Transitway art inspires


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 03/06/2020 (852 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

While we’re all especially grateful for warm weather and sunshine this year, I’ve been looking forward to spring 2020 since well before COVID-19 became our reality for an entirely different reason — I knew that Phase 2 of the Southwest Transitway would be up and running.

Opened April 12, Phase 2 of the new Blue Line now connects downtown all the way out to the University of Manitoba. Whether you bike, walk or roll, you can experience the active transportation route and public art that runs alongside the entire rapid transit line.

Featuring dedicated bridges over McGillivray Boulevard and Pembina Highway, transitway stations are connected to walk/bike pathways and have bike lockers available. All Blue Line buses are equipped with bike racks and lockers, so you can ride and bike.

Sou'wester Ian August’s Rooster Town Kettle is one of several works of public art that now complement the newly opened Southwest Transitway.

To keep our roads safe for everyone who uses them, traffic signals were installed along the corridor at important transitway intersections. These “fully actuated” traffic signals detect vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists approaching the intersection and the lights are triggered to change. At all other times, the lights are set to provide green signals to vehicles on the surrounding streets. The City’s Traffic Management Centre will monitor transitway intersections to evaluate their impact on all road users on an ongoing basis and adjust the traffic signal timing based on observations and feedback.

We were not only able to make this key piece of infrastructure safe — but beautiful too.

I have always been a huge supporter of public art and I’m proud to see seven local creators have had the opportunity to share their incredible and diverse work with Winnipeggers.

Some of the new pieces, as described by the Winnipeg Arts Council, are “Métis artist Ian August’s Rooster Town Kettle and Fetching Water, both of which recall stories of warmth and sharing from the history of the Rooster Town community … Kelty McKinnon and Cindy Mochizuki’s Tensai (is) an exploration of the relationship between the sugar beet and Japanese Canadian history … (while) Bill Burns’ Salt Fat Sugar & Your Water is Safe (sheds) light on a set of historical, social, and economic relations within advanced industrialism that often go unnoticed.”

This collection of art is deeply meaningful and significant for our community and place while being visually stunning.

You can see a full description of all seven installations at

Or you can check them out in person as you break in our latest important infrastructure investment that will be with us for years to come.


John Orlikow

John Orlikow
River Heights - Fort Garry ward report

John Orlikow is the city councillor for River Heights - Fort Garry.

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