Translated map the first of its kind in Winnipeg


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This article was published 11/08/2014 (2920 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A new project out of the south end of Winnipeg is shedding light on the need for better city services for minority groups.

What began two years ago as a venture to get kids out walking and biking more has evolved into a comprehensive map of the Fort Richmond, University of Manitoba and University Heights areas available in both English and Mandarin.

“This community is full of bays and cut-throughs and weird streets. I mean, I’ve lived here for 14 years and I don’t know where the heck to go,” said Janice Lukes, project co-ordinator. “So let’s make a map, so we needed to talk to people: ‘What do you want on the map, what do you think is important?’ We interviewed the parents, the kids, we talked to the community, and that’s how I met Fisher and Sam, because we engaged with the Manitoba Chinese Community Centre.”

Jordan Thompson/Canstar Community News (From left) Fisher Wang, Janice Lukes and Sam Deng.

Fisher Wang and Sam Deng, president and vice-president of the community centre respectively, were thrilled when Lukes showed them the map, thinking it could be an invaluable resource for new Chinese immigrants in the area who might be having a hard time getting around.

“The Chinese population here in Manitoba is the second largest minority group, behind the Filipino (population). And the number of newcomers from China is increasing every year,” said Wang. “For those newcomers, they really have a language barrier. Most of that population walks to school or walks around the area, and they aren’t really familiar with the area. All they have is from Google Maps, which really is for driving, it will calculate the distance and give you an overview, but it doesn’t go into detail like this.”

Wang explains that of the Manitoba Chinese Community Centre’s 4,000 members, around 75 per cent live in the south end of the city. While the community centre’s members were glad to have a detailed map of the area, Wang says many of them wondered if a Chinese version was a possibility.

The City of Winnipeg agreed to print more copies of the map in Chinese, so long as Wang and Deng took care of the translations  – a task they completed in a couple of weeks.

Although the trio is elated to finally have the translated maps available for distribution, Deng says the process opened his eyes to some of the shortcomings in Winnipeg pertaining to available resources for minority groups.

“Although we call ourselves the Chinese community, we’re still living in Canada. You can’t just have the same group of people sticking together; we still want to connect with the government, with the mainstream here,” Deng said. “When you come to Winnipeg, they always mention the diversity in this city. To me, this is the best way of putting diversity in action. The city is advertising the whole diversity idea, but when you actually live here, you don’t actually see much. Where is it? You see the people, but the services are way behind.”

The map is the first in-depth Chinese-translated map in Winnipeg, highlighting bus stops, crosswalks, sidewalks, paths, businesses, hospitals and more. Currently, copies of the Chinese-translated maps are available (free of charge) at:

• Manitoba START (271 Portage Ave.);
• Immigration Centre (100 Adelaide St.);
• University of Manitoba (Helen Glass Centre for Nursing, room 124);
• IDO Media and Print (1483 Pembina Hwy.);
• ING Supermarket (1873 Pembina Hwy.);
• Daily Food Supermarket (2077 Pembina Hwy.);
• North Garden Restaurant (33 University Cres.);
• Sun Fortune Restaurant (2077 Pembina Hwy.);
• Golden Loong Restaurant (2237 Pembina Hwy.);
• Dim Sum Garden Restaurant (2677 Pembina Hwy.);
• Southland Restaurant (2855 Pembina Hwy.).

English versions are available at:

• Richmond Kings Community Centre (666 Silverstone Ave.);
• University of Manitoba Welcome Centre (423 University Cres.);
• Fort Garry Library (1360 Pembina Hwy.);
• MOSAIC Newcomer Family Resource Network (397 Carlton St.).

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