For many years I took the #17 bus from Wolseley to downtown. I boarded in front of the Misericordia Health Centre and got off on Graham Avenue. In my quest to ride all Winnipeg Transit routes, I am going to start with this route. It is time I found out where it goes from downtown.
Starting at Misericordia Health Centre the bus moves down Sherbrook Street to Broadway. No matter where you look, you will find a restaurant: from sushi to Subway, from The Nook to Stella's, Indian, Danish, vegan, fondue. You won't go hungry on this street. We head down West Broadway to the Legislature, then we turn down Memorial and head to The Bay and the Graham Transit Mall. Turning on Fort Street the bus heads across Portage Avenue and turns on Notre Dame. You can get off at Albert Street to visit The Exchange or The Burton Cummings Theatre. Heading down Notre Dame we turn onto Isabel (the street of many names...Osborne, Memorial, Balmoral, Isabel, Salter) You could get off and stop at Bueno Brothers Supermarket for some Filipino specialties. Before crossing the Slaw Rebchuk Bridge I saw Freight House Community Centre housed in a fantastic old building. You really need to get off the bus and walk down the side of the building to see the old loading docks that now house the different activities that take place in the building--- a drop-in centre, sports, bingo, among many others.
Crossing the Slaw Rebchuk Bridge it is easy to understand why people want to see the CP Rail yards relocated to outside the city. They stretch from this bridge to the Arlington Street Bridge and beyond. From the top of the bridge you see nothing but rail yards as you look west.
|CP Rail Yards looking West from Slaw Rebchuk Bridge.|
We are now on Salter Street but soon turn to Dufferin Avenue. If you like fish and seafood, you will love Dufferin Avenue. Here you have Marine Neptune Fish and Gimli Fish Market. Well worth the trip.
|You can't miss the brightly painted Neptune Fish store.|
At the Gimli Fish Market the bus turns on to McGregor. At 374 McGregor I saw New Line Furniture - The Stool Professionals. Neat....if I need bar stools I'll know where to go.
The street is looking a little tired at this point-lots of boarded up buildings including Alycia's Restaurant. As you approach Inkster Boulevard things change. It is now a pleasant residential neighborhood.
The bus turns on Leila, a wide divided roadway lined by neat, well-kept houses, and heads to Garden City Shopping Centre. It pulls into a bus loop there. Then it is out and across McPhillips to Seven Oaks Hospital and the Wellness Institute. Now the bus heads either to Amber Trails or Maples (the route is the same - just goes in opposite directions and returns to Seven Oaks Hospital).
On Watson Street in the Maples, there is a group of town houses called Dial-A-Life Housing. These provide homes for aboriginal families facing end stage renal failure. They have to come to Winnipeg from their home communities for dialysis. Here they have safe, affordable housing in the city. I love learning new things about this city.
The "end" point of the route is across from Maples Collegiate on Jefferson and Adsum. We wait here a few minutes before continuing.
In the Amber Trails area I see huge homes, many with 3 car garages, with nothing but bare fields beyond. These are the type of houses I think of in Linden Woods or Island Lakes. I did not associate them with the North of Winnipeg. I am quite excited to have my blinders removed and to see my city in a new way....thanks to Winnipeg Transit!
The bus heads back into the bus loop at Garden City and then follows the same route on the return trip. On Isabel the bus turns up McDermot to Main Street. This provides another opportunity to stop in The Exchange. After turning onto Main Street, it crosses Portage Avenue and again turns onto Graham Avenue. From there it is down to The Bay, over to the Legislature and down West Broadway to Maryland. I was back to the Misericordia Health Centre.
I started my trip at 10:19 AM and returned at 12:12 PM. We reached the mid-point at Maples Collegiate at 11:11 AM. Time well spent. Hop on a bus and go somewhere, you'll be surprised what you find!
NEXT: Route #77 - Crosstown North. Just imagine the most circular, indirect, out-of-the-way route between Polo Park and Kildonan Place.