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Thursday, 19 February 2009

Winnipeg: You Go, Girlfriend ! (Part 2)

So, what has Winnipeg got going for her ?

Lindsay Building
Let's take downtown first. The past couple of years have been good ones, overall, with places like the MTS Centre and Millennium library being strong draws and places like Aqua Books, Rinkside Bar and Grill and Starbucks filling up spots. Even on Portage Avenue, everyone’s favourite whipping boy, Hydro's tower is finally welcoming workers; national chains like Shoppers Drug Mart, Dollarama and Tim Horton's have chosen to locate there.
Hydro Tower
Breslauer and Warren
Portage and Main
Global's TV studio is now at Portage and Main as will be Good Life Fitness and Birks' is just a building over.

Also, not quite off the ground yet, people are working to get decades-empty buildings full again including Mitchell Copp, the Avenue Building, the Hample Block and United Army Surplus.
Mitchell Copp Building
Army Surplus
Outside downtown, Provencher Boulevard and The Exchange are better, and fuller, than they've been in decades. Thanks to the U of W and RRC other buildings are coming to life where none existed before.
U of W McFeeters Hall
Union Bank Tower
In the economy, December housing starts were double what they were in December 2007 and 27% of home sales were at or above list price. Move ahead a month and housing prices ROSE in January 2009.
Houses on Lipton
New Housing Complex
In Manufacturing we’re only second to Saskatchewan with the smallest drop – 3.1% and some of our sectors are bucking the trend: chemicals (UP 4.5 %) aerospace (say their order books are strong) and transportation manufacturing (New Flyer sales up 50% in 2008 with $5.1 billion in orders on the books).
Standard Aero Espansion
Brookside Cemetery
Peerless is going strong until at least 2011, the recent federal budget commitment to CentrePort will help ensure certain parts of the transportation and manufacturing sectors will continue to grow. Buhler had it's most profitable quarter in a dozen years. Winpak had a sterling year and is looking to double it's capital expendidtures in 2009. Even new car sales did well in the last half of ’08 !

In fact, the Conference Board of Canada feels that Saskatchewan and Manitoba will actually post strong economic growth this year and next. Avison Young’s 2009 commercial real estate report says the recession will slow sales in Winnipeg in 2009 but that’s about it.
Garbage Hill
Our students are winning everything from Ukrainian Tire’s Green School Challenge to science internships and national architecture prizes.

In the arts My Winnipeg is still winning awards and intriguing people around the world in 2009. Locally shot Amreeka is also making the festival circuit to great acclaim. There are a few movies set to be shot here both big and small. The New Music Festival had another strong run.
My Winnipeg
And you know Winnipeg is having a good year when even our weather is used for good not for evil ! Whether it be our good natured, albeit unnaturally short, battle with Ottawa over the skating trail, or Hollywood stars spreading the term nostricles to the world or providing helpful snow tips to our former colonial master.
Ugly Winter
Are we escaping the recession unhrmed ? Of course not. There's going to be more pain ahead. It seems, though, that if we continue to work at it we might escape the worst of it.
Parade !

So, give Winnipeg her due. She's had to take her share of knocks from people but it's times like this when she should also get some accolades. So, Winnipeg, get yourself down to Ten Spa for a much deserved treat and off to Cake for a nice new frock and enjoy a nice glass of sherry ! Let the Doom and Gloom Brigade stew for a bit !

1 comment:

John Dobbin said...

Surely, a reminder for those who pile on the city on a regular basis.