I got a chance for a bird’s-eye view of the heart of the city on Saturday!
As part of the Doors Open Winnipeg event the Arts Space venue at 100 Arthur Street allowed access to their roof top. Visitors were free to walk around and take photos of the Exchange District from a very unique point of view.
This is the Crocus Building which houses the Crocus Investment Company, the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and the Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers. It used to belong to the Ashdown Hardware Company as you can see from the white letters still etched on the brick near the roof top. Mr. James Ashdown, a former Winnipeg mayor built it in 1905 to use as a hardware store. It replaced an earlier building erected in 1870 which burned down in 1904.
I live in a condo in the Ashdown Warehouse where Mr. Ashdown stored the goods he sold, not only in Winnipeg but all across western Canada. Here is my building tucked in between two other buildings.
The Cube is the focal point of the park in Old Market Square a popular venue for outdoor summer concerts in the Exchange District. The Cube is a performance stage that opened in 2010 and was built at a cost of $1.2 million. During the Winnipeg Jazz Festival and the Fringe Festival the park is alive with performers and people.
The distinctive Confederation Building was built in 1912 in the Chicago style of architecture and was occupied by the Confederation Life Association for over 50 years.
The popular Kings Head Pub and Eatery is housed in a building erected in 1896 as a trading centre for hides, wool and furs. In 1906 it became home to a German language press which published 20,000 copies of the paper Der Nordwestern weekly. After serving as offices for an airline and a radio and television wholesaler it became a restaurant in 1983.
The new Red River Community College Paterson Global Foods Institute will be housed in the old Union Tower Building which is currently being renovated and added on to. The new facilities will have a student residence and be home to the college’s hospitality and culinary programs. I am looking forward to having the students living in the Exchange District and adding to our resident population. The facility will also house a restaurant that will be open to the public.
The Travelers Building was constructed in 1907 as a headquarters for a union of traveling salesmen that was founded in 1882. It housed offices, meeting rooms, lounges and recreation facilities including a Turkish bath. In 1954 it became the home of federal government offices and in 1976 was redeveloped into a shopping center with specialty shops, galleries and a restaurant currently housing the Peasant Cookery.
I have been doing lots of walking in the Exchange District since moving here in July and have seen much of it from on the ground. Thanks to Arts Space I was able to get a view from above on Saturday that gave me a different perspective on the neighborhood I now call home.
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