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This article was published 26/9/2018 (513 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Motorists, bicyclists and people out for a stroll will soon be greeted at St. Boniface's Norwood Grove with an oasis in the middle of two major streets.
The $250,000 Canoe Park, which will officially open Friday between Marion and Goulet Streets, will take what has been a worn-out pathway in a boulevard between two concrete roads and transform it into a nice place to sit for awhile amongst the trees and bushes while traffic whizzes by.
Jennifer Mathieson, executive director of the Norwood Grove Business Improvement Zone, said on Wednesday that the wet weather has delayed the work at the site, but they'll still be ready for the unveiling at 5:30 p.m.
"If you go there today (Wednesday) you won't see anything, but by Friday it will be about 90 per cent complete," Mathieson said.
"People will be able to walk through it on Friday and we'll have two of the canoes lit up."
The canoes, which Mathieson said will be where most people sit while in the park, are being lit up as part of an exhibit called Maquettes at Lantern, by Winnipeg-based artist Christian Worthington.
When the 16-foot canoes are all in place, there will be six of them, set in concrete and made of corten steel, which is a group of steel alloys developed to eliminate the need for painting despite years of exposure to weather.
People will sit in them as they would a real canoe.
"Because they are recessed, it will look like they're sitting in water when you drive past," Mathieson said.
The project was funded by several organizations including the BIZ's capital savings fund, $40,000 from St. Boniface Coun. Matt Allard through the local community incentive grant, and Image Routes and Neighbourhood Main Streets capital funding.
Mathieson said the name of the park and the canoe-type seating is all because of Worthington.
"He saw an aerial photograph of the area and he saw the site was in the shape of a canoe," she said.
The area was upgraded more than two decades ago, but since then the grass has been replaced with weeds, the concrete path was cracked and broken, and the trees needed dead branches to be pruned.
"This is a major gateway to the area and we want it to be beautiful. We wanted this pedestrian corridor. Before this, we just looked like a highway.
"This is like it was meant to be."
And Mathieson said it ties in with the large circle that many pedestrians and bicyclists use when they go from The Forks, across the Esplanade Riel pedestrian bridge, down Tache Avenue, to Goulet and back to The Forks.
"It's a really beautiful route and this is now part of it," she said.
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.