Friday, March 8, 2013

Route 15 Mountain (Church, Inkster, Fife)

In January I took Route #15 Sargent Airport from downtown to the Richardson International Airport. Today I am riding the other half of the route, from downtown to Mountain (Church, Inkster, Fife). I get on the bus on Portage Avenue across from Portage Place. There are only a couple of seats left and it is standing room only by the time we go two stops to Portage and Fort. The bus is about 7 minutes late which may explain why there are so many people waiting at each stop.

At Portage and Main the bus heads north toward City Hall and the Centennial Concert Hall. At Main St and McDermot Ave I notice the "Fox & Fiddle."  It opened last fall in the glorious old Bank of Toronto Building. It is so inviting, I am tempted to hop off the bus and go in.....but I don't.

Just past City Hall on the west side of  Main St. is Yuki Sushi in the McLaren Hotel. I have eaten there, and the sushi is great.

Continuing along I see The Neon Factory. They make neon signs and collect "artifacts" of Winnipeg's past.  If you ever stop in at The Neon Factory you will find the old dairy cows from the Salter Street Billboard,  the old Starland sign from Main and Logan, the famous Shanghai Restaurant signage as well as some of the restaurant's interior and the old Winnipeg Turkish Baths sign and Blue Note Cafe Sign.

We pass Thunderbird House at Higgins and Main. I can see the Aboriginal Centre just up Higgins Avenue in what was once the Canadian Pacific Railway Station in Winnipeg.

The Higgins Underpass
Just on the other side of the Higgins under pass is Mitchell's Fabrics. This is another Winnipeg institution. It has been in business since 1946. Sewers come from all over the Province to shop there. You can find everything from upholstery fabrics to wedding fabrics...and everything in between.
This stretch of Main Street has quite a few pawn shops. I notice Atlas Pawn, Main Street Pawn and Economy Pawn Shop but my favourite is Pawndora's Box.  Great name for a pawn shop.

The Neechi Foods Co-op in the Neechi Commons refurbished building looks great. It will have its grand opening a little later this month.

I am really jammed into my seat because the bus is so full. This makes it hard to take notes or pictures. I wish I could get a picture of this brightly painted building. It is The Fish Gallery - Tropical and Salt Water Fish. The sign says they breed fish. This video gives you an idea of the various fish they have in stock.

A few blocks down on the other side of the street is Bird Shop - another brightly painted building. I guess this part of Main Street is the place to come if you are looking for fish or bird pets.

We also pass Mount Carmel Clinic and OATS - Opiate Addictions Treatment Centre

Just before turning on Mountain we pass  Holy Trinity Ukranian Orthodox Cathedral.  It always fascinates me. You can see those onion domes from quite a distance.

Next door to the Cathedral is St. John's Park. This park is part of the group of four parks that were founded in 1893...the first city parks in Winnipeg.
This is an old postcard shows an early view of St John's Park.
A lot of the route I am riding today is in what is known as The North End.  Once we turn off Main Street on to Mountain, we are in an area of small houses and corner groceries. Many ethnic groups are reflected in the signs along the way.  I see the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo St Mary Church. I learn so many things by riding the bus! Check out their video on You Tube. At over 5 minutes it is way too long. But a minute or so will give you an idea. The music is very interesting.

The bus crosses Salter, Arlington, McGregor and McPhillips before it turns on Fife. The bus turns on Church, then Keewatin and back to Fife. This is an industrial area with lots of signs advertising warehouse space for rent and empty lots for sale. We pass The Winnipeg Sun, Sears Warehouse, Coca Cola (now hiring). I am the only one on the bus for much of this part of the route. Most people got off just before we crossed McPhillips.  Once we get back on Mountain, we pick up a passenger at almost every bus stop. But heading back to downtown Winnipeg the bus is not as full as it was leaving the downtown. 

We turn on Main Street and follow the same route to Portage Avenue and Portage Place Shopping Mall. 

The bus driver today is very courteous. He stops at least 4 times to wait for people who are running to catch the bus. 

NEXT: Route 20 - Downtown to Watt - the other half of the route I took to the airport. 

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