Here are things that I thought were hits in 2010. For the Fizzles check here.
Chipman et al: Chipman's True North Entertainment had another great year.
The MTS Centre continues to pull them in and the Moose are a hot commodity. The group gets mentioned in the NHL return debate without getting sucked into the drama of the Phoenix situation or participating in the antics that other potential NHL owners have resorted to.
This year, the MTS Iceplex opened and is already doing a booming business. As well, they unveiled an MTS Exhibition Centre using existing space right across the street and have plans for the redevelopment of the block, including a hotel.
Best off, they did that with little fuss or drama. How do you top that ?
Zellers: To those who don't live downtown you might say' big whoop' but, believe me, it's nice thing to have general retailer in your midst. Looking at the bigger picture, having a national department store chain open in the heart of the downtown is a good news story.
New Blogs: We lost Endless Spin and Waverley West but some newbies joined the ranks.
Reserved at All Times takes a look at Manitoba's 'other city' through the eyes of urban photographer Colin Corneau, also of the Brandon Sun. Great stuff.
One Man Committee burst onto the scene with very few growing pains offering his take on civic policy, downtown development and things urban. Welcome to the fold.
Downtown Peggy has brought a little personality to the downtown happenings with the odd contest thrown in. Also, Peggy is likely the sexiest blogger we have in this town, (though through the anonymity of the internet she could be a 350 lb guy named Gus with a bad acne problem so I will lay off the sexiness thing !).
Winnipeg Wanderings was a late entry by Georgia (U.S.A.) musician, nurse and Boston Terrier rescuer Andy Gish. Winnipeggers don't normally believe other Winnipeggers when they're told that something really isn't that bad or is not an issue in other cities. From time to time we need someone from outside to tell us those things and point out that many of our tempests are in a teapot. Come back soon !
Cadets: I have spotted them a few times on their rounds. I am all in favour of getting more official 'eyes on the street' and let the police deal with real crime. It's rare to take a walk downtown without seeing at the cadets or a BIZ patrol at least once.
U of W Cafeteria: Pangea's Kitchen is NOT your daddy's boiled hamburger patty U of W cafeteria. The 'Riddell Cafeteria' is downtown's best kept lunch secret but if it continues to win awards, it won't be for long. Decent prices, local ingredients, serious salads, a juicer and stir fry bar - wow ! You really have to check it out.
Winnipeg Free Press Weekend Edition: It's nice to have a local paper that I can spend a bit of time reading over the weekend.
United Way Building: Without a lot of fanfare the United Way building sprang up at Main And Alexander. Nice architecture,a welcoming street presence, parking tucked away. It's a nice 'welcome to downtown' coming down the Disraeli.
Central Park: What can I say about it. Beautiful, functional. A gem.
U of W Development: I'm not sure why expansion at Red River or the University of Manitoba is great news and the U of W's development is written off by the city's 'miserati' as empire building.
In the past couple of years some interesting projects have filled in a lot of empty and derelict spaces. The year began with McFeetors Hall adding 200 residents and a daycare to a place that was mostly empty lots and a ready to be condemned roller rink. In the fall, classes began in the Buhler Centre, on the site of the abandoned Army Surplus building. Next year more comes on-stream.
I was a student at U of W in the late 80s and early 90s and remember even then issues of out of date science labs, a lack of student residences. For 20 years, aside from an expansion to the Duckworth Centre and redevelopment of the old Riddell Gym into a student area, not a lot happened. It's great to see the campus expanding into a campus.