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Ten reasons it’s a wonderful life in Wolseley

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Here are 10 wonderful Wolseley things from 2013. And yes, my geographical boundaries are stretchy.

1. When the new year rang in, the Wolseley Wall (780 Wolseley Ave.) was a magically illuminated domestic sculpture of ice and snow, standing tall and glassy with a rose window rivalling Westminster United Church.

2. On April 28, longtime Wolseley resident David Bergen was a double laureate at the 2013 Manitoba Book Awards for his novel The Age of Hope.

3. In mid-May, the Manitoba Historical Society re-released, online, An Historical Walking Tour of Wolseley, first published in 1988. Take a stroll: www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/features/walkingtours/wolseley

4. The Gordon Bell Green Space (Borrowman Place at Portage Avenue) was officially opened on June 10, providing long-needed grass (plus artificial turf) for play.

5. When Fitzroy (102 Sherbrook St.) opened in July, a critical mass of eateries ushered another new term: the Sherbrook Strip. Also joining long-established restaurants between Wolseley and Broadway in 2013 were Thom Bargen Coffee & Tea (64 Sherbrook) and Bada Sushi (126 Sherbrook).

6. On the quirky side, the satirical signs "Fielding Lane" (behind 134 Walnut St.) and "Vandal Lane" (near 1255 Wolseley Ave.) sprouted for a time in August, part of Coun. Harvey Smith’s calling out of the city’s Executive Policy Committee on the state of his ward’s back lanes. Couns. Scott Fielding and Dan Vandal left the EPC in October, reportedly for unrelated reasons.

7. By September, pedestrians celebrated a traffic light at Portage and Ruby/Banning. At last, safe "portage" between Arlington Street and Sherburn, and a direct route from De Luca’s across to Café Ce Soir and Jonnies Sticky Buns.

8. On Nov. 19, the Public Works Committee approved creating a bylaw to enforce traffic restrictions for Sunday/holiday bike routes, including Wolseley Avenue and Raglan Road. Hopefully it will be passed, establishing the effective hours ("dusk" on existing signage is too vague), a definition of "local traffic" and a penalty that will be enforced.

9. More promises for 2014. On Dec. 4, Mayor Sam Katz said funds can be found that would enable the reopening of Sherbrook Pool.

10. On a personal note, I met many gracious, generous people this year writing The Metro’s Community Forum column for Wolseley. Research on my September article prompted our family to seek an ex-racer greyhound. As you read this, he may be home.

Happy New Year!

Gail Perry is a community correspondent for Wolseley.

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