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Sunday, 29 June 2008

Stadium Site Walking Tour

I took a walk through Point Douglas. Not a quick hike but a many- hour walk going into all the nooks and crannies to really get a feel for where the proposed stadium development is to go.

Below are some photos and some observations that I wanted to get down before I forget them !


Here is the map of the site from blueandgold.ca and the related Free Press story that I used as a guide.


stadium map

I started at Waterfront drive, past the new condos and the rejuvenated waterfront area and then up to the Disraeli which is the eastern tip of the project. From the bridge you can look down onto what could one day be the stadium:

Point Douglas

Point Douglas

With the exception of the King's Hotel and a run down apartment, the land is mostly industrial with large parking areas for places like Direct Transfer and National Upholstery. There are a number of and vacant lots until you reach Curtis Street, which is where the footprint of the stadium appears to end and the parking begins.

Point Douglas

At Curtis, on the south side, there are about a half dozen houses between in at Annabella:

Point Douglas

On the north side of Annabella you get one of the more significant buildings to be torn down. Currently used for warehousing and artists space, it's the JR Watkin's building (of 'Watkin's Products' fame):

Annabella and Higgins

Point Douglas

On the south side is a cluster of another 5 houses or so.

I spoke to one lady living on Annabella. She's obviously not happy about the plan. What seemed to get her the most was that her house would be a parking lot of all things - not even part of a building. She also said that a lot of work had gone in on a master plan for the area. For the city to turn 180 degrees on them so quickly because someone waved some cash seemed insulting to her.


Point Douglas

Point Douglas

Point Douglas

A
t the end of Annabella is the river trail: The trail could continue past there but it's just not developed.
Point Douglas
There is one house on Dewdney that takes up the riverbank but the rest of it, up to the Gateway Industries' land, is undeveloped and public. So when Asper talks about 'finally opening up the riverbank' to Winnipeggers he means finally continuing the development of the walkway (and, actually, we're privatizing it !) Someone told me that Gateway had been approached by the city on different occasions to negotiate for use of the land to expand the walkway but that Gateway was asking too much for access.

Just north of Annabella are to buildings that will be saved, according to the plan. One on the south side across from the former Abel Warehouse site:

Building Fragments

The other is the Ogilvie Mills building:

Point Douglas

Aside from that, there are many vacant lots in the next stretch on both sides of Higgins:

Point Douglas

Point Douglas

The main grouping of residential then starts on the south side, comprising Boyle and Grace Streets and Dewdney Avenue. It starts off a bit rough on the western edge at Boyle:

Point Douglas

Point Douglas

Moving further east, however, you get into a nice little neighbourhood, especially on Grace Street:

Point Douglas

Point Douglas

Point Douglas

Point Douglas

Point Douglas

Point Douglas

I even found a bit of wildlife !

Point Douglas Bunny

Beyond that is Point Douglas Avenue which runs into the Gateway Industries property:

Point Douglas

Point Douglas

The north side of the street is, again, lower intensity industrial and vacant land:

Point Douglas

Point Douglas

Point Douglas

I had been to the area before but, obviously, not looking at it as a potential stadium site. So, what did I learn after a couple of hours in Point Douglas ?

- I was surprised at how few houses there were. I would estimate maybe 30 in total . I thought there would have been more.

- I was surprised at how vast the site was. That was a long, long hike and I didn't even go into the Gateway property.

- I was surprised at how much of the land is vacant, especially on the south side of Higgins.

Oh and it wasn't all bricks and mortar. I found a few other nice things as well:

Point Douglas

Point Douglas Bouquet

Point Douglas

If you want to see my full set of photos go to my flickr page.

3 comments:

Kevin McDougald said...

This is excellent! I grew up just across the Louise Bridge from there, and always found that little neighbourhood fascinating.

cherenkov said...

Thanks for the tour.

Anonymous said...

it's a shithole. pave it over.