Manitoba

Portage Place marks 25th year

It's been 25 years since Portage Place first opened its doors in downtown Winnipeg, heralded as a saviour that would bring people back to the city's centre.

Portage Place turns 25

9 years ago
2:08
Winnipeg's largest downtown shopping mall turns 25 years old, but has it improved Portage Avenue? 2:08

It's been 25 years since Portage Place first opened its doors in downtown Winnipeg, heralded as a saviour that would bring people back to the city's centre.

Opening day


Watch the CBC News broadcast from Sept. 17, 1987.

Built as a partnership between the city, province and the federal governments, the mall was conceived as a solution to stop the downtown decay.

During the 1980s Portage Avenue was in decline as suburban malls and free parking pulled away the crowds.

For the construction of the mall, three city blocks of buildings were demolished between Colony and Carlton Streets.

Shoppers crowded Portage Place on opening day, but the mall has struggled ever since to retain that popularity. (CBC)

A year after Portage Place opened, the hope it would save downtown was already fading. The mall became a hangout for teens as the business crowd fled downtown after 5:30 p.m.

It continues to have its ups and downs, attracting new tenants but losing others and often juggling vacant storefronts and incidents of violence

But Dave Stone, the mall's general manager, believes it has attracted more people to the downtown and he remains optimistic the city centre will continue to change for the better, especially with more development like the MTS Centre, condo units and more parkades.

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