Sunday, August 21, 2011

Downtown Winnipeg

This morning after coffee, breakfast, and a little internet time we headed back downtown.  One thing that is of interest to us, especially Gene, in any city we visit is the historic district and the architecture it offers.  Our goal for today was to visit the Exchange District, the historic business section of Winnipeg.

We got an early start so traffic wasn’t so bad and we were able to find a place to park on the street for a dollar an hour.  We bought two hours worth.  Just by luck we parked on the street of the old exchange building.  There are probably walking tours with maps and descriptions of buildings, but all we had was the small map which came in the Winnipeg Visitors’ Guide.

Our plan was to walk up and down the streets in the 4 or 5 square blocks of the Exchange District.  That plan didn’t work out so well.  There were some buildings that had been torn down and new one going up in their places.  There was some road construction with streets closed.  And remember I said previously that the city is not laid out in a true grid because of the rivers.  Holy cow, we were quickly confused.

We wandered around, I’m not sure where, making pictures and pointing at anything that appeared old.  We almost immediately found ourselves in Chinatown at the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural Center.  We didn’t go in, but spent several minutes in the small garden.

The theater district was interesting.  Most of the buildings there were newer, but we did find an old Vaudeville Theater.  That was cool.

Over the years, with the old buildings being torn down and parking lots installed, murals have appeared on the end building left standing.  We found several interesting murals.  I think my favorite was on the side of the Public Safety building.

Although we found some interesting things, we were somewhat disappointed.  As it turned out the street where we parked with the old Exchange Building was the best we saw. I guess it’s happening in cities all over--the older structures are too difficult and expensive to maintain and they’re so out of line with modern codes they are unsuitable for living or working.  Probably only the communities with a strong Historical Commission will strive to preserve these old giants.  Too bad.  Or maybe Gene and I should just let it go and move into the modern age.

We were back home in time for lunch and after a short nap I continued my work on organizing Alaska photos and Gene cleaned the glass on the motor home and car.  The Peanut indulged himself in an extended nap.  It’s good to be the cat.

We have two more things on our list for Winnipeg--the Legislative Building (this is the capital of Manitoba, after all) and the Canadian Mint.  The Legislative Building will probably be tomorrow because it’s Sunday and there’ll be less traffic and easier parking downtown.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for tagging along.

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