Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Don't fear the chain store

Here is an article I wrote that appears in this week's edition of The Uniter (which will be on stands tomorrow):

[...] With more done to make Sherbrook an enjoyable place to walk along, and less of an obnoxious funnel to speed south-end commuters through, there would be more pedestrians and businesses, not to mention an increase in the quality of life for the surrounding neighbourhoods.

Still, destructive traffic engineering does not seem to be the biggest concern amongst local residents. One commenter on my blog recently pointed out that Subway will be the first chain store on the corner of Westminster and Sherbrook, a fact that is “getting everyone down.” While I don’t want to depress moods further, isn’t the Salvation Army thrift store across the street a continent-wide chain? Possibly, but maybe not the type Naomi Klein warned you about.

What gets me down is seeing what many of Winnipeg’s once viable commercial streets have become after years of abandonment. Ellice and Sargent struggle, Provencher snoozes on its potential, and North Main and Selkirk Avenue have practically ceased to exist.

A Subway opening up on Sherbrook is good news. While Mom’s Deli or Pop’s Hardware often add colour to a neighbourhood where chain stores simply add sameness, most neighbourhood strips in Winnipeg’s centre don’t have the luxury of choosing between the two. Any meaningful commercial establishment that wants to open up is something of a small victory against urban malignancy. Continued...]


Soul-destroying globalized capitalism touches down at the corner of Graham and Kennedy St., giving pedestrians another place to walk to. Photo by Wintorbos

3 Comments:

Blogger Steve said...

Great article!

6:06 PM  
Blogger Ian said...

I guess some people would rather see a muddy hole in the Sherbrook streetscape. "Darnit, this will add at least seven seconds to my walk to Food Fare!"

Amen! to the last couple of articles. Keep it up.

12:55 PM  
Blogger urbandude said...

Your analysis is a bit off.

Its not one way vs two way, or restrictions versus no restrictions.

its Location, Location. And Corydon is Corydon because of location. Look at the socio-economic demographics of the area. And then look at the same stats of the people driving through.

You will have your answer.

9:27 PM  

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