Tuesday, December 31, 2013

THE SPECIALS - Your'e Wondering Now 1979 - 2009 ( Live ) (HD)

Year in Review Part 2

There were quite a few blog posts this year that received over 1500 visits.

Bird's Hill is not Siberia got over 1500 visits.

The Trial of Sam Katz received over 1500 visits.

Cityplace Casino got 1500 visits.

However the two posts that had huge amounts of visits were:

Whole Foods Coming to Winnipeg at nearly 2600 visits.

Seasons of Tuxedo- Restaurants Closing had nearly 2800 visits.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Year in Review Part 1

The year started off like huge. In January the number of visits went over 25,000 in the month. By March it had dropped to 14,000. For a while it climbed back over 20,000 hits a month but since then has leveled out to 17,000 and last months about 12,000 a month.

It has been hard writing consistently the last two months due to huge work weeks. New posts draw more visits for sure. Blog posts ending up on the Free Press site draw some traffic. I end up writing a lot about zoning developments, politics, retailing, social commentary and whatever. There were a few posts that drew hundreds of visits and still do.

Each time a blogger stopped blogging full time, there was usually a drop in traffic on this site. The truth is that people go from site to site and when a site goes down or is inactive traffic drops.

I have written here before how long form blogging is harder to find in the city and in general. Twitter has become the main way to engage for Winnipeggers in words. I do write there as well but truth be told, I don't own a cell phone. This means I don't have a constant connection to Twitter to be part of the ongoing conversation.

I am not a Luddite. I do have computers but I do find it hard to justify a cell phone based on my work, the costs and concerns about how it might prove a distraction.

I have never been overly concerned how many visits the website gets. I write mostly because I like to.

I continue to talk on Internet Pundits with some of the most interesting people and look forward to keeping that conversation going.

What will the future hold? Well, I am still of the mind that a central website for Winnipeg content would be good and that place would be a forum for long form writing in news, sports, politics, photographs, entertainment and the like. Stayed tuned for that.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

What the Media Ignores

The media is often accused on not reporting stories. Or they get accused of editorial bias as part of their ownership strategy or on the part of individual reporters.

In some cases reporters or their respective owners are being maligned but in other cases the criticism is bang on. I think it is no secret that political leanings of some newspaper groups is fairly obvious.

The blurring between news and editorial is what appears to be the most obvious point of frustration for reader of newspapers. The news section generally follows the formula of who, what, where, why, when and how.

It isn't that simple of course. What stories do you choose to put in the newspaper though that are simply reported? I suppose in the case of a local newspaper, you put in local news, weather, sports and entertainment.

For example, a crime story ought to be reported with the W5 formula. Who was the crime committed against, who committed it? What was the crime? When did it happen? Where did it happen? How did it happen? The why of it happening can lead to editorializing but it is okay to quote others in reporting.

"He was a target of opportunity on a dark street."

"The house was known to police for past violent episodes."

In some cases, the media has to push for a story or investigate. They gather information as part of an overall mandate to serve the greater community in the freedom of the press and freedom of information. Political scandal, consumer dangers, law enforcement operations, government departments and spending all present challenges to reporting.

Police are always a tough nut. They will often say the media never gets things right in reporting but then button up as a reflex or because of orders from higher up. And if one of their own is in trouble, it is near impossible to get any information.

But what about the media themselves? They will acknowledge that they need to dig for stories and that they face hostile responses in their efforts. They proceed anyway as many regard it their reporting as a calling. But what happens when the story is the media themselves or more specifically, a reporter?

I say this only because social media is linking to a story involving police and the press that no media inside Manitoba is covering. None. Zero. Nada.

How is this possible when a national news reporting organization is reporting it?

I won't mention the specifics but it is easy for anyone to find out.

You have to ask though: if the media expresses frustration with others for withholding information, what credibility do they have if they don't cover their own?

This isn't the first time this has happened and it probably won't be the last. It does seem curious the lack of reporting in Manitoba and if the story was spiked.

Basic principles of W5 and How should have prevailed despite the sympathies for the plight of the subject of a police matter.

No one is perfect. But ignoring a story that ultimately gets reported by other outside media is poor form.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Manitoba: Canada's Heart...Beats

Four ads have been released by Manitoba Tourism with a new slogan replacing the old one "Manitoba Time".

The last slogan was devised in 2011 and has died a quick death.

Contrast that to Minnesota ad campaign done in the same year which won best ad campaign for a state in the U.S. the same year.

Here is the ad:

  Explore Minnesota Anthem from Colle+McVoy on Vimeo.

It is easy to see why the Minnesota ad was a winner. It is visually engaging, the song is catchy, the slogan inviting, it is very funny and it captures everything the state offers. Totally a winner.

A North Dakota ad for Fargo caused controversy:

The controversy was: What does one have to do to become a legend at a Fargo bar.

They say that bad press is better than no press. North Dakota's slogan is catchy and their ad campaign pictures and video are pretty. Take away the captions though and it might be hard to make a distinction of what state (or province for that matter), it is advertising.

Sometimes you don't need words to tell your story:

However, look at Saskatchewan with two slogans Pure Saskatchewan and Embrace a New Place and a tourism video that looks like it was cut by the editor of the Bourne Movies.

There is nothing wrong with Manitoba's ads per se but if they were broadcast in North Dakota or Minnesota, what would attract those citizens to our province?

How do we keep from being lost in the crowd? How do you keep people from hitting the mute button, the fast forward button or worse, confusing the ad for another place?

On 2000, the car company BMW really researched who bought their cars and how they learned about the vehicles. After that, they commissioned several films featuring their cars and directed by some of the world's best directors featuring some star actors. It cost around $15 million.

The Manitoba ad campaign is a shade under $2.4 million. Obviously, it includes more than four 30 second videos. However, wouldn't it be interesting if we shot say...a car chase in Winnipeg past a few landmarks or a foot chase after someone in the MTS Centre just as the crowd shouts "True North."

Hmm, one wonders.

Or maybe it doesn't have to be that expensive. Maybe a Youtube competition by anyone with a cash prize for an ad campaign for Manitoba.

I guess we'll never know. I have no doubt the good intentions of anyone who puts together tourism ads. It seems a longshot to break away from the crowd unless you really do something different.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Canada Post's Five-point Action Plan -- Customers

In short, this means NO MORE Home Delivery within five years and massive lay-offs or attrition.

Stamp prices are to rise as well.

The areas of improvement will be more franchised outlets.

Mail will come to community mail boxes. I suspect it will be controversial where they locate these mailboxes for certain.

There is no denying letter mail is dropping fast. Package mail through online retailers faces competition from private carriers.

No one wants to see Canada Post to spend money in abundance for a service far fewer use.

I do want to say though this seems like the end of an era and it will be shame not to see this anymore.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hidden Retail Treasures

There are hidden retail gems all over the city. Sometimes you have to look beyond the expected places to find them. All too often you have to rely on word of mouth to even know about such places.

