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St. B named one of Canada’s great places
St. Boniface is one step closer to being crowned this year’s great Canadian neighbourhood.
The neighbourhood is one of eight shortlisted in the Great Places in Canada contest.
The annual competition, which will also name winners in the category of great streets and great public spaces, is run by the Canadian Institute of Planners.
More than 90 streets, neighbourhoods and public spaces were nominated by the public, with 200,000 votes cast before a panel of professional planners whittled down the most popular entries to 21 finalists.
Among St. Boniface’s competition for the top neighbourhood spot is Osborne Village, which is also a finalist as a great street.
The nomination for St. Boniface notes the neighbourhood includes communities such as Windsor Park, Southdale, and Island Lakes, but focuses on the architectural and historical gems within Old St. Boniface.
William Caithness, who moved to St. Boniface from the West End more than 20 years ago, said he was pleased to see the neighbourhood honoured as one of Canada’s great places.
"It’s a great place to live and raise a family," said Caithness, who is also a board member of the Old St. Boniface Residents’ Association.
Caithness said part of what makes St. Boniface unique is its entrenched history and thriving French culture.
"You’ve got living history," he said, noting that many of the historical buildings in the neighbourhood are still used. "Every corner of St. Boniface, there’s some sort of history."
The area’s city councillor, Dan Vandal, had his own list of reasons why St. Boniface is a great place.
"We have it all in St. Boniface — magnificent nature trails, great bilingual schools,beautiful parks, quality housing," he said. "And you could walk to the Forks in about 10 minutes."
Lisa Holowchuk, a Manitoba representative for the Canadian Institute of Planners, said the purpose of the contest is to get ordinary citizens thinking like planners.
"It really gets people thinking about ‘What makes me want to live here, visit here,’" Holowchuk said.
She added this is not the first time Winnipeg has ranked high in the competition. The Forks came out on top last year in the Great Public Spaces category.
The 2012 winners, to be chosen by a jury of planning experts, will be announced at the end of April.
To learn more, visit www.greatplacesincanada.com.
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(1 of 12 articles for this week)06/19/2013 1:00 AM 0