Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Thanks to Adrian at for getting a shot of the crowning achievement of Centre Venture's "Heart of Gold" plan for downtown's main thoroughfares--parkades built with all the charms the Nazi army put into machine gun nests on the Normandy coast.

Not even the City's design review board could love this one. One local architect reported on a forum:
"i... heard today that the downtown design review board rejected the design for the [WRHA] parkade on main steeet, but it proceeded anyways... now the city (planning department) is up in arms about it and want something done... wait until it is finished to do something about it... its 2 blocks from city hall for goodness sake... you didnt see it every day?... i am sure they will have to use the plastic covered chain link fence between the floors now instead of just regular."

Because it is an ugly failure--an open parkade on a main downtown thoroughfare--Centre Venture will claim to have nothing to do with it--they merely came up with the idea to develop a parkade of that size and on that site, and were the ones that approved the builder's bid. Blame WRHA, blame Stantec Design, blame the builder, blame Planning or some other City department...

Way to go, everyone. The truth is, you all played a part. And if incompetence were a commodity, Winnipeg would be Chicago of the North.


This whole thing brings up the relevancy of the Downtown Design Review Board: if they have no teeth to prevent parkades on Main Street, what is the point of having this Board? Any consulting firm or architecture critic could make "recommendations" to building designers, at less cost to the City.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:28 PM  
Blogger J.Cotton said...

Wonder if the new cameras going up at the Sally Ann are a result of the new WRHA building. The parking lot looks better than what was there before.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that ever the nail in the coffin on that block. Embarrassing.

It is reminiscent of St. Paul, MN. Where all downtown has is parkades, homeless shelters and a world class hockey rink.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When a person running a downtown development agency knows nothing about how the private sector excels in developing downtowns, this is what you get.

The problem is that Ross McGowan is a good guy and all, but knows shit about downtown development. And the Mayor and Chair of Property and Development simply follow him, because they do not know better. They are all good drinking buddies by the way.

If Ross were to become more learned the other two would follow as well. So I place blame on Ross. His Board is blissfully ignorant about these matters.

Because the Mayor and the Chair of PPD have given the nod, in pure ignorance, no-once can alter the decision. The Planning Department, Design Review… all report to these two people.

What are we waiting for?

Another drive thru bank?-

Another shitty looking office tower for the Winnipeg Foundation in China Town ? (wait til you this this design…..)

Another about face to re-house the people kicked out of the Bell Hotel, in the same place?

Its time to take the power of developing the downtown away from CentreVernture before they fuck it up even more.

This gang is not looking beyond the fact that its simple development, that really does nothing for Main Street other than commit it to being still a shit hole.

If the options are these projects or nothing. I pick nothing.

I’ll wait until a better leader leads.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me get this right.

The toilet at Higgins and Main was rejected under design issues, and this concrete bunker is okay?

Who the fuck is leading this city?

I honestly think its time to shut down CV as well.

Time to put downtown development in the hands of the community through a real community development agency.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

U agree, shut down CV. No sense having a government department operating outside government.

CV inflates property values by using tax dollars to play the game. How quaint and convenient.

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is not the relevancy of the Design Review Board, they are in fact very relevant and very much needed. The problem is they have no power, and the people that do (city hall, and frankly the developers who are paying for it all) are not educated in design, and are only worried about their bottom line. If said Design Review Board is to have any relevancy give them the power to do something about bad design.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm no big fan of The Powers That Be, but the truth is important. And whoever posted this...

"And the Mayor and Chair of Property and Development simply follow him, because they do not know better. They are all good drinking buddies by the way."

...doesn't have a clue what the truth is. The Mayor doesn't drink, and if McGowan and the Chair of Property and Development ever drink together, you can be sure the word "buddies" doesn't come up in conversation.

Indifference and conspiracy are not the same thing.

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So then its dumb, dumber and even dumber... I feel better now.

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HOW did Deepak Joshi become the Top guy ?

He's an IT guy ??????

What , no one else applied for the job. He's a good guy , don't get me wrong , but , but, but , but and a ton more Buts on so many levels.

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Winnipeg gets exactly as good as it deserves.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hick town that is always trying to be more then it really is.

maybe if we stopped trying to emulate the big cities and just accept what we are.. an over grown hick town.. things might get better?

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should be compared to an Edmonton.

And they are kicking our ass.

All we need is an incredable head planner. And politiicans to resepct his/her reccomendations.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

United Way is building the shitty building in ChinaTown and not the Winnipeg Foundation.

They are building their own building so I would not worry about design as much. They are easier to influence.

The WRHA was build by Mcgowans friends. And their goal is to make lots of money, and to hell with design.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous unclebob said...

"If the options are these projects or nothing. I pick nothing."

If you don't want these projects you may not quite qualify for nothing - you probably get anarchy and no rules - well, even that might have some appeal.

Its on Sam's watch - Sam gets the credit or the blame.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What United Way building?

9:57 AM  

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