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Portage Avenue:
Dreams of Castles
in the Sky


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Page 6

PORTAGE & MAIN: CELEBRATION SQUARE
NAR: At the East End of Portage Ave is the best-known intersection in Canada. The intersection of Portage & Main. The centre of Winnipeg's financial district. It's the pulse of the city. It's where every head office wants to be. It's a corner steeped in history, and controversy. It was so congested with traffic, especially pedestrian traffic, that 30 years ago they banned pedestrian crossings, forcing people underground,

Whenever Winnipeg has something to celebrate it happens at Portage&Main. Peace day in 1919, The signing of Bobby Hull to the Jets, Or the Blue Bomber's win of the Grey Cup, The party happens at Portage and Main.

MEL MICHENER, ARCHITECT
The victory celebrations after WW2. Going down Portage Ave was a spectacular joyous event. The king and queens visit to Winnipeg in 1939. Portage Ave. was the lifeblood of the city of Winnipeg.

LOSS OF EATON'S
NAR: Of all the buildings that have been lost on Portage Ave, the most wrenching loss was that of Eaton's. The store that had done $100m in business annually was bankrupt.

DOUG CLARK, DOWNTOWN WINNIPEG BIZ
So the last day when the store was open and the cameras were all there, the last general manager was getting ready to shut the doors and say good buy to everyone. And the sales had gone on for many months, we knew that we were putting another nail in the coffin of downtown.

DEBRA JOHNASON YOUNG
It was surprise bigger than anything I could have imagined; and it was clearly one of the saddest days of my life.

CURRIE MCMILLAN
When people found out that Eaton's would be demolished there were a number of people were really angry. I think they wanted to retain the old Eaton's as they remembered it almost at any cost.

GILES BUGAILISKIS
People were really emotional. Either they were in one camp or the other. Eaton's is a landmark issue in that we said: do we move forward or do we allow Portage Ave. to sit there and wait for something to happen. And I think in Winnipeg the politicians said we can't afford to just sit there and wait. We have to do something now.

NAR: Stay with us. In the next part we look at what is being done to breathe new life into Portage Avenue. And we see how the corner of Portage and Main has been transformed over the years.

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Agriculture : Business | Faces | Farmers | Food | Landscapes | Livestock
Business | Entertainment | Festivals | Gardens | Health
Manitoba : Birds Hill Park | Lake Moods | Lakes & Beaches | Landscapes | Lower Fort Garry
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People | Quebec City | Regina | Sports
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The Forks | Historic | Main Street | Neighbourhoods | Old Winnipeg | Portage Avenue
Portage & Main | Skylines | Winnipeg Lifestyle
Winter
World : Africa | Asia | Europe | Latin America
Documentaries : Assiniboine Park | Paradise Beaches | Portage & Main | Pyramids | Winnipeg In Bloom
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