Manitoba

Going green and opening Portage and Main: Winnipeg architecture firm makes New Year's resolutions

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions many people purchase a gym membership or buy a ticket for the dream vacation, but one architecture firm has some even larger goals in mind.

HTFC Planning and Design says it’s time to active the city’s love for winter

Monica Giesbrecht, , a partner with HTFC Planning and Design, says it's time to embrace winter in Winnipeg. (CBC)

When it comes to New Year's resolutions many people purchase a gym membership or buy a ticket for the dream vacation, but one architecture firm has some even loftier goals in mind.

HTFC Planning and Design has a plan to design the City of Winnipeg to foster a sense of community.

"This year we were looking around and thinking about the upcoming year and how to further help and activate the citizens of Winnipeg in enjoying and appreciating their city," said Monica Giesbrecht, a partner with HTFC.

"So in addition to that we wanted to think about how our office could help that happen so we came up with 10 things that we would like to work towards in the next year."

The firm's New Year's resolutions include activating the city's love for winter. For 2017, Giesbrecht said they envision opening up opportunities for winter tourism and bringing back the Winter Carnival which took places at the legislature in the 1920s.

"Celebrating being a winter city means accepting and loving the cold," Giesbrecht said.

"I think that's finding and making places comfortable for people. So micro climate [changes, like] activating spaces with amenities that help you be outside for a little while then inside again."

Other resolutions include going green, using design to inspire people to spend time outside and reaching out to the community to share more public art.

Opening up Portage and Main

The biggest goal for the new year is opening up Portage and Main, Giesbrecht said.

"We've been thinking a lot about how important that is as a signal for civic life in Winnipeg and also for tourists who come to Winnipeg to really figure out that Portage and Main is not this place that is uninhabited… that Portage and Main truly is the heart of that part of the city," she said.

However, Giesbrecht said her biggest wish for Winnipeg in 2017 is already underway.

"My biggest wish is that at various levels and different parts of the city people realize that we are a great city," she said.

To read more of the resolutions visit the HTFC website.

With files from Samuel Rancourt