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Urban tours share history

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An upcoming series of historical tours will have you feeling like a tourist in your own city.

On May 4 and 5, the fourth annual Jane’s Walk will take place across Winnipeg, including two tours in Point Douglas  and another exploring cycling alternatives along McPhillips Street.

On Sat., May 4, local architects Wins Bridgman and Marcella Poirier will take participants on a 90-minute tour of Main Street, tracing the history of trade and transition between the Disraeli Freeway and the recently opened Neechi Commons.

"This is a key area, we call it the Edge Condition," said Bridgman.

"It has historically been the edge of the city in terms of the south end versus the north end.

"We are interested in key areas of the city to help us find who we are, how were changing and whether Jane would approve of the ways in which we’re changing," he said.

Started in 2007, the walks are named after popular urban activist Jane Jacobs. The event has grown in popularity to include 350 walks in 35 cities in Canada, and hundreds more across the globe.

Famous for installing a public washroom at Higgins and Main, Bridgman’s firm, BridgmanCollaborative Architecture has designed buildings in the area including the old Dominion Bank where they are headquartered, Barber House and the newly opened Neechi Commons.

The walk begins at 3 p.m. and will meet at the southwest corner of Alexander and Main. The route is wheelchair accessible.

On Sun., May 5, local writer and Point Douglas resident Rob Galston will take visitors on a tour of the neighbourhood he’s called home for the last seven years. His 90-minute walk promises to take you to the oldest industrial building in the city, Michaëlle Jean Park and its community oven, a Euclid Avenue butcher shop that has been in business for more than 100 years. That walk begins at 2 p.m. and will meet in front of 140 Meade St. N.

A third event will take place along McPhillips Street through to Weston on Sun., May 5, where Mark Cohoe will inquire about alternatives to McPhillips Street for cyclists in the north part of the city. The event, which meets in the Safeway parking lot at Jefferson and McPhillips at 1 p.m., involves a mix of walking and cycling. Those interested are asked to bring a bike.

For a complete list, along with times, visit www.janeswalk.net.

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