Home Dreams: Winnipeg Renovation Show Runs January 13-15

If you are attending the Winnipeg Renovation Show this weekend at the RBC Convention Centre, you’ve already thought about all the things you would like to change, tweak, and move around in your home. Have you taken a look downtown for shops and suppliers that could make your dream home come true? Lucky for you, downtown Winnipeg can offer some great retailers and businesses focused on ways to take your space from drab to fab.

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  1. Colour Us Excited

Picking the colour for a room can help set the tone for the space. Will you go bold or keep it traditional? Whatever you’re thinking for your reno or refresh, visit Western Paint for the latest on trends and colours. They now offer a decor centre carrying modern flooring options; wallcovering, wall murals and decals; and a variety of hardware – over and above their expansive line of Benjamin Moore paints and stroke-of-genius staff.

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Have a piece of furniture that you want to refinish? Maybe a treasured piece that needs to be brought up to date? Western Paint now houses a spray booth which means anyone can easily refinish a beloved piece of furniture using just about any colour under the sun – and it can even save you money on costly kitchen cabinet upgrades. The solid lacquer job can refurbish dated cabinets, doors, chairs or tables with a clean, custom finish.

  1. Can You Hear Me Now?

The pursuit of sound and the crystal clear projection of that sound means multiple devices throughout our homes competing for speakers. American HiFi are your downtown experts for what your ears crave. From home theatre to audio to custom designing a system for your space, they have the answers and equipment for the discerning audiophile.

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  1. Kitchen Party

The heart of the home. It’s all about the kitchen. It’s where to sip that morning coffee or tea, daydream, cook dinners, make lunches, and plan dinner party menus. And sometimes it needs a refresh. You don’t have to break the bank but you do want to set out a plan to make your dream kitchen come true. Kitchen Designs on Cumberland will take your dated kitchen and create a fresh, warm space where you can create memories and recipes for years to come.

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Have fun at the show this weekend and let us know how our members can help with your next design dream! For more information on shopping downtown visit downtownwinnipegbiz.com.

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The Tours are back in town!

With the warm weather coming in full force, I’m finally starting to feel the winter chill in my bones fade away. What this means for us Winnipeggers: a whole season of great outdoor activities! This week I thought I’d share something I’m most excited to take part in this summer.

The Downtown Tours, hosted by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, are a super fun way to explore my favourite part of the city—downtown! This year there’s more restaurants, more dates, and more delicious tastes to discover!

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A Moveable Feast: BYOB: Bring Your Own Bike and cycle to various restaurants and coffee shops around downtown. Your $40 ticket price will get you coffee samplings and appetizers at five different restaurants in one night. New to the tours this year is The Planit, you can look forward to their board game nights on Wednesdays!

Tap In: If you like to end your day with a cold glass of beer, you’ll want to get in on this tour right away! For $30, you receive a different beer at each restaurant as well as appetizer samplings. Favourite tour stop Garbonzo’s Pizza Pub holds a trivia night every Wednesday if you’re looking to add a little competition to your after-work drinks.

Patio Crawl: Patio season is so short, which is why you need this tour. For $30, you get access to a plethora of patios plus one drink of your choosing and shared appetizers. The pizza at Carbone is so good, it’s life-changing! And I guarantee you’ll be doubling back for more zah this summer.

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Winnipeg Wine: This tour might be my favourite! At each stop, you’ll get to sample two different wines from the restaurant’s selection and try some small bites pairings. One of the stops is at The Loft Salon, so you may be able to get a little hairdo touch up while you enjoy your wine. Tickets start at $75 (for an individual) and for $285 you have the option of touring all four restaurants and spending a night’s stay for two at one of downtown’s luxury hotels.

The Breakfast Club: There’s no Molly Ringwald or Judd Nelson, but this tour is still one you won’t be forgetting any time soon! For $30, it’s the whole Sunday brunch experience plus a little added cardio as you walk from restaurant to restaurant trying different breakfast samplings at each stop. Whether you’re a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, or a criminal this is tour is a great stop!

Downtown Flashback: If you’re looking to get out of the office during your lunch break, this free tour is a great option to learn some interesting facts about our city’s architectural history. Tours start at 12pm at Air Canada Park and end around 12:45pm.

All of the tours (expect Downtown Flashback) can take up to 40 people, so get your group of friends together for a night, or morning, on the town. It’s always fun to find new places to eat, and these tours will let you to sample a variety of options so you know what to order next time! Book your tickets today–I know I will!

Guess who’s going to live Sky high?

SkyCity Centre just opened its sales centre on Garry St., and I couldn’t help myself but stop in for a peek! As many of you know, I love to shop downtown – so naturally, I left the sales centre with a 1 bedroom, 651 sq. ft. unit – oops!16964-FOR-SKY-Floorplan-Inserts_GARRY-(1)

The space has a 50 sq. ft. balcony, too – can’t wait to relax on one of my Eames chairs and take in the gorgeous view of downtown’s emerging skyline. What really sold me was the extensive list of amenities; there are 30,000 sq. ft. of them, all available exclusively to residents. The 8th floor features a gym, stretching room, hot tubs, a dog run and more. There’s2015September15__DIL0480
a movie theatre, huge lounge area and private dining room for dinner parties on the 45th floor. As the highest building in Winnipeg, this will be an amazing place to watch fireworks on Canada Day!

SkyCity Centre Winnipeg will be located at 245 Graham Ave. between Garry Street and Fort Street, just one block north of the new MTS Centre (home of the Winnipeg Jets), and flanked by a transit only street to the west. This iconic building will have a striking design created by award-winning Kirkor Architects and will become the postcard shot for downtown Winnipeg. The typical suites range from 529 sf to 1,003 sf, with larger combination suites available up to 1,600 sf. Units are now on sale and start from the $190s.

