In a nutshell: the Downtown BIZ, CentreVenture and North Portage have grouped together to hire a NY based downtown consultant to come and poke around at downtown and make recommendations to improve the place.
When I read the article on the weekend I figured it would get a lot of play in the Winnipeg blogosphere and it certainly did including here and here . Being in Winnipeg Beach sans computer meant that I had to bide my time before commenting myself !!
Most of the reaction has been negative to hiring in this guy to tell us what we 'already know'. I don’t feel the same way.
I think that it’s not a bad from time to time to have someone from a different place or perspective come kick the tires on a particular issue - even one like our downtown. Winnipeg's propensity for negativity toward itself and navel-gazing means we have gone around in circles on the downtown issue for decades.
It’s sort of like that sagging roof on your garage that you have lived with for years. You know it’s there, you know it won’t get better on its own and you know that it’s going to be a big bloody job to replace it. After all this time putting it off, a mix of complacency and not exactly knowing where to start has set in. A friendly / nosey neighbour dropping by to point out the obvious to you might just be the spark to get you up there doing something about it.