I have often seen the #77 Crosstown - Kildonan Place at the Transit Loop at Polo Park Shopping Centre. I often thought that if I needed to go to Kildonan Place that I could take that bus. Well....that would be a mistake. Oh, it does go to Kildonan Place, but by the most circular, out-of-the-way route possible. And it takes an hour and a half to get there! If you are at Polo Park and you want to go to Kildonan Place, get a bus heading downtown on Portage Avenue and transfer to the #47.
But I digress....back to my ride on the #77. The bus leaves the Polo Park Transit Loop right on time at 11:10 AM and heads down St. James Street....a retail marvel. If you need it, you can probably find it on St. James Street.....especially furniture and mattresses! One store-front that catches my eye is The Arthur Murray Dance Studio (They were at the height of popularity in the 1950's and 60's. I didn't think they were still in business.). If Dancing With The Stars inspires you to take up Ballroom Dancing...this is the place to go.
The bus turns on Notre Dame and you see the edges of the Weston Area with all the small houses originally built to serve the rail workers.
Then it enters the Red River College campus. When it leaves the college, it takes King Edward to Logan. This is mostly a commercial/industrial area with a few small houses sprinkled between the business locations. As the bus turns on Keewatin, I notice a soccer field with about a dozen Canada Geese standing and watching the traffic go by.
Next I see the CP Rail Yards. This is the western end of the yards. I could not see this area from the Slaw Rebchuk Bridge when I was riding the #17 last week. There is a large transfer center where the containers that were off-loaded from the trains are put on trucks to continue their journey.
We pass a large vegetable garden that takes up an entire empty lot at the intersection of Keewatin and Selkirk. I wonder if it is a community garden, or if it belongs to the neighboring house. Next the bus passes the Billy Mosienko Arena, named for a former NHL player from Winnipeg. He is in The Hockey Hall of Fame!
The bus turns on Burrows and moves through residential areas (Tyndall Park, Inkster Gardens, Meadows West, Mandalay West). Again I see some huge homes. Along Santa Fe Drive there is a large duck pond and it is circled by the back yards of some very large homes. The yards are terraced down to the pond.These homes are 3 stories high in the back with walk-out basements. They look like glass towers as each floor contains floor to ceiling windows.
The bus is back on Inkster and we pass the Library & Archives Canada building. Then the bus moves into The Maples and covers some of the same area as the #17. We pick up students at Maples Collegiate (it is now 11:51 AM). We pass Seven Oaks Hospital and pull into the Transit Loop at Garden City Shopping Centre. We are almost half way through the route!
We leave the Shopping Centre and head down Leila to Main Street. On Main we pass Kildonan Park and Golf Course and take Chief Peguis Trail and cross the Kildonan Settlers Bridge to Henderson Highway. We turn on McLeod (at River City Sports) and meander through residential areas. I love the name of one street: Tu-Pelo (I think of Tupelo, Mississippi, birthplace of Elvis Presley.). We pass Concordia Hospital and the Winnipeg Tax Centre on Reenders Drive. At last the end of the route at Kildonan Place Shopping Centre. I get off the bus and walk out to Regent to take the #47 bus to downtown. It is 12:45 and I can see Chicken Wings on Wheels across Regent in the parking lot. Too bad I don't have time to get across the street and get some before my bus comes!
NEXT: Route #55 St. Anne's (Yes, I will end up at yet another Shopping Centre!)