Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Winnipeg's best side

Our city has many great looks -- but this one is my favourite

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Rather than a favourite spot, I'm more taken with a look, or a particular vista, of our city. There are several special places where Winnipeg strikes a pose and shows an angle that is both a great view and a revealing perspective.

Take Winnipeg from the air, on a night flight home. You're flying over the nothingness of rural Manitoba when suddenly there's a carpet of lights, glittering like jewels, laid out on the prairie floor. Uninterrupted by the hills or mountains that other cities brag about, Winnipeg's spectacular flatness rolls out a magnificent welcome mat to the tired traveller viewing from above.

It's Winnipeg's prairie "pancakedness" that lends itself to another favourite view, one seen on the trek home from the beaches of Lake Winnipeg on Highway 8. It's that sought after bump of the city's tallest buildings, when low fields give rise to our metropolis on the horizon. The bundle of the city's centre is brushed by canola fields, and for a moment our agricultural history and the downtown of today merge.

Currently, though, my favourite look for Winnipeg is on the east bank of the Red River, on Tache Avenue, at night. What I see is a bold city, where the lines of the Provencher footbridge frame this city's best look, bar none.

The Provencher footbridge acts as catwalk, and your gaze can't help but strut into a city centre that hums with Jets fans and hot condos. Shift your gaze from the downtown, and The Forks obliges with fireworks and family time, along with a view to what a city can do with a historical meeting place once forgotten.

And to me, perhaps one of the best views from the riverside in St. Boniface is in fact a viewpoint. Through the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the importance of the rights and freedoms all of us enjoy here in Winnipeg, and in Canada, will be on display.

It isn't easy to see through the current cloud of disagreement over cost overruns and content, but Winnipeggers need only look back to when The Forks and MTS Centre were but visions. The naysayers and bean counters were out then too. Instead, take a moment to stand on the east bank of the Red River in St. Boniface, and look at what our city has done. You will then see quite clearly, what our city can do.

 

Jackie Shymanski is the director of communications & public affairs at CancerCare Manitoba.

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 10, 2013 A8

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