Almost 40 years ago the Winnipeg City Council, desperate for development during an economic recession, closed Portage and Main to force pedestrian traffic into an underground mall in exchange for an office tower from a Toronto real estate developer.
Today, downtown is the home of the Winnipeg Jets, the SHED, and True North Square, the largest private development in downtown’s history. Nearly 20,000 people live and work near Portage and Main and the new developments in The Exchange District, Waterfront Drive, and The Forks will bring hundreds of new residents to the area.
Removing the barriers at Portage and Main and opening the intersection to pedestrian foot traffic will create new economic opportunity and tax revenue, and make our iconic intersection a welcoming and accessible place for us and our children.
On October 24 vote Yes on opening Portage and Main, and invest in a city and a downtown that future generations of Winnipeggers will be proud of.
P&M by the Numbers
A quick look at some of the most important facts and figures around this discussion:
- 24: The average number of minutes in a Winnipeg commute.
- 18: The average number of seconds added to a morning rush hour commute after pedestrians are reintroduced.
- 54: The average number of seconds added to an afternoon rush hour commute after pedestrians are reintroduced.
- 6,200: The number of cars that pass through the intersection at peak rush hour.
- 9: The average number of minutes it takes to cross using a wheelchair in the underground.
- 4: The number of elevators someone must use when crossing underground in a wheelchair.
- 2: The number of ramps someone must use when crossing underground in a wheelchair.
- 400: The number of meters someone who can’t navigate stairs must travel to cross the street when the office buildings are closed.
- 4 million: Number of people attending events downtown every year.
- 800,000: Number of tourists that come to Winnipeg from outside of Manitoba each year.
- 110,000: Number of people who live, work or study downtown every day.
- 17,000: The number of downtown residents, up from 9,000 in the 1970’s.
- 15,000: The number of people who work within 100 meters of Portage and Main.
- 2,300: Number of hotel rooms downtown, with two more hotels under construction including one on Portage Avenue East.
- 2,000: The number of pedestrian crossings at Portage and Main anticipated by the City of Winnipeg in the busiest one hour of the day.
- 600: The number of new residents living Winnipeg’s tallest building (42 stories) under construction a block away from Portage and Main.
- 3 billion: The number of dollars invested in downtown Winnipeg in the last decade.
- 82: The number of City of Winnipeg capital projects currently underway with a value of more than $5-million.
- 6.1 million: The anticipated construction cost to remove the barriers. This includes $2.3 million contingency to cover cost overruns.