Tuesday, 28 December 2010

2010 Hits and Fizzles: The Hits

Here are things that I thought were hits in 2010. For the Fizzles check here.

Around Downtown
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 ?

The Bay Downtown
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 !

Winnipeg Police Cadets
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 Headquarters
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, Winnipeg
Central Park: What can I say about it. Beautiful, functional. A gem.

University of Winnipeg
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.


The Great Canadian Talk Show said...

In a further refutation of your categorizing the alternative media as a 'fizzle', Cadets were an initiative championed in the alternative media. It was only after a certain radio program on Kick-FM pressured Mayor Katz in a live interview about his faded commitment to the concept, that he engaged in a renewed push to fund the initiative.

One Man Committee said...

I enjoyed the year-end lists - today's was a great rundown of all the positive things that happened. It's a great reminder that for all the harping and kvetching that you often hear in this city, there are a lot of positive things happening.

(And as for Downtown Peggy, well, you can see pictures of her right on her blog standing next to various contest winners! Very cute!)

John Dobbin said...

Good call on the cadets. I have seen them about on days when there are big events downtown.

Forgot to include Zellers to the list I did on business stories.

In fact, I'm even sure anyone saw some of the lists I did around Christmas.

Christian Cassidy said...

John, the did come fast and furious. I didn't realize I had missed a couple until you mentioned it. Maybe an omnibus year end post ?

The View from Seven said...

There have been some very good developments in the local blogosphere this past year, with the trend shifting away from anonymous commentary to people sharing their passion, knowledge and expertise:

- Rob Galston and Trish Lewis and their interest in local history

- Brian Kelcey and Menno Zacharias and their inside knowledge of how things work at City Hall

- James Turner and his perspective as a crime reporter

- Sophia at Heart of the Continent and her interest in urban issues