As Christmas is coming, I will mentioned two places in one mall that could be helpful in filling a few stockings. First, let's identify the mall: It is Grant Park Shopping Centre.

Yes, that mall.

I have written about the renovations that have been happening over the last number of years to the mall. It seems like the place has been under constant construction. This was to accommodate three different stores making very large expansions. The Liquor Mart, Shopper's Drug Mart and Target all have made huge additions inside the mall.

The arrival of Target in particular boosted mall management's need to re-configure stores inside. Some stores like Hangers closed not only at Grant Park but all over the city. It could not have been an easy time knowing that at least three years of work to the 1962 built mall was forecast and somehow business still needed to be done.

With Target's opening, it looks very much like the bulk of the mall has reached completion. However, aside from the amazing McNally-Robinson, what is at Grant Park that you couldn't find anywhere else? This is not to dis the big stores but truly, you don't drive across town to a new Liquor Mart.

Well, for those still looking for gifts from Christmas, look to Grant Park for Entertainment Exchange and Pylon.

The Entertainment Exchange is a used CD and DVD place that has seen a few locations in the mall and at one time had four location across the city. The owner, former Record Baron proprietor, has kept the shop going since the very late 1990s. The demise of Rogers and Blockbuster video stores has only increased the need for a specialty store like this.

Despite what people say, DVD and CD players did not completely die in favour of digital downloads and Netflix.

I am not going to argue with those that suggest it is a waste to buy used CDs and DVDs though. Like vinyl records, the medium attracts a following. And to be honest, not everyone has access to high speed Internet or the devices to download. A cheap DVD player and a cheap DVD attached to a cheap TV is a lot cheaper than paying or even having available...high speed Internet access.

This is where Entertainment Exchange is amazing. There are older and more recent CDs and DVDs selling for very affordable prices. On a recent visit, I saw a very inexpensive copy of second season of Homeland which just came out this year. Want the whole Star Wars Clone Wars series? It is here. Filling out your Billy Joel CD collection, find it here.

Not surprisingly, the word exchange in the name is accurate. If you are in fact a guy who has gone all digital and have a huge collection of DVDs you are looking to sell, I expect you will find a buyer at the store. Or perhaps you are angry at Family Guy for killing off the dog Brian and want to dump all seasons of the show as a show of solidarity with the dearly departed, I am sure you will find solace with Entertainment Exchange.

There are so many older TV series on DVD, music CDs of every genre and hard to find stuff that it is difficult to do it justice. Suffice to say, bring your stuff in and find stuff at one of the few stores in the city that changes every time you go in.

The other store in Grant Park that is a real treasure is Pylon. Yes, I know that they have a location in The Forks but not everyone has been there or seen it. It is highly likely that Pylon in Grant Park is set the take off now that mall renovations are done.

What is Pylon? Well, if you love pop culture, you will love Pylon. They sell Marilyn Monroe items, they have everything Doctor Who, Dexter, Halloween, Star Wars and beyond. Belt buckles, bobbleheads and baubles are in every corner of the store. It is pop culture mana from heaven.

If you are looking for a quirky clock, it is here. Want a stuffed Doctor Who toy. Here. Something to hang on the wall? They have it.

I expect those people who love the trinkets of Comic Con will love Pylon.

Okay folks, here's the best part. The stores I mention are locally run. If you want to run a triple header of Winnipeg stores then McNally, Entertainment Exchange and Pylon fits the bill. But walk around a bit more in the newly renovated mall, there are a few new stores, a few more local and a few old but trusted stores.

And pass word about hidden treasures because without that word, they could simply just disappear.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Barley Brothers and Perkins in Old Kelsey's Locations

Barley Brother in Kelsey's Old Empress Location
Back in March of this year, two Kelsey's suddenly closed on Empress and Kenaston. Presumably they had the same franchise owner. The locations immediately went up for lease and it in the last month, new tenants have moved in.

The Kelsey's at Kenaston is now a Perkin's Restaurant. By Perkins standards, the location on Kenaston appears smaller than what we have seen in this city. However, aside from the morning coffee places like Tim Horton's or Ikea breakfast or McDonald's, the Kenaston area has been crying for a casual dining place that serves a variety of breakfasts. IHOP politely said they were not coming to Seasons of Tuxedo despite the plans strongly indicating that they were.

I have no idea why Kelsey's closed two locations. Suffice to say that the restaurant style was junior to Montana's and Milestones, their flashier and larger siblings. Other Kelsey's remain in the city so whatever happened was localized.

While Kenaston's old Kelsey's landed another restaurant franchise in Perkin's, the Empress location for Kelsey's saw a local outfit move in. A craft brew pub but the name of Barley Brother's has opened next to Montana's across from Polo Park.

By all accounts, they are landing some good publicity and hopefully their timing of open just before Christmas will endear them to a large audience.

One wonders how they might have done if the stadium or alas, the arena had remained in the area.

Still, Polo Park is a target rich environment for customers and where Kelsey's eventually fell out of favour, Barley Brothers might have a long and fulfilling run on Empress.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

New University of Winnipeg Housing

New 14 storey apartment behind Buhler Building
The expansion of the University of Winnipeg campus continues at a torrid pace courtesy of its benefactors in government and private donors. The athletic fieldhouse is still under construction with an opening in 2014 scheduled. However, hot the heels of that project is the announcement of the an apartment complex to be constructed south of the Buhler Centre on Portage Avenue.

Parking lot behind Buhler Centre site for apartments
The province of Manitoba is the funder for this $27 million project. At 14 storeys, it will be the tallest building in the University of Winnipeg campus. The 112,000 square foot space will house 102 apartments ranging from 1 through 3 bedrooms. The whole set up on the facility will be for students, many with families, to find accommodation that will match their income. 46 units will be low income, 32 will be rent geared to income, 56 will be market rates with 16 of those being premium units.

This will be somewhat of an experiment as social workers have been taking the government to task for warehousing lower income people in buildings that get run down due to the fact that it feels like it isn't doing any favours for those in need. What social workers have proposed is that a few units of every apartment development be designated for lower incomes or geared to income.

There are some that believe that lower income anywhere will be bad. But is this really true? Osborne Village is a mixed income area. You have posh Wellington Crescent condos and lower income rental units in a high density area and what do they call it: Canada's best neighbourhood.

The loss of a surface parking lot for student housing is a very good thing and it will be interesting to see how the experiment pans out.  The province says the project is self financing and the University of Winnipeg says they will partner with a co-op to run the place and it won't affect the institution's budget. It is possible this is the model of how to leverage money to get work done that will pay for itself. It remains to be seen.

Still, there needs to be something different than Manitoba Housing done. The province could simply put up a $27 million apartment for strictly lower income and not have the same impact as this project will have.

There will quite a number of people watching the project with a critical eye but it could be something that changes how we approach housing for people in the future.

Monday, November 25, 2013

If the Liberals Win Brandon-Souris today...

Today there are two elections to fill vacancies left by Conservative MPs who have retired from public office to do other things. Merv Tweed of Brandon Souris left to become president of Omnitrax Canada and Vic Toews left to return to a law practice. Two other by-elections in Toronto and Montreal for departing Liberals take place as well.

I am not going to make hay of people leaving office before their terms are over. We have seen it periodically done by politicians over the years. The provincial NDP have criticized past Conservative leaders resigning from office while ignoring how their own leader Gary Doer left half way through his term.

Suffice to say that elected officials leave office due to health, family and work related reasons just like any other job.

By-elections by tradition are generally more about what is happening locally than getting into sweeping national issues. Most fly under the radar which suits the government in power fine. It is they who set the timing of the vote inside of a year.

Prime Minister Harper called the by-elections when it appeared it would do the least damage to him or his government. In short, he wanted any Senate scandal wrapped up and to come off a Conservative convention with good momentum. Best case scenario would be Tories retain their seats with good margins, steal a seat possibly from Liberals and watch Opposition attack each other. In the aftermath, point out the failures of the other political leaders in not doing better.

The worst case scenario is if the Liberals win their seats and gain one and get better numbers across the board.

For the NDP, any win today would be a victory. That would be the best case scenario. The worst case is if their vote share went down.

The situation in Ottawa has been brutal in the last months. The Harper government's handling of The Senate has not been their finest hour. They might try to deflect and say it isn't important but when the RCMP starts poking around and talking fraud and possible arrests, the situation looks to unwind quickly.

Stephen Harper certainly looks to own the results of Brandon-Souris entirely. He has campaigned there directly through a letter to constituents and has test driven the main argument against the Liberals. To whit, he believes Brandon will make marijuana an issue in not voting Liberal.

If Manitoba voters want to send a message to Ottawa today, they ought to vote for the Liberal in Brandon-Souris as well as Provencher. It would send a loud and clear message to Stephen Harper that he has to do better than he has been doing.

If the polls are to be believed, the Liberals do have a chance of taking Brandon. And wouldn't that be something if they did.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Justin Trudeau Marijuana Punjabi TV Ad - From Conservatives

Rob Ford

The only mention I have in this blog about Toronto's mayor Rob Ford goes back to where he was taken into court regarding conflict of interest. A lower court found him guilty and a higher court dismissed the charges.

My note on him in these pages was in reference to Sam Katz's conflict charges. I indicated it was possible to avoid this if there was a more definitive separation between city business and personal business. In the case of Winnipeg's mayor, he reneged on the promise to put his business in a blind trust because he indicated there was no law stating that he had to. This has resulted in a few runs ins where questions have been raised about decisions that may conflict for the mayor and city business.

In the case of Rob Ford, the issue of his personal business and city business has not generally been about business operations but on personal behaviour. A lot of it has been dismissed by his supporters as a latte sipping liberal elite sniping at a mayor who represents real people. The mayor and his brother have accused some of the media of being on a personal vendetta against him and stalking him even in his own home.

For many conservatives, it was easy to believe that the bad behaviour was more on the side of the media and liberal elites. This has been part of a carefully created narrative of the urban and suburban wars where never the twain shall meet.

There is some truth in the schism. The previous mayor of Toronto David Miller used to make some suburbanites weep over his spending plans. The receptiveness to Rob Ford was paved by the previous administration's actions.

Since his election, Rob Ford has been seen as a hero on the right by those who thought the city was being mismanaged financially. He was booed on the left by his boorish behaviour and for his disdain for things like the Pride Parade in the city.

There were incidents of reckless activities such as reading and driving and hints of possible over drinking. Once again to his supporters it seemed like personal attacks from the left who had nothing but vitriol for the mayor.

And then came the picture and rumour of a video showing the mayor smoking crack cocaine. The floodgates then opened about how the Ford family and drugs were no stranger from other media sources aside from the Toronto Star.

The Ford brothers came out swinging and despite and international effort to produce the video, none was produced. Staff in the mayor's office quit, others were fired, statements made that the mayor should get help were issued. Still, the city of Toronto and Rob Ford lumbered along.

A  massive police sweep some time ago after claims of a video were first made added fuel to the fire of speculation that there might be something to the story after all.

And then came the Toronto police chief's news briefing that they found a video and had several more as part of a drug sting operation that showed the mayor both smoking and possibly receiving drugs. The pubic still waits to see the mountain of evidence.

The furor resulting from the police news conference and caused world-wide media attention. Rob Ford finally broke down and admitted he smoked crack probably in a "drunken stupor."

You can't really go anywhere now without someone commenting or making a joke about Rob Ford the last months. I've made a few myself to people I meet and on social media.

I don't live in Toronto so am not affected directly from any of what happens there. It seems a bit of a reach that it has much negative impact beyond making it difficult to govern Toronto. However, perhaps it is unwise to say there is no fall out at all. The widespread cynicism towards public official is pretty awful.

There is no denying that every day seems to be marked with new stories about the mayor and how his city council tries to deal with him. He won't step down. The power to remove him appears very limited. All the council has done is stripped him of resources. But it doesn't seem to stop him.

The Harper Conservatives are trying to link this to Justin Trudeau admitting he smoked pot. However, they have been loath to even mention Rob Ford who is seen as an ally of the federal Conservatives. Only one cabinet minister has stepped out and said he believes Rob Ford should resign.

The by-elections this coming Monday have included attacks authorized and signed by Stephen Harper about Justin Trudeau's use of pot. The pictures and video of Harper and Ford and the Conservatives largely being silent on the issue of admitted cocaine use are now in sharp contrast. There is a very real danger that despite a hugely negative campaign by the Conservative and now the NDP, the Liberals could capture three out of four seats in the vote. This would include the long held Conservative seat in Brandon.

It is hard to know how much longer this drama will continue. It may only end in next year's city election in Toronto. But then again...maybe not. What is Ford gets elected again?

And if he does, would that mean the federal Conservatives warm up to him again...all the while claiming how bad it is that Justin Trudeau smoked pot?

Vangelis - Year of Living Dangerously L'Enfant

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Goldeyes Broadcast Moves from TSN Radio to 100.7

It really hasn't sunk in yet but the sports broadcast that began on TSN Radio before it became a sports radio network has been dropped from the 1290 AM dial.

Why? I have no idea. It could have come from the Goldeyes or TSN. In the end, it probably does matter.

The broadcast itself won't really change. Paul Edmonds remains at that the helm for this 20th season as the radio broadcast switches from AM to FM. Compared to hockey and football, baseball play by play guys are Iron Men when it comes to broadcasting. Edmonds will call 100 games plus pre and post game shows with an additional four extra baseball episodes tossed in. That's a lot of hours.

In some respect it is too bad that baseball left TSN Radio. Edmonds sometimes was brought in for other sports duties and he was able to guest on a number of the local sports talk shows on the network. In truth, no other broadcaster has the knowledge or the love of the sport that he does.

I first thought that TSN had to let baseball go because of schedule conflicts with some of their other properties. Alas, TSN has picked up 100+ Toronto Bluejays broadcasts. It would seem timeslots were not the issue.

It is very possible that the Goldeyes simply wanted a FM station to broadcast from. Hard to say.

There is probably confusion about what FM station 100.7 is. There is a distinct lack of a call sign in the announcement. The owner of the station Evanov went to the CRTC to change formats. The company already had a successful launch of Energy 106, a hit radio station. They also own 810 CKJS, the successful ethic radio broadcaster.

In the end, we now have three radio station covering the three main sports in Winnipeg. CJOB has football. TSN has hockey and now 100.7 has baseball. I'd say that is good for competition.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Central Canada Comic Con 2013

Me and co-worker at Comic Con
Another Central Canada Comic Con (C4) in Winnipeg has gone by and once again it has surpassed the previous years.

Next years will be 20 years since the start of the trade show and fan exposition. Things could not have been more humble. In 1994, the convention was held in a smaller hotel ballroom and was shared with antiques and toys through Manitoba's Collector's Expo. Six years later, comics pushed to the fore and the convention was named Manitoba Toy and Comic Expo. Add another six years in 2006, the name became Manitoba Comic Con.

The addition of celebrities from TV, film and beyond came just a year later in 2007. It exploded attendance and there was no choice but to seek a larger venue.

In 2008, the Winnipeg Convention Centre became home to Comic Con and its present incarnation as Central Canada Comic Con. It is a non-profit organization and now hosts four events a year with the marquee event being C4.
Me and co-worker and friend at Comic Con
In 2012, attendance at Comic Con rose to a whopping 34,000. There are only two other comic and fan expos in Canada that pull in more people in Toronto and Calgary. It is uncertain what attendance for 2013 is but line-ups were even greater than years before. The three day event in November has become a huge media event.

Costumes have grown each year as well as make-up and the addition of wrestling and wrestling stars in recent years as brought more and more people downtown for the three day event. Cars like Back to the Future's DeLorean and Scooby-Doo's Mystery Machine were displayed in the loading dock along with the wrestling ring. This was a brilliant and unothodox way to get more space on the floor and I can't believe the fire marshal didn't say: whoa!

As attendance moves past 35,000, the limitations of the RBC Winnipg Convention Centre begin to show itself plainly. Even with C4 moving to three floors next year, the space will be too small. 

The RBC Winnipeg Convention Centre is expanding and doubling its size. There are now several trade shows and conventions that challenge the present configuration with their attendance.

Here is something interesting to note: In addition to Comic Con, there was a football game with 30,000 plus people and a hockey game with 15,000 people going on...at the same time! In the afternoon, it seemed that all of the city had gotten into their cars to go out and take part in events. 

And what an amazing day it was. Sunny, warm and the downtown was filled with Jets uniforms and Jedi Warriors. Some wag said that all the losers were attending hockey, football and comic convention on Saturday. Well, that mouthy dude had his shirt pulled over his head, was taped to the uprights and was hit with phasers on fabulous for his troubles.

Winnipeg, you did yourself proud Saturday. Just one quibble: who set the time for all three events for Saturday afternoon! Yeek!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

H & M Coming to Winnipeg

The company has been teasing up since 2009 about coming.

There is no doubt they wanted to be in Polo Park Mall but outside of it or in was the big question. The redevelopment plans for the old Winnipeg Arena and Canad Inns Stadium probably played a part in the indecision of where to go.

The company lost its nerve on the spot that Forever 21 eventually chose in the mall. The thinking was: Will there be enough traffic down that corridor? How wrong they were. Forever 21 has been a runaway success in the old Safeway space.

The various store closures of Safeway, McNally Robinson's and Zeller's have represented opportunities for Polo Park even when it might have first been pretty bruising losing big tenants.

The loss of Safeway allowed the mall to pick up popular Forever 21 and BCBG as two replacements. The loss of McNally Robinson allowed the mall to pick up Urban Planet in a big location.

The loss of Zellers means that just under 100,000 square feet of space comes available with three separate entrances into the space. H & M has indicated the store will be 25,000 square feet and employ around 75 people.  Although the mall was cagey about where H & M would go, it seems compelling they would be somewhere in the old space belonging to Zellers.

Old Zellers Spot Up Top

Old Zellers, one entrance inside, two outside

Now, it doesn't take a genius to realize that even if H & M moves into the spot, the space remains largely empty. It also remains configured for a large store.

Polo Park has indicated that it will in October of 2014 before the store opens. The main reason is that a reconfiguration of old Zellers is coming. While H & M might be the main attraction in the space, it lends itself to the idea that Abercrombie and Fitch and J. Crew are coming as well.

Actually expect a few announcements and more in 2014.

H & M, the big Swedish fashion retailer has been on a lot of shopper's wish list for a long time. The recent opening of a store in Ottawa saw massive line ups and excitement. There is no doubt that Polo Park will benefit strongly from the store coming to the mall.

As a footnote, five more Sears have had their leases bought out in Canada this week including the flagship store in Eaton Centre Toronto. Rumours continue to circulate that Sears Polo Park is next to go. There are at least three retailers interested with the lead going to Nordstrom's.

Big things ahead for Polo Park.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Target Grant Park to Open November 13

The Wall Street Journal reports Target at Grant Park Shopping Centre is to open November 13.

Let's hope the rest of the interior renovations of the mall are done by then as well.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The New Liberal Leader

Rana Bokhari, New Manitoba Liberal Leader
I have worked Saturdays since childhood. I was newspaper carrier when there were still evening papers. I delivered the Winnipeg Tribune, Winnipeg Free Press and Winnipeg Sun.

For much of my life, I have worked more evenings and weekends that I care to remember.

I still do.

I try to take some Saturdays off occasionally but generally it is an extremely busy work day for me.  This Saturday was another busy one.

I take a rare Saturday off and would have this week for the Liberal leadership vote. However, there were a mail-in ballot and advance poll.

I love advance polls in that on election day, I like to be able to avoid any crowds and get my vote in. I do take time do go over my candidate lists and policy platforms. However, by a week before the election or so, I am more or less confirmed in what my decision will be. So far I have been lucky and there has not been a reason for me to regret voting before the actual election date.

The Liberal advance poll was a preferential vote numbering 1 through 3. There were were three worthwhile candidates in Rana Bokhari, Dougald Lamont and Bob Axworthy.

I made my selection based on a variety of criteria for and chose Rana Bokhari as my first choice. I didn't make my decision widely known but did tell a few people. I did not want to influence anyone and I should be clear that I would have supported any of the three had they become leader.  I told only a few people what my decision was. In my view, all of them would be preferable to the two main parties for their leadership.

It will be a tough time for the new leader. No seat in the legislature and probably the loss of two staff members. Those staff are assigned to elected leaders and had worked for Jon Gerrard. Since he is no longer leader, the positions are likely to be terminated unless the other parties agree to a change. The NDP might want to cripple the Liberals and say no. It might be in the Conservatives interest to say yes.

Why? Because every time the Liberal vote goes up, it gives the PCs a chance at becoming government.

I was not present when the leader was elected on the first ballot. However, I was happy to see Rana Bokhari become youngest Liberal leader in provincial history.

Some Liberals expressed dismay from other camps and made disparaging remarks about demographics dictating the vote. I can't say what the break down was but I am white and older than the candidate chosen. I saw a mix of people at the advance polls and on TV supporting the chosen candidate.

The Free Press mentioned that not enough eligible voters actually voted and too many voted in the advance polls. I suppose a delegate election could have ensured more people in the room and dispensed with the advance polls. I don't know. I have been part of both processes. It will always come down to how many memberships sold and voter turn out.

I think my reasons for not going to the actual leadership convention are fairly solid. I still think things have been fairly exciting and interest seemed to grow. But people are going to take their time assessing.

I know that I will be putting more time in but in what capacity, I don't know.

I think one thing I am certain of and that is our two party polarized system has made a lot of people wonder out loud if we could do better.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Save on Foods Coming to Winnipeg?

Save on Foods in B.C and Alberta
The rumour mill has been going strong ever since the Sobey's announcement of taking over Safeway.

The story goes that the Harper government through the Competion Bureau is going to order Sobey's to sell off some Safeway locations before the government approves the sale. This is likely to include warehouses and manufacturing sites.

The government will not take kindly to a massive amount of people being laid off. Safeway and Sobey's practically square off across the street from one another and barring the Competition Bureau intervention, numerous duplicate locations would be shut down. Not only does such a shut down hurt employees but property owners can be left with large holes to fill. Left to its own ends, Sobey's might pay property taxes or rent on a closed store for some time after just to prevent a competitor from moving into the old spot.

The Empire Group which owns Sobey's knows full well how the Competition Bureau operates. Empire sold their movie theatres in part to fund their purchase of Safeway. The government expressed concern about some of the Ontario movie theatres going to Cineplex so Sobey's sought out a second buyer.

And so it goes. Competition is good so it seems unlikely that the closure of so many stores, warehouses and manufacturers is going to stand. And so this is where the rumours start.

As mentioned in this blog, Whole Foods has been sniffing around Winnipeg for locations. Even before the Sobey's purchase of Safeway, the American grocer had a strategy to spread out across Canada. The big problem for Whole Foods is logistics. At present, they use their established store locations to help supply new stores. To move into Winnipeg would create a very long supply chain. To mitigate this problem, the creation of two or three stores would go a long way to bring the costs down. You had better believe that Whole Foods has their eye on the prize which is grab some Safeway locations should they come available.

Sobey's would probably be comfortable selling some locations to Whole Foods and the organic seller caters to a slight different dynamic. However, there is no way Whole Foods will buy all the locations Sobey's will likely have to sell.

This means the likely buyers are Quebec-based Metro and B.C.-based Save on Foods.

Metro is a dominant force in the east but it is still digesting the large purchase of stores in Ontario that include Dominion and A&P. Could they make a play for stores in the west that Sobey's is forced to give up? Most certainly. Will they? It is possible as they will not get this chance again to grab choice locations all across western Canada.

In the case of Save On Foods, there is very little doubt they were moving eastward and the rumour has been for some time that Manitoba and Saskatchewan are on their radar. Just this week Save on Foods moves into the Calgary market for the first time in force. Four stores are planned over the next dozen months. The company already has stores across Alberta.

Save on Foods is owned by one of Canada's richest men Jimmy Pattison of Vancouver. In 1968, he took over the Overwaitea supermarket, a grocer for B.C. since 1915. In 1990, the Save On Foods concept was spun off from the namesake Overwaitea group. Since then, it has been the primary store concept of the company.

The availability of stores, distributions centres and possibly some manufacturing being put on the market by Sobey's would be hard for Save on Foods to ignore. In one fell swoop, they could get great locations and scare Metro out of the market and possibly get the share of consumers that doesn't care for Sobey's as much as they did for Safeway.

It would not be the first time that Jimmy Pattison has rode in to Manitoba to pick up assets in the last while. He has picked up some car dealerships and radio stations in the last year. In some cases, the Competition Bureau has ordered large mergers of radio stations to sell some of their assets and Pattison has been there to scoop them up.

It is likely that the decision on Sobey's takeover of Safeway comes in the next months, possibly the new year.

It could be very possible that Winnipeg sees a few Save on Foods in the 2014 year.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Courtesy in Winnipeg

The Persian proverb "Courteous men learn courtesy from the discourteous" might be only half true.

In reality, discourtesy might also teach someone to be discourteous themselves.

Perhaps that is no more well demonstrated than when one driving a car. No one lets you in when you are trying to change lanes and in turn, you don't let anyone in either.

The list of discourteous driving infractions is a long one. I have been guilty of it but have tried and continue to try to be polite and use courtesy when driving. Confusion, distraction, impatience, anger and selfishness all need to be controlled on the road. Give yourself time to get to where you need to go and mapping out your route is common sense and contributes to your courtesy on the road.

Speed limits aren't suggestions, the car ahead of you isn't "winning", bikes, people and cars are not merely pylons, the horn is not an instrument and turn signals are not options. This isn't NASCAR and tailgating isn't a strategy to push the driver ahead of you or to zig zag in front of them. Meals, shaving and make-up...sometimes all three at the same time can lead to no good. Your brights while driving can be someone else's blinds.

Mistakes happen and that is why it is important to allow for them. If a driver swings their door out suddenly from being parked, it doesn't mean that was ensues is a Winnipeg version of Max Mad, Return to Thunderdome. Check the rage.

I am not a perfect driver but I try to do a few things to limit my exposure to being discourteous and in turn try to show courtesy. I use my turn signals and don't drift from lane to lane. I leave a car length between when driving (although it sometimes leaves me vulnerable to being cut off in front of). I try to drive and park between the lines even when they are hard to see on Winnipeg streets. I try not to speed. I try to be aware and not overly distracted. I let people have turns at intersections. I pull in and tuck the car when I don't have the right of way for approaching traffic.

It is not easy driving in Winnipeg. Sometimes city planners leave you vulnerable to error with lanes that suddenly disappear or have lanes such as Kenaston that people whip down than rush into other lanes at breakneck speed resulting in close calls or aggressive driving.

Diamond lanes and bike lanes that become invisible in snow or cause confusion as to when you can access them to go down other streets are particularly troubling.

I have mentioned traffic a lot because rage in this area seems to occur daily. It is also the area where government unwittingly or deliberately seem to set up things for maximum trouble.

In our daily life outside of driving, good parents tell their kids to mind their Ps and Qs. Say please, say thank you. This goes a long way for being courteous. The trick is communication. I'm sorry if you slept poor and haven't had your coffee yet. Don't be rude and bark at people.

Try not to be the source of frustration for others in stores by being rude, pushy or unprepared when you shop, arrive at the till, walk down the aisles. Living and dying by your debit card sometimes means taking more time at the till and in a few cases, finding out it isn't working and not having even the money for a cup of coffee with you. It is funny how some people don't even have one buck in their pockets. Not so funny when they have to abandon their carts or product at the till in front of you.

Cart etiquette at the grocery store can be used to express courtesy. Tuck your cart in, be watchful of those around you, don't walk as a family five people across the aisle at the slowest pace possible, don't talk on your cell phone the whole time and walk or push your cart with reckless abandon. If their are no automatic doors, look to hold the door occasionally rather than skitter in and have quickly close behind you as the elderly lady reaches out futilely as it swings past her hand.

At your home, courtesy can be just keeping your grass cut...but not at 7 am Sunday, shovelling your snow...and not piling it in front of your neighbour's driveway, watching out for the safety and well being of your community.

In an increasingly busy world, it can be challenging being patient. It is frustrating when it seems that by design a road, building, system or other human created plan appears to be set up specifically cause you to lose it.

But don't. Keep it together. Be patient, show courtesy. Don't go out of your way to be rude and obnoxious. It isn't cute acting like a brat. It is annoying. Use polite language, be prepared and take time to achieve your objectives and don't act like that you are the only one in the world.

Perhaps then courtesy would beget courtesy.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Waverley Development at Lee Boulevard

Waverley at Lee Boulevard Development
Lost in the rapid growth of Waverley West is the fact that it has opened development opportunities in the gaps east of Waverley.

Lee Boulevard bisects the area east from Shore Street near Pembina Highway all the way west to Brady Road. South of Lee has been filled with home for Richmond West for many years.

North of Lee has been home to South East Collegiate since 1995. The school has 160 aboriginal students from Grade 10 to 12.  Beside the school is the South East Personal Care home built in 2011 for $21 million. The 80 bed facility for elderly Indian, Metis and Inuit was the first of its kind in Winnipeg.

Without anyone really taking notice, Lee Boulevard north has become a center for First Nations health and education.

A section of land beside the school used for baseball and soccer has now become very valuable as it situated beside the recently reconstructed Waverley and the quickly developing Waverley West with neighbourhoods of Bridgwater and South Pointe.

Development Site...South East Collegiate on the right
A proposal has been sent to the city to turn the corner lot into 166 condominium townhouses.

I see no reason why this project won't go ahead and be fairly successful. However, it is another reminder as to why concern over traffic along Waverley will will not go away.

The north and south traffic flows along Kenaston and Waverley will only continue as new and infill housing goes in.

A better response is probably needed for what surely will be traffic chaos along the streets.

166 Condos for Lee Boulevard

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

More Condos for Osborne Village

New condos for 570-578 Stradbrook Osborne Village
570-578 two houses on large lots
Significant land size in the heart of Osborne

Wide and deep lots at 570-578 Osborne
The houses present already have a series of large garages for multiple families
Plans for 570-578 call for two buildings, 41 condos
 In case anyone wasn't noticing, Osborne Village is spreading across Stradbrook and all the along that stretch from Wellington Crescent to Donald?

New condos for 320 Stradbrook
4 floors, 18 condos
Side of 320 Stradbrook
Back of 320 Stradbrook
Osborne Village is limited to where it can spread out to. The Assiniboine River is the hard limit to growth to the north and west insofar as the river winds downward to form Armstrong Point on one side of the river and Wellington Crescent on the Osborne side.

Donald Street represents a man-made limit to the east although some people might consider the Mayfair East area up to Main Street and the Red River to be part of that dynamic. I disagree. I think Donald Street represents a pretty strong limit to Osborne Village till it reaches Confusion Corner.

Confusion Corner breaks up a seamless pathway for Osborne to expand further southward. The underpass, bus transit station and rail lines and several industrial buildings make it a very long walk before you feel you are in a community again.

That has left Osborne Village to build some of the tallest apartments in the city of Winnipeg, mostly along the Assiniboine River and down Wellington Crescent. However, since the 1980s, condo and apartment growth has moved steadily away from the river, first across River Aver and now Stradbrook Avenue.

Without a doubt, Winnipeg will see and is seeing density increases in and around Osborne and Corydon areas. Older houses sitting on large lots are now being eyed everywhere for condos or apartments.

At Nassau and Stradbrook, a new 2 building condo complex with 41 units will go up on a three lot section. That section at the moment has two houses, already subdivided for families. The houses will give way to the condos. The 570-578 Stradbrook address along Nassau represents a continued movement of development in the area that has accelerated in recent years.

Farther down Stradbrook, another condo unit is going up where an older house was hemmed in by apartments. 320 Stradbrook will make way for a 4 floor, 18 units condo complex.

The announcements these past 2 years have been fast paced and had to keep track of. However, one thing is clear...the distinction between Osborne Village and Corydon area will be less distinct as the two neighbourhoods move toward each other in commercial and residential development.

It isn't like there aren't people living on Stradbrook, Wardlaw, Gertrude, McMillan and Corydon now but the density is increasing every year. And it isn't uncommon now for people to stroll down Osborne and head down Corydon or vice versa.

In essence, we are seeing Osborne Village and Corydon areas increasingly forming up as a greater neighbourhood sharing the same dynamic of grocery, small shops and restaurants and higher density neighbourhoods.

It has almost been impossible to keep track of how much condo and apartment building construction that has been taking place in both areas.

Moves have been made to ensure that Nassau doesn't become a speedway from one area to another. It is a very narrow street with roundabouts on it and one section blocked off near Corydon and made one one. And yet, we see growth looking to explode down the very same street.

It certainly makes for interesting times in terms of managing traffic flows and population. However, the walk-ability aspect of Osborne continues to rise. Still not exactly safe for bikes though. And cars...well, the issue of a future parkade for Osborne and possibly Corydon is going to come up again and again in the future.

Monday, September 30, 2013

DJ Funky T - Jump Around Sesame Street

Could Conservatives Lose Brandon Souris?

It seems unthinkable.

The Conservatives were confident to the point of arrogance that the byelection in Brandon-Souris would be a walk in the park. The only question seemed to be who would win the nomination to replace Merv Tweed, the man who stepped down to take over Omnitrax in Canada.

The concern that Tweed's departure before his term was over and the fact that he took a job at a company he had regulatory control of seemed not to phase anyone. There a few worthwhile candidates stepped up. Brandon's deputy mayor Len Isleifson, Merv Tweed's former assistant Chris Kennedy and Progressive Conservative MLA for Arthur-Virden Larry Maguire.

It is a mystery how it happened but Isleifson and Kennedy were disqualified in favour of Larry Maguire as the Conservative candidate. The result of this has been bitterness and suspicion.

Killarney-Turtle Mountain Mayor Rick Pauls has announced he is running as an independent Conservative because of disgust with his party over the nomination.

A byelection is a different animal than a general election and sometimes voter turnout and local issues play a strong role in what the outcome is.

The Conservative Government has a record now in office and some of it has hurt their credibility, not the least of which is the steady stream of Conservatives who have run into trouble lately in the Senate. The fact that Stephen Harper chose many of them as reformers can't easily be played down.

Normally all of this would be noise in a riding that has selected conservative leaning candidates for decades. There is an exception of course. That would be 1993 when Liberal Glen McKinnon defeated PC Larry Maguire (yes, the same Larry Maguire) because of an unpopular PC party and a split vote with Reform.

In 1993, the landscape of Manitoba was total defeat for ALL conservative leaning candidates. There were 13 of 14 Liberals victories and only Bill Blaikie of the NDP held onto his his Transcona seat.

The Harper Tories are not nearly in the same state as back in 1993 but they do face a slide in support, a possible split vote and a stronger Liberal candidate in Rolf Dinsdale.

The Dinsdale name is well known in the region. The father and grandfather of the candidate were both prominent Progressive Conservatives. The father, Walter Dinsdale, held the Brandon riding for 32 years. The grandfather, George Dinsdale, was mayor of Brandon and was MLA in the Manitoba legislature for the riding.

Rolf Dinsdale recently moved back from Toronto to Brandon where he was involved in various media and business enterprises. There is some controversy involving his statement that he was an executive for Facebook when in fact he guided sales for the company through a Canadian facilitator. There is also the rock band he has been involved with which is rather profane.

Will this be enough to discourage people? Maybe. But a front page Brandon Sun shows very popular Conservative Rick Borotsik with a Trudeau lapel pin beside Dinsdale.

I am no expert on the Brandon region and their feelings come this byelection. However, it does seem clear that some Tories are unhappy and that never bodes well between general elections.

The impossible might just happen in Brandon.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

JETS SALUS- Winnipeg Jets Anthem

Winnipeg Jets 2013/2014

This weekend the Winnipeg Jets hockey team is doing something they have not done before: They are having a meeting in Banff to do a bit of team building. On Monday afternoon, the roster has to be pared down from 26 to 23. In a surprise move, management has held off on making the cuts possibly to let the three who are cut to continue bonding with the team and to let them know, they will no doubt be called in an instant if needed.

Given the injuries of last year, the ability for the team to plug holes in the line-up are paramount.

The pre-season was really the first time that Jets owners and managers were able to bring in all possible prospects drafted, invited and signed to be put through training and to see what they were made of. Patient development will reap some later rewards with a number of these players.

Some players were lost over the off season. Hainsey, Antropov and Burmistrov are all gone to other teams. In the case of Burmistrov, he was unhappy and headed to the Kontinental rather than stay. Antropov also went to the K.

Hainsey to a haircut in free agency on his pay and left for another team. No indication of whether Jets even negotiated for him to stay. Santorelli also came and went on free agency.

Of course this opens opportunities in positions and salary space.

Some of the toughest decisions will come on defence where Jacob Trouba, the 2012 first round choice demonstrated to maturity and poise.

At first glance, it would seem Pardy and Postma and Redmond could be sent down for the defence but lingering injuries from other starters might change that.

On the forwards, it is another tough choice but Peluso, Cormier, Frolik and Halischuk are probably being talked about. Once again lingering injuries might give then team flexibility about what happens.

A few things seem certain though: Scheifele and Trouba have earned positions on the team. Setoguchi was a good off season pick up.

We need a solid two lines. Will Jokinen have a better season or will Schiefele be a better fit with Kane and Setoguchi? Or will the decision right out of the gate be to out Schiefele in that mix?

The 1-4-3 record in pre-season was nothing to write home about. But pre-season ought to be the time for a team to see what they have in the system and not worry about chalking up wins that don't count in the standings.

It is unlikely going to make anyone happy if that is what our standings look like for the month of October in regular season.

We are in a very tough division this year. We need to improve power play and goals against average. Pavelec wants to play every game. He won't and he can't. Montoya can't sit on the bench all season and then be thrust into things if Pavelec gets hurt, is sick or is struggling.

Where will the fans be in all of this? To be sure, the boo birds will be watching Jokinen. If he continues to struggle, he will draw sharp focus before a lot of other players do.

A few more times of Enstrom crumbling in a corner and fans might be thinking what other options lay on defence.

In terms of coaching, this will be the year to see of Noel will be able to get the players to buy in on a system. It worked on penalty killing. Let's see if it works on power play and goals against average.

In terms of ownership, they have expressed faith in the Cheveldayoff. This most recent draft was considered excellent by most outside observers. And two of our top drafts might be on the team this year. Not bad.

We have not made any blockbuster trades and given the salary cap, it will be a wait and see. We have not been too bad on picking up players on waivers.

The owners have been trying to enhance the experience of coming to a Jets game with more options just outside the building. The Shark Club will be a welcome revenue generator for the organization as well as entertainment component all by itself with the casino. Across the street, the Alt Hotel and two restaurants are well under construction. They will be a welcome addition in 2014.

The people of Winnipeg love their hockey. They want their team to play hard every game and without a doubt want to get into the play-offs. This year's success will be measured by improving our standings and results in all areas. I don't think anyone is expecting a Stanley Cup.

Let the season begin.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Winnipeg at 1,000,000 - With 300,000 More People

In 20 years time, Winnipeg is expected to hit the one million mark in terms of population in the metropolitan area. The CBC is conducting a forum to determine what the city might look like with an additional 300,000 people.

First, let be said that the population growth is a projection and not a fact. However, given historical growth in the city's population, it is a safe bet to say Winnipeg will one day be a million people. It might happen earlier and it might happen later but it is going to happen.

Our population will grow through migration, immigration and birth rate. There are just under 400 cities in the world with over 1 million people. It helps to look at how they developed.

In almost all cases, the cities infrastructure grew higher, denser but also more spread out, especially in North America. It is only natural obstacles that limit the spread. In Toronto's case, Lake Ontario prevents further growth south. In Vancouver's case, it is ocean and mountains.

There are no natural boundaries for Winnipeg. Rivers are easily crossed. We only have man-made obstacle to population growth. The Winnipeg International Airport can be regarded as the only obstacle for population growth in the northwest quadrant of the city. This is unlikely to change.

The massive construction of Centreport Canada in the same area will keep the area industrial and transport related for decades to come.

So in point form, I will indicate what I believe will be what we see in 20 years.

* Immigration will continue to help shape Winnipeg's future. The provincial program will help channel people in at about 10,000 a year. A few world crisis will contribute refugees to Winnipeg. Those events will range from disaster to economics to politics to conflict. The Philippines, China and India will contribute large numbers. However, Winnipeg universities will tap into the UK and start bringing increasing numbers of students in who will eventually stay. Germany and Russia will supply steady numbers. Africa will be source of a steady number. The biggest surprise will be the ever increasing numbers of Hispanic people from Mexico to Central and South America.

