Manitoba

'Miracle' worker senior shovels city sidewalk in front of dozens of homes

Henry Dueck wants bare pavement for his wife, who's in a wheelchair

Crescent Park shoveller 1:26

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A Winnipeg senior is going above and beyond to make sure the sidewalk on Buxton Road is clear and walkable.

Henry Dueck, 76, takes it upon himself to shovel the city sidewalk in front of dozens of homes.

"I think there are just under 50 houses on this street, and then of course I do the green space also when I get to it," said Dueck.

Like many Winnipeggers, Dueck was out shovelling after Wednesday's heavy snowfall.

Dueck, who lives in the Crescent Park neighbourhood, isn't one to let the snow build up and get packed down.

He is meticulous with his shovelling responsibilities. Dueck will tell any passerby that he isn't done his winter chore until the concrete is bare.

Dueck has many reasons for being so particular. He has had both of his hips replaced and his wife — who has multiple sclerosis — uses a wheelchair to get around.

Dueck takes his duties one step farther than the average city dweller. He actually shovels the sidewalk on the entire block on his side of the street.

Dueck takes it slow though, a couple of hours at a time, spread out over a few days, and jokes that there is a silver lining to all of the heavy lifting.

"I don't get paid so I don't have to meet any deadlines."

Henry Dueck clearing

Henry Dueck clears the sidewalk in front of almost 50 houses on his block every time it snows. (CBC)

After retiring from commercial real estate almost a decade ago, Dueck has been a really reliable neighbour for the block.

Sandy Stayner lives a few doors down on the opposite side of the street and called Dueck a "miracle."

"I give him heck for not shovelling my side," she joked, as the two discussed the best options for keeping ice off front steps.

Dueck does offer up that as much as he enjoys the fresh air and exercise, he has started to guilt some of the neighbours farther down the road into clearing in front of their properties, so he and his wife can go for their evening walks without the fear of falling.

The city of Winnipeg does not require residents to clear snow off sidewalks in front of their homes. Edmonton, Toronto and Saskatoon do require residents to do it themselves.