Street names so odd someone had to planet

Only in Winnipeg can you visit Mars, Venus


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Interplanetary travel is old hat for Carey Rieger.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 08/03/2011 (4284 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Interplanetary travel is old hat for Carey Rieger.

The Canada Post letter carrier travels to Venus every day of the week but she doesn’t bother with a rocket ship, space suit or even an oxygen tank. She doesn’t have regular communication with Houston, either.

But she’s not alone. Some of her fellow carriers make the five-days-a-week trek to Mars, Mercury, Neptune and Jupiter, too. They’re all able to converse with the locals while they’re there, too.


Ahem. OK, so there’s no need for the international space station for these carriers to deliver the mail — the planets are all residential streets in the Parker neighbourhood near Parker Avenue and Planet Street.

Asked if some of her customers might act like aliens from outer space, Rieger said Venus Bay isn’t any different in her mind from neighbouring thoroughfares, such as Windermere Avenue or Beaumont Street.

“They’re all just streets that have different names. We see so many street names as letter carriers,” she said.

In case you’re wondering, it looks as if Winnipeg is the only city in Canada with such a cluster of planets. Of course, there’s also “Planet” Street in the same neighbourhood. (There are Jupiter and Saturn streets in St. Laurent, Quebec, too.)

“Canada Post delivers to every address in Winnipeg,” said Kathi Neal, its communications manager. “Even if it’s out of this world.”

Unfortunately, attempts to find out the origin of the planet streets proved futile. City of Winnipeg officials said the streets were named before Fort Garry became a part of Winnipeg. People at the Manitoba Historical Society were equally unsure.

Neal said it’s not unusual for clusters of streets in Winnipeg to be named after the same theme. For example, there are the “trees” in River Heights, of Ash, Oak and Elm streets and in Westwood there are streets named after English poets such as Longfellow and Shelley.

Here are a few more themes:

— In Garden City, there are Verbena, Viola and Daffodil streets.

— In the Maples, a lot of street names start with “Ma,” such as Madrigal Close and Madera Crescent.

— Many downtown streets are named after former officers with the Hudson’s Bay Company, including Donald, Smith, Hargrave, Fort and Garry streets and York Avenue.

Dropping In is a ‘random act of journalism’ that starts with a thumbtack on a city map and ends with a story from the street. See more Dropping In articles using the map below.

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