Vinnie & Twy

Where – Is – The – Bus Depot?

In bitching, Bullshit Winnipeg, Uncategorized on October 1, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Really, what the—–? Noticed it gone yesterday. It’s true. I had no idea. I was totally shocked. Had to do a bit of googling to find out what happened to it.

Turns out it is at the new airport now. Why? That’s a stupid place to put a bus depot. Why didn’t they put it in the half empty train station? At least then it would stay downtown and remain somewhat convenient.

Google also told me that there has been a bit of controversy about some 40 year lease and Greyhound extorting 15 million dollars from the Province. Whatever. I don’t actually care to look into that very much at all, although I’m sure it would be very interesting.
eatons_prior_lge
To me the bigger tragedy is the abandonment of Winnipeg’s downtown. Mayor Norrie started this craptacular idea of ruining our downtown, and for the last 30 years, everyone at the City just follows along. Portage Place was the beginning of the end.

When I first went downtown by myself as a kid, it was freakin’ awe inspiring. The streets were jammed with fancy career girls with their done-hair and their high heeled shoes, men in suits and everything all lit up. I walked into Eaton’s and on the main floor everything was displayed like it was worth a million bucks. I felt so small. All the ladies accessories were kept in those glass cases and a well heeled shop girl would take things out one at a time and show them to you and tell you all about it. In those magical days, the Eaton’s ladies treated everyone, even me, like a high roller. I bought a hair clip and a really beautiful scarf.

Then they built Portage Place, the independent shops all closed and Eaton’s went away. The haves moved out to the new developments taking their disposable income with them. Downtown has been left to the havenots and Manitoba Housing. The major players in this town have been forced underground and the scum has risen to the top. I don’t care what you want to think or what you say, that is the reality of our City.

Winnipeg was known for being home to the most beautiful prostitutes in the country for over a hundred years until they were all pushed out in the 1980’s. And now? Oh, we’re still famous in certain circles for our prostitutes, but we are the City with the best deals on child prostitutes. Feeling proud? I bet.

I am constantly hearing City officials whine about wanting to improve this dump of a city. But, when Mayor Murray tried to lure us back to downtown with his street festivals and beautifications, we rode him out of town on a rail. Lately, we try to copy the more popular places, like Vancouver and Toronto by adding dangerous bike lanes and the ridiculous riverwalk. Then they wonder how to attract big box stores to downtown. Are they daft? Are they new here? Winnipeggers are not about cycling or walking through dangerous neighborhoods to soak up the scenery. This is a place with deep snow and ice all winter and boiling, bloody hot summers.

We need to start admitting what kind of people we Winnipeggers are and embrace it. We can quit trying to follow L.A. fashion, it’s too cold here. Winnipeg is and always has been, a rock and roll town. We’re a prairie town and we act like one. We love to work our asses off so that our kids can have a fun childhood. We have kick ass house parties and we are not a quiet place. There’s a number of ways that we are different than the rest of the country.

We ride bikes; we don’t cycle.
We visit; we don’t network.
We bundle up in the wintertime and we go to the bar.
We love our bonfires, we smoke, we drink, we play with our kids, we toboggan and on the weekend, we take our 4 wheel drives to the floodway.

We should just roll with it and then we’ll have less confusion about how to plan our City. It’ll just happen naturally.

Neil Young said it best, “Come on baby, let’s go downtown.”

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  1. Oh my Gawd what a wonderful true artical. I really could relate to the awh of Eatons, it was amazing to walk through. In fact years back I was a waitress but on some of my days off, I use to dress up in a suit and walk with brief case just to pretend I was one of those business people. You could easily take the “downtown” mention out of your writing and replace it with the spirit of people in general. The Bus depot was the last breath taken to the frail beating heart of Winnipeg. What a shame.

  2. It’s even more sinister and ugly than You thought! The filthy hounds at Greyhound threatened to stop servicing rural markets on the prairies all together(sticking strictly to the trans-Canada).AND they’ve reserved the right to go back to the well at any time.And if You think that knocking Eaton’s to build that motley monument to the corporate-type greed that fills the pockets of Chipman, Katz and cronies so admirably,WAIT till You see what happens now that they managed to buy a study saying that what’s wrong with downtown is a lack of parking.By the time these greedheads are done looting and pillaging, we”ll be changing “Winnipeg” to “Shindico Heights”It’s no wonder that people,(especially young people),are leaving in droves.Let’s face it:what kind of people take the bus?The working poor,mainly,who will now be faced with the onerous task of getting to the airport to get on a Greyhound.Where were their champions?Where were the people they elected to HELP them?Doer was busy currying personal favour with the Bush admin.(making speeches about his having no problem with MANITOBANS being jailed for possessing or growing small amounts of the killer herb.Saying WE should be trying to be more like the Americans!?!?!?!?!?!?Clamp down hard on those evil pot smokers!!!! Here’s a news flash:I don’t want to be anything like my American brothers and sisters!!!(As much as I love some of them)! I want the Manitoba and Canada I used to know back.I want to live in a place known for it’s COMPASSION.You spoke earlier about Hydro,and their no shut-off in winter policies.Did You know that that policy has been rescinded,and that they can now shut anyone off anytime,or even more shitty,leave You hooked up,but limit the AMOUNT of power to your house.(Leave enough so You can huddle around a single space heater with your family,then unplug it to boil a pack of noodles to share)!I used to be disgusted,then I was just amused,now I’m disillusioned….Some days very much so. Cheers! Ernie B

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