city | SMART
Key questions to ask election nominees at your door
lections provide a great opportunity to discuss our future and the issues that keep us from achieving our potential as a country. Tere certainly is plenty to talk
about: taxation, environment, Aboriginal education, poverty . . . the list goes on and on. However, one area of discussion that has been missing in this election—and that I believe to be the most important—is how will our representatives champion Manitoba in Ottawa. It is easy for candidates from all parties to be federal policy
platform spokespeople during the campaign, and this is certainly part of their role. But each candidate must also be able to articulate how they will be a strong voice for local issues. What we really need is local
President and CEO of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce
leadership at the national level. We need leadership that is based on a clear understanding of Mani- toba’s priorities and strong work- ing relationships with provincial, municipal and community leaders. A strong voice on our collective behalf in Ot tawa where many important decisions are made is essential. When the federal candidates in
your riding come knocking, take the opportunity to ask these three questions: How will you develop a strong
relationship with the provincial government and which of their priorities do you support?
We know that a lot that gets done in Manitoba is done on a
tri-lateral basis. Te relationship cannot be one that is based on trying to drag the federal government to the table on projects and policies that are most important to Manitoba. We need strong federal representation that is defined by a proactive and supportive role and helps our provincial and municipal governments move files forward by navigating federal bureaucracy. How will you be a strong voice for Winnipeg issues and
develop a strong relationship with the Municipal govern- ment? Te Mayor has significant objectives that will require federal support. Te completion of rapid transit needs a long term federal commitment. Te re-invention of municipal revenue models will also take federal leadership. From hous- ing to basic municipal infrastructure, our federal representa- tives need to be fully in tune to these very pressing needs. What will be your strategy to work together with the
community to ensure you are aware of and genuinely understand the priority needs and projects that require federal support? Te federal investment in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights cannot be used as an excuse to withhold funding from other projects in Manitoba. Tis federal museum is a national investment and should not be
Steeped in history, the Exchange District is the Place to Be in Winnipeg.
The people we send to Ottawa have a big impact on what happens here. Photo by Dorothy Dobbie.
seen as an investment in Winnipeg alone—federal museums in Ottawa are not seen as part of its city’s federal allotment. Tere are some very exciting projects in play that will require federal support and thus strong federal leadership from our local representatives.
• • • Te theme of job interviews and who is ready (or not)
has woven its way into this election. Te answers you hear from the above questions are important and should frame the qualifications of each candidate. Tey should be able to articulate specifically on how they would carry a strong voice in Ottawa to represent their home province’s interests. Establishing strong political relationships with the Premier and Mayor will be critical, but a strong step forward would be the establishment of a community advisory that provides input and advice on our collective community priorities as well. Tere have been mechanisms for collaboration that have served to bring the three levels of government together in the past. It is time to re-visit the very effective Winnipeg Partnership Agreement that provided tri-lateral funding into a collaborative strategy. When it comes time to hire the person who will represent
you in Ottawa, the qualifications of the best candidate must be based in part on who will be our greatest champion. Let that be a question we ask the candidates from all parties. I think we will learn a lot from their answers. Dave Angus is the president and CEO of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.
True North Square moves forward downtown
here is no doubt our downtown is undergoing a significant urban renaissance, defining and carv-
ing out a role in its city as not only a place to work and travel to, but as an exciting place to visit for a diverse complement of entertainment. With the recent announcement of True North Square this past week, the emerging Sports, Hospitality and Entertainment District (SHED) within our down- town is looking brighter. Now that True North
Sports and Entertainment has acquired the prop- erty at 220 Carlton Street, in conjunction with an exclusive option to develop a large surface parking lot on south of Carlton Street, the company's vision to develop the land assembled into a $400-million hotel, office and commercial complex – True North Square – can move forward. Tis proposal fits exceptionally well
renderings and designs are any indica- tion of the level of excellence, the de- velopment that will come forward will include incredibly well- designed mixed-use build- ings that are comprised of hip places to live, dynamic of f ice spaces and com- mercial sidewalk spaces for cafes, restaurants, jazz clubs and a community gathering place or a plaza, creating a high degree of pedestrian and vehicular connectivity. While two or three new
Downtown Stefano Grande
office towers would have been welcomed at this site, this proposal is the nirvana of downtown vibrancy we all wish for, and is essential
