I find it so bizarre that small prairie cities like Selkirk, Brandon and Portage freely allow their new commercial development be so isolated from the rest of the city. I realize that bad retail planning isn't just for small cities *ahem - IKEA - ahem* but, still ... talk about creating a mess.
Brandon's new power centre area is isolated even from it's growing suburbs but, at least, they have a transit system to allow people without vehicles to reach it. (The red arrow indicates the new retail area).
Selkirk has allowed it's new commercial growth to be set up on the western edge of town, past the Mental Health Centre.
Selkirk has no transit system but, thanks to this and other developments, Selkirk City Council unanimously accepted their task force report's recommendation that they spend $837,000 in 2009 on start up costs for one. It's great that they're getting transit but, considering that it's because they are allowing their new growth (commercial, residential, industrial), to take place on their periphery it becomes a one step forward / one step back proposition.
Portage has the oddest new commercial development of all. It also has no transit.
Most commercial development there stretches along Sask Ave up to the tracks, then there's an expanse of vacant land followed by the newer commercial area bunched up near the western outskirts of town. It had been a couple of years since I'd been there and when I went back I was floored with what I saw. New commercial development continues to take place on the western edge, but they are set wayyyyy back from the road. The below pic is actually after turning off Sask and driving up a bit.
As a friend of mine from Portage said "if you live in Portage and want a job, you need a car".
Rather than driving all the way up the long, lonely road I decided to make a U turn and go back to Sask Av. I had to chuckle when I saw what the road was called: