Special Series: Twelve Canadians
Adult Gardeners & Kitchen Kids
By David Kattenburg
John K. Sampson’s poignant song about Winnipeg captures the cold anonymity of Prairie Canada’s capital on a grey dismal day. But there are as many reasons to love this town as to hate it.
Like many older cities, Winnipeg is a study in contrasts. Consider West Broadway, a grim, traffic-choked strip between Portage Avenue and the Golden Boy-crowned provincial legislature building: On its southwestern edge, along tree-lined Wolseley Avenue, bicyclists and spandex-wrapped joggers rule the day, and signs remind residents that motorists have rights too.
Immediately to the south (in a district some call “East Wolseley”), heritage apartment blocks and private homes with immaculately manicured gardens sit side by side with bed bug-infested rooming houses.
Near the corner of Sherbrook and Wolseley, where trendy cafes, sushi dens and a vegan burger joint bustle with professionals, in the heat of a summer’s night, a drug deal may well go sour beneath your bedroom window, or a knife-wielding addict get gunned down by cops.
West Broadway’s social conscience is centered around Langside and Young. Here, with support from municipal and provincial authorities, the West Broadway Community Organization has established a vibrant community center. A spacious hall is surrounded by a football pitch, a hockey rink, a wading pool, a set of community gardening and composting boxes, and a kids’ art center.
Among the organization’s flourishing projects is something called the Good Food Club. Give this audio story a listen.
Twelve Canadians is a multimedia series about women and men who’ve been devoting their lives to social, economic or environmental justice, and to the healthy development of Canadian communities and the world. Each episode examines a specific issue or situation, through the voices of people who’ve been active in that area. Lots more than just twelve. Thanks to the Social Justice Fund of the Canadian Autoworkers Union for their generous support. Thanks as well to CKUW, University of Winnipeg Radio, and CFUV, at the University of Victoria.