Fix The Downtown. Citing the story of a couple of foreign bureaucrats who came to the city to donate to the CMHR recently, she said:

"'When they checked in (to their hotel), they asked where they could have dinner and they were told they could walk up and down Portage Avenue and they'd find something,' Asper said.

It was after 6 p.m. and they didn't find dinner. 'What they found was a decayed, scary and hollow downtown.'"

Not to take away from the reality of a pathetically severe lack of amenities of any kind (even in it's comparatively pleasant and vibrant pockets of downtown) open in the evening, but this example touches on what is a greater problem: downtown hotel staff who apparently don't know what they're talking about. What on earth is one doing suggesting Portage Avenue as a good place to get something to eat at 6:00pm (or any time of the day for that matter)?

I don't know where all these great restaurants open on Portage Avenue are, but I'd imagine the only way you'd be able to get to them is by driving a plutonium-powered DeLorean at 88 m.p.h. Did the hotel staff also suggest catching a streetcar up Main to catch a midnight show at the Bijou, or dancing at the Roseland?


Blogger PolicyFrog said...

Agreed. Also, who are these jackass donors? Two of them fly to Winnipeg and stay overnight just so they can deliver a whopping $20,000 cheque? How about you guys stay home and round up your modest donation to $21,000 instead.

And anyone from Ottawa that has "idealist views of Winnipeg" doesn't get out enough, or read enough for that matter.

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Cycling Guy said...

Not just the Child's, but if Eatons had been redeveloped into a multi-use building with residential there probably would be better dinner eats downtown.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gail is needing to get into the spotlight because her ship is slowing down. So she slaps the downtown, a sure media story.

Too bad she has not visted portage for several years to figure out whats it all about.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are very good on how you right. But galston you are wrong in what you right.

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Asper's story sounds hinky. These guys would have been staying in a hotel with a restaurant, one would think, or surely the hotel staff would have hailed them a cab and dispatched them directly to 529 or something, one would think...

10:58 AM  
Blogger The Rise and Sprawl said...

I don't doubt that there have been many tourists staying at downtown hotels who take a walk into a desolate and seemingly dangerous downtown, without knowing beforehand where some good places to go (ie, King's Head) actually exist. But it seems funny not only that doners would fly to the city to drop off a cheque, but that they wouldn't be shown the town by CMHR people.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only an NHL team at the MTS Centre 45 nights a year can help revitalize downtown Winnipeg.

You have to make people WANT to come downtown after 6 p.m.

A hockey team this city cares about and attracts 16,000 people regularly in the fall/winter/spring will help do it.

Nothing else will. Nothing. Every idea put forth by City Hall thus far has failed miserably.

I've seen first hand what a PRO sports team can do for a city's downtown; I know what I'm talking about.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bring back the jets baby!!

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really, gawd...this town sucks.

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gail Asper's office is on Portage Avenue, in the Canwest building at Portage and Main/Portage and Fort.

So, not sure why the other "anonymous" thinks she hasn't visited Portage Avenue in the last several years.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look is it that freakin hard to find Baileys or Hy's at Portage and Main ?

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are many people in those towers that never set foot on Portage.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many Stefano Grande sock puppets are here anyhow? The "BIZ" is about as useless an organization as they come.

Here's an idea: since downtown started to suck shit after they got rid of the streetcars, and since multiple wise men have connected downtown's health with that of transit's, maybe a super-duper transit system (like an underground one) might be the only answer....


Hey Stefano--how's life in East St. Paul treatin you?

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have some crazy ideas.. why not impose no loitering in the portage place food court and around the many entrances?
also why not make it illegal to pan handle at all on the portage strip?

increase police patrols, security, and lighting.

Make down town feel safe and people will go there.

No an NHL team and street cars won't bring people out of the burbs, not if they don't feel safe. Hell i am 250lbs white guy, and I don't like walking past portage place cause the bullshit i get from the local idiots with nothing else to do but hang out.

12:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dallas are your still pissed that got you arrested at the forks for selling shit to kids?

Chill, the guy barey knows you. But I do. I Wathced your ass for 12 months ;)

It must have been embarrassing to have you taken away in handcuffs at the Forks LOL.

Why you dissing the guy? Do you even know him?

Go back to your hole where the MLCC kicked you. Your dragging down robs blog with your BS.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^ bought and owned !

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Downtown has improved very slightly in the last 20 years, but only very slightly. Essentially, it's Polo Park, the auto culture, terribly poor urban planning and the virtual destruction of the North and West Ends as vibrant and healthy communities that killed downtown, not simply the demise of the streetcars, which at best was only a minor contributing reason. Pure and simple we need to increase the downtown resident population substantially, build over surface parking lots and prohibit outright any further development of these eyesores, and revitalize and wage war on poverty in the adjacent portions of the North and West Ends in order to ensure a healthy downtown core. Most importantly we have got to start looking at progressive urban planning and stop looking to Calgary and Edmonton as urban models.

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good comments.

The progress has been slow from a comprehensive planning perspective.

On a building by building approach much as been accomplished. But because of the lack of such a planned approach, it does not seem that way.

Sprinkle a handful of flower seeds in a concentrated area, and an incredible sight emerges.
Sprinkle the same handful across an open field, and you can barely see the flowers.

Government land use policy, bad immigartion policy, and not intervening in the real estate market led to the destruction of the inner city, which in turn hurt the downtown.

People with money left, and people needing affordable housing moved in, and with them their social issues.

So much for the PC policy leaving the market alone. It will take generations for the inner city to recover now.

But to fix the inner city is as easy to understand as its demise. The clock needs to be turned back.

Stop urban sprawl
Disperse the poverty like flowers over a big field.
Re-invest more in neighboood schools, parks, sidewalks and streets
Redesign neighborhoods
Free and ample sport programs
Stimulate housing, and the best housing with the coolest amenities
Bring back the street cars

A developers will make money
Winnipeggers will return to the funkiest neighborhoods
Our city will be safer and healthier
And young people will flock to our city.

And the Downtown will flourish.

We all can dream. To bad the decision makers can’t.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you may friend need to become mayor.

9:57 PM  

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