Manitoba

St. Boniface 'selfie spot' proposal faces funding delay

A Winnipeg councillor's bid to establish the best "selfie spot" in the city has hit a snag, as a committee has opted to find money for the Tache Promenade project in next year's budget.

City committee recommends finding funds for Tache Promenade project in 2016 budget

A nighttime view of downtown Winnipeg, including the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, where the Tower of Hope is visible in the night sky. (Bert Savard/CBC)

A Winnipeg councillor's bid to establish the best "selfie spot" in the city has hit a snag, as a committee has opted to find money for the project in next year's budget.

St. Boniface Coun. Matt Allard has been promoting a project called the Tache Promenade as a prime spot for viewing — and photographing — the city skyline.

The promenade would include a walkway, some public art and a lookout tower built on the St.Boniface side of the Red River, overlooking the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and The Forks as well as downtown highrises.

Allard had hoped to secure money for the project, slated to cost $4.4 million, from the sale of a city yard in St. Boniface.

As well, he said the Winnipeg Foundation has verbally committed $1 million to build the tower.

However, council's property and planning committee voted on Tuesday to recommend finding money for the project in the 2016 city budget.

Allard says he's now worried the Winnipeg Foundation's promise to build the lookout tower could disappear if the project is delayed.

"This is the iconic site that you see on every postcard. This is an economic development and a tourism opportunity for Winnipeg…. Also, a lot of it is basic infrastructure, riverbank stabilization stuff that we should be doing as a city anyway," he said.

"I think the time is now if we don't want to lose this money from the Winnipeg Foundation."

City staff have identified only $700,000 in funding for the Tache Promenade project so far.

Councillors on the committee initially rejected Allard's proposal of using money from the sale of an old city works yard in the 800 block of Tache Avenue. The city hopes to realize $1.9 million in the sale of the property.

That afternoon, the committee voted in favour of providing 25 per cent of proceeds from that sale to fund the Promenade Tache project, as long as other levels of government step up with funding as well.

Allard said he understands the city is dealing with budget constraints this year, and he remains confident the project will go ahead.

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