Getting to know Elmwood
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/08/2017 (2117 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
In March 2014 I moved into a duplex unit in the Elmwood neighbourhood with a relative.
Moving into a new community is an interesting experience, and to really appreciate the area one has to dig into its history.
In 1970, during discussions about merging various then distinct municipalities (East Kildonan, Transcona, North Kildonan etc) into Winnipeg, the Manitoba Local Government Boundaries Commission released a report against the idea. One downside to municipal mergers, in the commission’s view, was the loss of regional identities.
Then Mayor Stephen Juba, a member of the commission, disagreed. He released a minority report (dissenting opinion), which claimed that former municipalities would not lose their distinctive identities because Winnipeg in 1970 already had unique districts.
One distinctive district he mentioned was Elmwood.
Ironically, following the municipal mergers, Elmwood’s distinctness in the minds of Winnipeggers blurred. Increasingly lumped in with East Kildonan, the significance of the historic Harbison Avenue border between the two neighbourhoods faded. Some relics of the past border remain, such as the boundary between the Winnipeg School Division and the Transcona-River East School Division.
Moving into the neighbourhood, I noticed how very residential it is. There are some commercial hubs, such as Nairn Avenue, Watt Street, Talbot Avenue to a small extent, and Henderson Highway to a large extent. For non-drivers in many parts of Elmwood, however, it can be a strain to access amenities like groceries (Tasse Balkan Foods, a rarity as a mid-size grocery store in Elmwood, was a 1.2-kilometre walk from my house). There are also many former industrial sites in the community.
Moving into Elmwood, I was interested in seeing what community organizations were working in the area. There were many high profile organizations doing work in central neighbourhoods west of the Red River, but as an outsider it was harder to find out about that type of work being done west of the River.
I did find out about the Elmwood Community Resource Centre (ECRC). Joining the board of directors of the ECRC, I became more aware of existing groups in the area (such as the Chalmers Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation) and witnessed the formation of new groups (such as the reestablishment of the Glenelm Neighbourhood Association). Under the leadership of Nina Condo, the ECRC moved its headquarters from 200 Levis St. to 545 Watt St. and broadened its services.
It has been quite an experience writing for The Herald and living in Elmwood. The relative I was living with bought a house elsewhere and I decided it was time to part ways. I could not find a place, at my preferred price, during my tight timeframe and so am moving out of Elmwood this month — for now.
Developments, like new venues such as Station 8 Café and the Eastern Rapid Transit Corridor, will surely create many more stories in Elmwood.
Dylon Martin is a community correspondent for Elmwood.
West Broadway community correspondent
Dylon Martin is a community correspondent for West Broadway.