with the vision for SHED and will move this emerging district forward, making our downtown a place where people want to be seen, play, shop and live. Tis development will feed off the traf- fic generated by our downtown arena, the MTS Centre and the recently ex- panded and renovated convention cen- tre. If True North Square’s preliminary
in taking the real estate market to the next level. Mixed use, dense develop- ments are the recipe for success of our downtown because they create a dy- namic, walkable district that provides a wide range of things to do – at all hours of the day, from living, working, shopping, dining and entertainment venues that are all in close proximity to each other. Perhaps one of the more bold ideas
of True North Square is to create a new gathering place – a new plaza for our downtown, a unique gathering place. A place where people would arrive by foot, transit, bike or car and immedi-
ately know that they are at the centre of the downtown. A place where people can sip their cup of whatever and watch the world go by. A stunning area that will attract the community for outdoor concerts, pre-game tailgate parties, New Year’s Eve bashes, and celebrat- ing community accomplishments. Evenings would be transformed into nocturnal showpieces of lit buildings and trees, while hundreds of people sit on patios waiting for the Jets game to start, or to celebrate the win of their team in the next playoff run. Te centre of it all, the most significant place in a city that belongs to everyone, captur- ing the capture the essence and heart of our Downtown. Tere is no doubt the project being
proposed by True North Sports and Entertainment will be transformative. It will create a new market for consum- ers. It will force property owners to step up their game and re-invest in their buildings and better align their mar- keting strategies more in sync with the SHED Vision. It will provide reason for people to consider living downtown, it will make a compelling argument that if your company has “arrived”, this is the location to be, and if you are a unique retailer or a restaurant, this is the new emerging district which you will want to be part off. I would argue that this project will set the stage for continued renewal efforts over the next decade in downtown Winnipeg.
Old Market Square, heart of the exchange, hosts many of the popular summer festivals each year. Photo by Brett Howe.
By Stephanie Scherbain
an innovative and functional approach to architecture. Massive cut-stone terracotta and brick warehouses, elegant skyscrapers and covered alleyways recall the period when Winnipeg was a large commercial centre, and the “Gateway to the West”. In 1905, Winnipeg was the fastest growing city of its
size in North America. As the city flourished, the Ex- change became home to dozens of financial institutions, warehouses and manufacturing empires. After experiencing a boom period between the 1880s
and 1920s, World War I and the Great Depression left the district to age virtually intact. Over a century later, against a backdrop that never changes, Te Exchange is in the midst of a renaissance; where locals have con- verged to curate one of the most dynamic and unique cultural experiences. Today, Te Exchange is a vibrant community known for its specialty boutiques, antique shops, restaurants and pulsing culture. With over 500 businesses, nothing here is more excit-
ing than the burgeoning creative scene which includes film, art, culinary arts, design, digital innovation and more. What was built on the tradition of industrious creativity, the Exchange has become home to world- class businesses that have attracted the attention of the globe. With exquisite cuisine, the finest taste in design and innovative digital technology; nothing here is pre- fabricated, as no two businesses are the same. While the Exchange is quickly becoming a culinary
destination with recent additions including Deer + Al- mond, Cibo Waterfront Café and King and Bannatyne the Sandwich Shop on the Corner; even the boutiques, shops and galleries pride themselves on sharing ideas and style that are hand-picked and selected with a specific artistry. Once known as Newspaper Row, McDermot Avenue
West of Main Street used to be an iconic spot where Winnipeggers gathered to learn the news of the sink- ing of the Titanic, and onset of the Great War. Today, McDermot is littered with over 10 boutique shops like Tiny Feast, Paperdoll Clothing and world-renowned Hilary Druxman Jewellery. Without a doubt, creativity was born and bred here. Even though a pulse is beating year round behind the
historic walls, it is truly the summer season when eve- ryone comes to play. Festivals, concerts, walking tours and so much more enliven the streets and bring people out of the woodwork to celebrate. Every year, Old Market Square transforms into Te
Exchange hub. Te Cube Stage in Old Market Square plays hosts to world renowned festivals including the TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival, Winnipeg Fringe Teatre Festival and Manitoba Electronic Music Exhibition. Tese festivals and events attract visitors from all
over the City, but they are also a great meeting point for residents, of which the Exchange has about 800. With recent and ongoing developments, it is estimated the Exchange will be home to over 1,600 residents by 2017. Te Exchange truly is the place to be. As the renais-
sance continues, the BIZ invites you to explore and enjoy all it has to offer. We are an all-season district, with events, creativity and connection happening year round. For more information on the district, its businesses and events, visit www.exchangedistrict.org
. Stephanie Scherbain is Marketing Director of the Ex- change District Biz.
Smart Biz 5
ocated just north of Portage and Main, the 20-block Exchange District National Historic Site encom- passes over 130 historical buildings that display
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