Friday, September 21, 2012

Route 55 St Anne's

Winnipeg has been buzzing this week with the story of the Transit driver who got off the bus, on a cold morning, and gave his shoes to a barefoot man on the sidewalk. I wish I had been on that bus! It remains to be seen if my trip will have any of that kind of drama.

Too bad my bus driver on the the #17 was not as good hearted as that other driver. There was a woman on the bus who was trying to get off and transfer to the #20 which was just in front of us. She got off the bus and rushed to the #20, but it pulled away, so she rushed back to our bus. This happened at three stops. Our bus driver could have honked to alert the driver of the #20--drivers do this all the time--but he didn't. Finally in front of the Legislature, she managed to make the transfer.

I got off the #17 at The Bay and walked to the The University of Winnipeg Terminal on Spence St. to begin my journey on the Route #55 St Anne's. At least that is the terminus listed on the bus schedule. When I got there, I was greeted with this sign:
The sign said the new terminal would be in front of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Luckily I looked at the map and saw that the #55 stopped on Portage Avenue just across the street from the U of W, so I didn't have to hike all the way to the Art Gallery. I had just enough time to get to the Portage Avenue stop.

Most of us are familiar with the sights along Portage Avenue. But things have been brightened up by the placement of "marble" sculptures along the median. I think the best grouping is just across from the MTS Centre.

Some even have plants growing out of them!

There are other changes on Portage Avenue: the construction of the new complex across from the MTS Centre and about two blocks closer to Main St, I see the Avenue on Portage, a new condo development with the balconies looking over the Avenue. The condos are very small with partitions between the living area and the "bedroom". These are definitely for young professionals who spend all their time at work or in the clubs. Not for someone who spends a lot of time at home.

 At the corner of Portage and Main, the bus turns south and we pass one of my favourite building in Winnipeg, The Victory Building at 269 Main Street. It houses some Government of Canada offices.

Looking east towards the Forks, the skyline is dominated by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights...still unfinished. Today they added the last glass panel to the exterior, on the Tower of Hope. It is gigantic! I think it is out of proportion to its surroundings. The top of that tower is higher than the Golden Boy on the Legislative Building.

We also pass Union Station and the Upper Fort Gary Gate. The lots surrounding the gate and wall are still empty. No developments as yet.

The route crosses both the Assiniboine and Red Rivers. I could get off at Marion Street to visit Saint Boniface. I was expecting to see the Poulin's Exterminators building on my right...but it is gone! That building with the bug on the side has been there forever. Now it is a huge Santa Lucia Pizza restaurant. That was a surprise!

The bus heads along St Mary's Road until you come to the divide where St Anne's road goes off to the left and St Mary's continues straight ahead. Within a few blocks I spotted the brightly painted Mikes General Store. It sells collectables and antiques.  A fun place to visit.

Somewhere along the way we picked up one of the most frequent travelers on Winnipeg buses in the late summer and early autumn....the WASP....and I do mean the flying insect!  I used to "worry" when I encountered a wasp on the bus. But I have learned to ignore them. This wasp was very interested in the hair of a woman sitting in front of me. Her hair was what I could best describe as a modified Afro....instead of being big and curly, it was big and straight and spiky. She had to swat the wasp away several times, but she remained calm! When presented with a wasp, many riders change seats and look anxious for the entire trip. This wasp gave up on the woman's hair and disappeared to the back of the bus.

After we pass Fermor (Highway 1) and Niakwa, I notice the CAA Manitoba building. I didn't know that they had locations other than Empress Street. I should get to this side of town more often!

Along this part of St Anne's there are blocks and blocks of apartment buildings and strip malls. We turn on to Dakota Street and reach Dakota Collegiate and Victor Mager School. Then we turn down some residential streets before arriving at Bishop Grandin  and heading into the St. Vital Centre.

I chose this route because I knew that the Children's Hospital Foundation's used book sale was taking place at the mall starting September 20th. The bus loop at the Mall is outside the Bay and the Silver City Cinemas. I went in and found the book sales. I did buy a few books, but I couldn't wait to leave the mall. They have been "up-grading" for a long time, and it is such a mess that I felt tired just being there. The floors are uneven rough cement....very tiring to walk on. After a quick bite to eat at the Food Court, I was back at the bus loop and got the #16 for the fastest route to downtown.

NEXT: It is time to travel the new Rapid Transit System on the Route # 160 University of Manitoba-Downtown.


  1. Thank you to everyone who has told me that I must have been asleep in my seat, because Poulin's is still there! Sigh...I will have to be more alert in future! MG

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  3. Was on The Avenue on Portage website just this week! They are actually apartments, ranging from $920 to $1800 per month. They do look really nice and there is a rooftop garden.... but would rather spend the money on my own place, personally. Here's the website if you're interested: