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New web portal offers all the goods on our city

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Sgt. Tommy Prince Street sign at Selkirk  Avenue is one of many city landmarks that will have information a few clicks away on the NOW portal.

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Sgt. Tommy Prince Street sign at Selkirk Avenue is one of many city landmarks that will have information a few clicks away on the NOW portal.

ITS creators are billing it as the place to go for information about Winnipeg and its 200-plus neighbourhoods.

On Monday, Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz unveiled a new web portal, called Neighbourhoods of Winnipeg, which features information on a wide range of topics that might be of interest to tourists, researchers, students, existing or wanna-be residents and businesses.

For anyone thinking about starting up a business here, there are all of the latest census and economic data on the city, as well as listings of commercial properties for sale.

For newcomers or existing residents who are thinking about moving into a particular neighbourhood, there's historical and cultural information about all 236 neighbourhoods in the city, as well as information about homes for sale and amenities -- things such as schools, libraries and sports and recreational facilities -- in each one.

And if you're planning to vacation here, there are city and neighbourhood maps and a list of the city's "Top 10 Must-Sees." That includes sites such as The Forks National Historic Site, the downtown Exchange District, Assiniboine Park and Zoo, and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. Next year, you can also add the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to the list.

The NOW portal (http://now.winnipeg.ca) is the result of a three-year-plus collaborative effort by the City of Winnipeg, Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) and the Winnipeg Realtors Association (WRA).

"We want to attract new investment to the city and, at the same time, ensure that Winnipeg remains healthy and viable for existing businesses to grow and thrive," Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz explained at a morning news conference held Monday to launch the new portal.

"The new web portal... is one way that we are making it easier to do business within the City of Winnipeg," he added. "It will be a terrific resource for many."

"We could not be more pleased to partner on a new City of Winnipeg portal dedicated to promoting the city's 236 neighbourhoods as well as opportunities for investment through the economic-development section, where our commercial members listings are located," said WRA president Richard Dettman. "It becomes a one-stop shop to find out about your city or the city you might be moving to."

EDW president and CEO Marina James said attracting and retaining people is a critical part of a maintaining a healthy city.

"And (it) contributes greatly to our quality of life," she added.

James said she's not aware of any other city with a web portal that's as in-depth as the NOW portal.

"It is unique. It's leading-edge for both EDW and the City of Winnipeg."

She said the interactive site also will be regularly updated to ensure it remains fresh.

murray.mcneill@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 14, 2013 B4

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