I can’t really wrap my head around it, but not so very long ago, this was the Forks. Winnipeg only started redeveloping it in 1989(!)
Hard to imagine, right? It’s such an iconic piece of our city now, that when I think of it, all I see is this:
With one exception – the massive gravel parking lots, aka Parcel 4 and the Railside area. I know that they get filled up sometimes, when Canada Day and New Year’s Eve rolls around. But realistically, most of the time they’re a big fat eyesore next door to the best public space in the whole country. Kind of a shame. And finally, that looks like it might change! After the waterpark got a thumbs-down, The Forks has been leading a planning process to figure out what should go there, and a few days ago they revealed their preliminary concepts. Here’s what this parking lot could change into in a few short years….drumroll….
The whole area is beautifully green looking, but filled with projects designed to make sure it’s appealing & full of people. That includes high-rise residential, main floors that will encourage pedestrians like places to get food, retail shops, galleries, artisan or cultural spaces. There’s a terraced park and an urban plaza for the public. There will be an area reserved for a future cultural or community space, and in one of my favourite details, land will be reserved for public art. (and yes, there are going to be a couple of parkades)
It’s not 100% yet, but it looks like this plan has a lot of support. It got the thumbs-up from a civic committee yesterday, and personally, I’m pulling for it (that’s got to count for something, right?) You can check out more of the concepts at the their website here. It’s SUCH a dramatic change that it’s hard to even wrap your head around how quickly this could happen – but then again, if I’d seen the picture of the Forks in the 80’s, I don’t think I could have imagined what it would be today.
So tell me – what do you think of the plan for The Forks?