Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Victoria Park Memorial
It was two years ago that our labour history proposal for rejuvenating the memory of Victoria Park was being prepared for Winnipeg City Hall presentation.
The committee of Council responsible for planning and development selected a bid for a hotel complex to be built near the site from Senator Rod Zimmer. It never got off the ground as Zimmer reportedly said the time was not right for getting the financial commitments needed to build the complex.
There was also some coverage in the press about a proposal to use the old pumping station (to the south of Victoria Park) as a farmers market but there has been no details shared publicly on what could develop.
The Red River Basin Commission also wanted the Harbour masters building also but apparently they could not raise the funds needed for a major office and information centre proposal they put forward. They were talking about a partnership with Senator Zimmer at one point but nothing came of it. The ED of the Commission claimed there was also room for our historical content, but he could never find the time to meet with us to talk about our contribution to their proposal.
Currently, there is a restaurant group that has an option on the Harbour Masters building, but no detail of who is involved and what could develop is being made public.
In the agreement to sell the land that was once Victoria Park to Sky Waterfront Condominiums, there was also a requirement that the new condominium building include some kind of commemoration of the park. This has not been done.
So it seems Victoria Park continues to be shunted into the dark corners of history. While our proposal may have been weak on financing and management, it was the best proposal so far for developing the area around Victoria Park so that all Winnipeggers could benefit.
We continue to monitor what CentreVenture is or is not doing with the land around Victoria Park.