I’d love for you to be my neighbour! Visit skycitywinnipeg.ca for more information and to view the floorplans, standard suite features, artist’s renderings of common amenities and much more!2015September15__DIL0020

I’m going back to biking

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I used to cycle every day to work, and then when we had a rainy spring, I started to slack a bit. I mean a lot. I got a stack of bus tickets and spent my commute in the cozy confines of the bus with my phone on playing Candy Crush, or even driving to work some days. But now that’s it’s gorgeously sunny out again, I really don’t have any excuse…and then two things happened the other day to get me off my couch.

One, I got to chatting with the super-fit @MsBehavior and @lindsayhamel on twitter about starting up a bike commuter school for people who want to try cycling downtown. (FYI, those two can get you excited about ANYTHING fitness related!) And two, someone sent me this video.

They reminded me of just how freeing commuting on a bike here can be. No, the bike lanes in Winnipeg aren’t perfect yet, and I make sure to wear a helmet – BUT I can change my plans or my route at the drop of a hat, and that’s pretty liberating. Answered one more email and stayed at the office too late? No worries, my bike didn’t leave without me, and I don’t have to refill the parking on the bike rack. York closed because of the RBC Convention Centre construction? Hop off my bike on the corner and walk along the sidewalk – maybe 30 seconds lost. Want to make a TGIF stop with a friend? Easy to make a detour. So as of yesterday, I’m back to biking.

Any fellow cycling commuters out there? Why do you ride to work? (or home, or out for fun?) And if you haven’t tried it yet, would you come out to bike commuter school?

The Avenue is back!

It’s been so long since I saw the Avenue Building looking so fresh and new, I almost can’t believe the day is finally here! Today was the official opening day for the new Avenue building, with offices on the main floor and apartments for 3 stories up.

I’ve gotten a sneak peek or two behind the scaffolding, but event that didn’t prepare me for what a major change there was to the main floor. I’m kind of glad they didn’t reveal it until now – it’s a big surprise!

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s what it looked like before…

…and what it looks like today:

 First thought? I wasn’t expecting the main floor to be so uber-modern, and I have to say I love the contrast with the more traditional brick on the upper floors! It’s a great mix of old and new coming together. I especially like the lit-up building name & address in the posts.

Second, the main floor is so OPEN. I think it’s so important to have buildings that feel like they interact with the street, not block it off, and the wide-open glass here does that. It adds life to the sidewalk when you can see happenings inside from outside, and vice versa. The balconies add to that too – the lucky people who manage to snag an apartment there are going to have a great view of the city!

What do you guys think about the new building design? To give you more food for thought, a mini-sneak peek of the press conference from the Winnipeg Free Press:

Mag Time

I’m excited to announce that the winter 2010/2011 issue of Downtown Winnipeg Magazine is now out!

Inside, you’ll find tons and tons of great gift ideas; fantastic comfort food recipes from some of your favourite restaurants; festive drink ideas; and of course, my favourite part, a guide to shopping for everyone on your list this holiday season courtesy of yours truly. (Check out page 32!)

The magazine hits Winnipeg Liquor Marts across the city today and is now available in the downtown walkway system holders. Also look for them in many of your favourite downtown businesses next week. And you can always get a copy by stopping by the Downtown BIZ office at 426 Portage Avenue.

You can check out a PDF version by clicking on the cover shot below. (That delicious looking hot chocolate and cake are from Dessert Sinsations on St. Mary Avenue. So divine!)

And there are a couple of things happening this weekend, I wanted to bring to your attention.

If you’re in the market for a new apartment, check out the following open houses that are coming up. (Take note of the awesome prizes up for grabs!)

Hargrave Place
33 Hargrave Street
Sunday, November 7, 1pm-4pm
All approved applicants that apply through the open house will have their names entered to win 1 of 3 $500 Best Buy gift cards.

Residence on York
160 Smith Street
Sunday, November 21, 1pm-4pm
All approved applicants that apply through the open house will have their names entered to win 1 of 3 Apple iPads.

And, here are some details on the United Way garage sale happening this weekend. Cool stuff, a good cause–you can’t go wrong!

Winnipeg’s (possibly Canada’s, maybe even the world’s) BIGGEST Garage Sale
Saturday, Nov 6, 8am–4pm, Winnipeg Convention Centre

Includes 50,000 sq feet of donated goods (including merchandise from Rona, Canadian Tire, etc.) for sale with proceeds going to the United Way of Winnipeg. Admission is $2, with kids 6 and under free.

Live and let live

This is going to be a short post today. I just wanted to bring to your attention a little slice of downtown life and let you know about an open house happening this weekend. The Fairchild Lofts on Princess Street will be opening their doors this Sunday from 1pm-3pm to show off five awesome suites ranging in size from a 911 sq ft 1-bedroom unit priced at $204,900 to a 1604 sq ft former display unit priced at $379,900.

The Fairchild Lofts were actually built in 1907 as the original John Deere headquarters (hey, that’s kind of cool). They were renovated in 2005 and now include a gym, outdoor patio with barbeque, outdoor parkade, and underground parking.

If you’ve ever dreamed about being in the heart of downtown, here’s your chance to see what it might be like. Imagine being able to walk to all kinds of fantastic restaurants, the theatre, the MTS Centre, and bars. You’ll never have to worry about cab fare again!

Fairchild Lofts
110 Princess Street
Open house: Sunday, October 24, 1-3pm