Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Welcome to The Boulevard

We all know why the chicken crossed the road, but our question is WHERE did the chicken do it? Well, it would probably be at The Boulevard if they were here at The Forks 

The Boulevard, a temporary demonstration project, has widened the current boulevard on Israel Asper Way, to give you a safer way to cross by calm the flow of traffic.

As new additions come to The Forks, we're always on the lookout for how people use and get around the site. Over the past year, we were noticing that the current pedestrian crossing wasn’t being respected as it should be. Cars weren't slowing down and stopping for people trying to cross and it was kind of like having a four-lane highway in the middle of our site. So we tried to think of creative ways to calm traffic, keep people safe, and add a little style while doing it. Enter "The Boulevard".

Located between the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the FNP Parkade, The Boulevard is designed to have traffic to merge from two lanes in each direction to one in each direction. 

The space is outlined by large planters, safety cones, and giant chickens painted on the ground to designate a safe crossing space. We've also added Warming Huts to make it look a bit prettier.

Because this is a demonstration project, The Boulevard will be operating from September 16 to the end of October. After that, we'll review the space and how the concept worked.

So be like the chickens and cross safely at The Boulevard to get to the other side.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Railway Days

Guest post by: Gord Leathers from the Winnipeg Railway Museum
All aboard! It's time to celebrate Railway Days at Winnipeg's original transportation hub, the Winnipeg Railway Museum in VIA Rail Union Station on September 19 and 20.

Photo op with the Countess of Dufferin, the first steam locomotive on the prairies. Built in 1872 she arrived in Winnipeg by barge five years later and began work on the CPR.
Come and see the Countess of Dufferin, the very first steam locomotive on the prairies. She arrived here by barge in October, 1877 to help begin construction of a railway line south to Minneapolis for supplying hardware to build the Canadian Pacific Railway. After that, Winnipeg became a terminal for the Canadian Pacific, the Canadian National and the Great Northern among others.

A visit from our friends at the Winnipeg branch of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. At last year’s Railway Days they displayed one of their newly rebuilt locomotives and a caboose to promote Operation Lifesaver, an educational initiative to prevent railway crossing and trespassing accidents.

The Canadian National occupied the area now known as The Forks when they built the East Yard for freight car sorting and to store and maintain passenger coaches. The museum features a collection of locomotives and cars that worked in the area, transported people from far away, and shipped local produce to be marketed around the world.

On the left is our display of the rigors of surveying and building the line to Churchill as a saltwater port for prairie farmers. On the right we have an outside brace boxcar, the standard of the industry for many years. They’ve since been replaced  by covered hopper cars for grain transportation services.
Along with the Countess of Dufferin is a restored colonist car, the coach that introduced many new arrivals to a bright future in Manitoba, as well as an outside braced box car, a wooden workhorse that carried merchandise to the newly settled farm country and returned with grain for shipment overseas. 

Visitors to the museum are introduced to 1900, the GMD1 diesel that worked up in The Depot shunting passenger cars, among other things. She has a built-in steam generator to warm steam-heated passenger coaches during those cold winter months.

The museum is located on VIA tracks 1 and 2 in the station concourse from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission on Railway Days is by donation. Join us!

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Have a seat, Winnipeg! It's time to Chair Your Idea

We know that everyone has a great idea on how they would make Winnipeg an even better city to live in. That's why we created Chair Your Idea. It is a crowd-sourced and crowd-funded open competition seeking to generate thousands of ideas for urban design in Winnipeg.We want to hear your great idea so we can share it to with the world and show everyone just how creative Winnipeg is. 

Anyone who calls Winnipeg home can submit an idea. Along with each idea, participants are asked to submit a $25 registration fee which will be used to implement the winning idea next year. The ideas are posted online as well as put onto chairs which are hosted by local businesses all over the city to create new public spaces where Winnipeggers can discuss ideas.

Need to get the ideas flowing? We caught up with some of the local businesses which will be hosting chairs and they shared their ideas on what change they would make for $30,000.

“Grow your mind, make your space, find your idea, discover your community - at Winnipeg Public Library."

Create a makerspace to support exploration and discovery at the Library. Makerspaces promote community engagement, collaboration and creativity in a hands-on learning environment. Makerspaces can be equipped with tools that allow people of all ages to learn new and transferable skills, explore technology, collaborate on ideas, and share knowledge. The space may include creative software, sound booths, 3D printing, as well as everyday tools that allow you to make or design just about anything. But the most important part of the makerspace is you and the unique knowledge and ideas you have to share.

Alix-Rae Stefanko, Youth Services Librarian, Winnipeg Public Library

“I would invest the money in to making Old Market Square a skating rink in the winter. It would be great so see The Exchange alive in the Winter Time!”

Mike Del B, King + Bannatyne

"To develop a walking tour app that takes you all over the site and tells the rich and diverse history of The Forks."

Clare MacKay, Vice-President, Corporate and Community Initiatives,
The Forks North Portage

“Organize annual design festival to build 10 summer benches on Corydon. Transform the street into a public space and inspire new urban ideas”

Jae-Sung Chon, Owner, MAKE COFFEE + STUFF

“Bright yellow & orange #IdeaBoxes situated in key spots around #YWG for anonymous notes on city ideas/issues/concerns #democracy #citizen."

Constance Popp, Owner, Chocolatier Constance Popp

“Adapt under-utilized areas within neighbourhood parks to create small scale urban dog parks (fenced). Happy pooches make for happy people."

Nils Vik, Owner, Parlour

Like these ideas? Think you could do better? Submit your great idea at