Elmwood needs a grocery store


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/05/2016 (2558 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Nestled northeast of Point Douglas, across the Red River, is the community of Elmwood.
This mature neighbourhood features mostly older stock housing and boasts a cemetery, a cafe, some corner stores, and a handful of Asian restaurants. It’s a traditionally working class area.

A neighbourhood such as Elmwood, mostly developed before the Second World War, is the type of place urbanists get excited about. While it’s major and residential streets are made so that vehicle traffic flows smoothly, the neighbourhood form does not overwhelmingly emphasize automobiles, unlike Winnipeg’s outer-ring suburbs.

Elmwood has sidewalks which, while sometimes cracked, provide a fairly coherent grid network for pedestrians to get places. Lot sizes are smaller and more houses fill each block than in the winding roads of newer suburbs. This gives the community a charming feel and human scale.

That’s why it’s such a pity that there are so few places to go. The neighbourhood has it’s gems, such as the Thirsty Duck restaurant or the used bookstore and cafe called Sam’s Place. By and large, however, one has to go elsewhere for amenities.

Historically defined as the section of the city bounded on the west by the Red River, to the east by Panet Road, and to the south by Tyne Avenue, Elmwood has next-to-no grocery stores. A meat market on Nairn Avenue and various convenience stores are it for grocery shopping in the area.

This greatly limits Elmwood’s potential as a walkable and complete community. Without a neighbourhood grocery store, Elmwood residents have to go east to Kildonan Place or north to the small mall at Munroe Avenue and London Street. It is a 14-minute walk from Panet Road and Nairn Avenue to Kildonan Place, or 2.1 kilometres.

That’s a long walk with several bags of groceries. A family would require a couple of bus trips each week to buy all the groceries. This makes it difficult to live without frequently using a car.

The idea of “food deserts” in downtown Winnipeg as well as pedantic quibbling over whether areas with some grocery stores count as “deserts” are heated issues in Winnipeg.

The lack of grocery stores in Elmwood and the barrier it presents to having a fully urban neighbourhood also deserves discussion.

Dylon Martin is a community correspondent for Elmwood.

Dylon Martin

Dylon Martin
West Broadway community correspondent

Dylon Martin is a community correspondent for West Broadway.


Updated on Monday, June 6, 2016 3:53 PM CDT: Changes west to east.

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