"Our Walk of Fame will honour noteworthy Winnipeggers and events and will eventually feature 140 panels in the sidewalk along Portage Avenue from Spence Street to Main Street," says Jennifer Verch, communications manager for the Downtown Winnipeg Business Improvement Zone, which is organizing the Walk of Fame.
The five squares to be installed this year commemorate the Paris Building, Portage Avenue and The Hudson's Bay Company, says Verch.
Two panels at Smith and Donald streets will honour Sir Donald Alexander Smith (1820 to 1914), a key player in developing the Canadian West. "He was a fur trader, a politician -- and even owned a herd of bison," says Verch. "He headed the Canadian Pacific Railway when the transcontinental railway was built, and drove the 'last spike' on the CPR."
Smith became Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1889, and was also Winnipeg's very first Member of the Legislative Assembly. Donald and Smith streets in downtown Winnipeg are both named after this prestigious pioneer.
Verch hopes that the Walk of Fame will help create awareness among Winnipeggers of the history of their city.
"With the Walk Of Fame our goal is to make downtown Winnipeg's heritage readily accessible to pedestrians and visitors travelling along Portage Avenue," says Verch.