* Migration will affect Winnipeg when population grows older. People living in rural areas who have health problems involving heavier use of medical community will look to Winnipeg. Downsizing from larger houses in the countryside requiring care in winter as snowbirds take to southern climates will result in more people buying condos and houses in Winnipeg. Exurbia will be less desireable all around if house size becomes unwieldy of if too far from vital services.

First Nations will see more of their people move to Winnipeg for school, jobs opportunities or to be with other family members.

Rural Manitoba will see larger farms and fewer people needed. Migration to Winnipeg will increase as a result.

* More First Nations urban economic zones will open. They won't look very different from other retail centers or residential. The Kapyong Barracks will not end up in First Nations or Metis hands. They won't be noted for housing a growing aboriginal population.

* Birth rate: The proportion births to First Nation and Metis will continue to be high. However, some of the more religious communities in the city from Africa or Asian will also have higher birth rates. Better government supports in the forms of school daycare, parental leave will result in a mini baby boom all around.

* More First Nations women will get higher education than First Nations men over the next 20 years. The first of the higher educated and higher paid women will start moving to various neighbourhoods away from the North End. Unlike other ethnic groups, they don't congregate in certain wealthier areas but all over.

* Pembina Highway will be the home of the Chinese business and cultural community. Fort Richmond will see a mall converted to the largest Asian food store and several Asian retailers.

* South Pointe will continue to see many East Indian families move into the area. A transformation of some of the retail to serve that market will take place in the Bridgwater commercial area. There will also be a southward migration of East Indian families from north the south of the city but it will be mitigated by immigration from India and surrounding areas.

* The downtown around Central Park becomes the epi-centre for much of the growing African community. The result is more shops and restaurants.

* The Exchange District sees more of a South American flavour take hold at least restaurant-wise.

* The tallest building in the downtown of the city will be around 60 stories and a mixed use residential, office and retail building. It will be accompanied by around four or five similar sized buildings downtown mostly of the same make-up. The skyline will be filled with several 20 floor stucture, mostly housing.

* Density in buildings down Portage Avenue, Main Street, Kenaston, Pembina Highway, Henderson Highway and McPhillips will increase.

* The 500 buses in the Winnipeg Transit fleet in 2013 will re-deployed as more Light Rail Transit is put into place. Eventually, a new tri-government strategy  will connect downtown to the University of Manitoba wilth LRT. Several denser neighbourhoods will result in Fort Rouge Yards and the Parker Lands.

* Other legs of LRT will develop. The most successful being the downtown to Polo Park and Airport, the Main Street LRT and the last to built LRT to St. Boniface.

* The St. James Bridge will be re-done as two spans in one of the most beautiful bridge designs in North America after an open competition world-wide that asks to incorporate gateways to Academy Road, Wellington Crescent and Kenaston. It will serve as a beautification gateway to the airport and Polo Park down Route 90. Included will be pedestrian and bike paths, amazing lighting and gorgeous features.

* More bike paths will be constructed along their own dedicated routes often using old rail tracks. New city rules will push for sidewalks in every new neighbourhood and connectivity to other parts of the city in 20 years.

* More pedestrian and running trails in the city.

* Crime in Winnipeg will decline in some areas with reductions in fetal alcohol. However, some areas will continue to struggle. The Winnipeg Foundation along with a tri-government initiative called the North End X Team (NEXT 2030) will expand community enhancement using police, schools, housing, business development and recreation to break cycles leading to crime and poverty.

* The Public Safety Building will be converted into an urgent care center with 24 pharmacy, X-ray, blood testing, kidney center and new home to the Mount Carmel Clinic who will keep the old location as a satellite for family medicine. A new 1000 car civic parkade will be built as with offices attaches for The Parking Authority and the Police Cadets.

* Winnipeg's airport will continue to rise as a cargo hub but more direct flights will occur to a rise in fuel efficient smaller jet aircraft. Porter Airlines will fly Winnipeggers directly to Toronto Island Airport. Direct flights to cities like Los Angeles will enable more Hollywood filming to take place in Winnipeg.

* Oil fracking in western Manitoba will benefit Winnipeg manufacturing and services who expand to help provide service to a booming North Dakota and Saskatchewan.

* Polo Park will add a third floor to the mall and build a parking deck and a hotel atop on the west side. Sears will have long closed for a Nordstrom. Food court would move to the third floor. Silver City will close as the theatres move into the mall to make way for the new parking deck.

* St. Vital will expand to two floors with parking decks added on all four sides. Sears will have long closed in favour of Sak's Fifth Avenue store, one of seven in Canada.

* Portage Place mall will close in favour of offices, some casual dining restaurants and residential units. The parkade will be sold in exchange for two two towers built on on eat and west pads.

*City Place will see the Shark Club become a full sports casino taking over the entire second floor. The ground floor will be a mix of retail and restuarants.

* The richest neighbourhood in Winnipeg will be Wilkes South from McCreary to the Perimeter Highway. It will feature Winnipeg's first gated community and country club.

* The older but hot neighbourhoods will be Sherbrook and points east, St. James from Polo Park heading west. All the streets between Osborne Village and Corydon, Point Douglas, old Transcona, old Fort Garry, McPhillips, Riverview and Charleswood. Affordability will play a strong role in rejuvenation.

* The poorest neighbourhood will still be north of the CPR tracks.

*Some neighbourhoods close to the river from Main eastward will start a rejuvenation. Waterfront development will push out old industrial concerns. Metal scrapyard, gypsum plants and others will head out to Brookside/Route 90 as a designated choice for re-location. Point Douglas will see condos and apartments go up along the river in old industry areas.

* The goal of a river walk will proceed very slowly northward in the next 20 years and very slowly southward.

* The Manitoba Museum will expand north of Rupert, building a new science museum with underground connection to main building complex.

* The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and Pantages will share a parkade and development between their two buildings.

* The Winnipeg Jets, Bombers and Goldeyes will be joined by a professional soccer team, lacrosse team and Western Hockey League franchise over the next 20 years.

* Education in Winnipeg will have full time nursery and Kindergarten programs in its three school divisions, two English and one French. It will help spur a bit of a baby boom and parents feel more supported in childhood development.

* The University of Manitoba at 30,000 in 2013 is very likely to be around 5000 students larger in keeping with cities of similar size. In 2033, it will be 35,000 students.

* The University of Winnipeg at 10,000 in 2013 is likely to be around 13,000 in 2033.

* Red River College will around 8000 students in 2013 will explode to 15,000 at any given time and over 50,000 in a year through various programming.

* Universite de Saint-Boniface which has 1300 student now will have 3000 students in 2033 and be the largest French university in the west.

* Canadian Mennonite University at 1800 students now will be the 5000 student in 20 year and the largest Mennonite university in the world. They will buy the Tuxedo Golf Course for further expansion and build a large fieldhouse and sports complex as well as additonal classroom, dorm and a school of music.

* Headingley and Rosser will be absorbed into the city.

I will keep adding to this over the next days.