What comes next?
Of course, only a cynical, acid-tongued ogre would dare oppose Badly-needed [secular] Recreation Facilities in the Inner City, but as of February, Sport Manitoba's own website notes that the fieldhouse is far from a sure thing. The construction timeline is "TBD," and funding has "yet to be secured." This, says a source involved in the project, continues to be the case now, and that where once a building stood (and remained occupied) for 126 years, only banners and a surface parking lot will stand quite soon. (Banners and parking: two things downtown Winnipeg just does not have enough of.)
Commenting on this blog on April 20, City Councillor and Historical Buildings Committee Chair Jenny Gerbasi noted emphatically that the site of the Smart-Bag Building will not be used as surface parking, as the HBC worked an enforceable clause into the agreement to remove to building from the Conservation list, so that surface parking would not be allowed to used on the site of the building.
Parking or not, there is going to be another formless void in the Exchange District, to be replaced by little more than a nice idea with no timeline or funding. That and two dollars will let you park downtown for an hour.
Appropriately enough, the City of Winnipeg thought that next door to a doomed heritage building was a good place to host a review the final draft of their Heritage Resource Management Plan. This is next Saturday, May 29, from 12:00 to 4:00 pm at Sport Manitoba, 145 Pacific Avenue. Thanks to Gord for pointing this out.