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challenges for Portage Ave grow each year. A search is on
for the way Portage Ave used to be. Lively, crowded, the place
you wanted to be. Things you wanted to see. The hot spot.
But is it possible to turn back time to the way Portage used
THE FUTURE PORTAGE AVE
You have to give people a reason to be in your downtown beyond
retail. You've got to bring them for festivals and events.
You've got to give them an opportunity to do things in the
downtown they can't do anywhere else in the city. And as when
such, when you have them downtown you have an opportunity
to get them through your door.
In the final analysis we have to develop a hinterland to Portage
Ave where people live.
We desperately need much more residential development; not
just social housing which we have some of, but middle class
people with money that they want to spend. If the downtown
is going to be successful as a retail operation it has to
distinguish itself and it has to be destination shopping for
a particular kind of product.
NAR: Manitoba Hydro will build
a major new office on Portage avenue. This new signature office
tower will house 2,000 new employees and is expected to improve
the future of downtown Winnipeg.
NAR: Winnipeg's growing aboriginal population is more and
more present along Portage Ave. CentrePlan addresses this
We have to integrate aboriginal people into society. I would
like to see more history and more presence of aboriginal culture
throughout the downtown. And I think it would serve as a point
of pride to a people we've really let go.
I think the aboriginals will ultimately be one of the great
contributors the new vitality of central Winnipeg.
NAR: Some are placing optimism in the new arena project being
built on the old Eaton's site, planned to open in 2004. However
opinion is mixed as to whether the arena will succeed in reviving
Winnipeg's ailing downtown.
The True North project that was announced will be a downtown
arena and entertainment centre, which will not save downtown
or be the panacea of downtown redevelopment. But will certainly
bring a large number of entertainment users to the downtown
area; which we have been fighting for, for a long time.
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