Green Action Centre is looking for an independent, energetic and
well-organized individual to join our sustainable transportation team.
The position focuses on engaging schools, students, workplaces, employees
and community organizations to make active and green transportation options
both appealing and within reach. The coordinator supports Green Action
Centre’s goals of reducing Manitoba’s environmental impacts and related GHG
emissions from driving personal vehicles by increasing walking, cycling,
public transit and carpooling as preferred and accessible modes of travel.
Application deadline: *4pm CDT Tuesday, March 16, 2021*
Please see the attached pdf for details.
Beth McKechnie (she/her) *| *Green Action Centre
3rd floor, 303 Portage Ave | (204) 925-3777 x102 | Find us here
*We are located on Treaty 1 Territory and the homeland of the Métis Nation.
The water we drink comes from Shoal Lake First Nation. *
Green Action Centre is your green living hub
Support our work by becoming a member
<http://greenactioncentre.ca/support/become-a-member/>. Donate at
‘Abilities Village’ plan filled with possibility
PROVENCHER Boulevard has a long history as the commercial heart of St.
Boniface and Winnipeg’s francophone community. With wide sidewalks, a few
historic buildings and local shops, it has the bones to be an active
pedestrian street and centre of community life.
Unfortunately, as a busy truck route and commuting thoroughfare, Provencher
is challenged to be a welcoming place for a shopping stroll or break on a
sidewalk patio. Several surface parking lots and vacant properties further
diminish the pedestrian experience, and a low population density in the
surrounding neighbourhood offers an insufficient base to support a vibrant
The neighbourhood plan for St. Boniface and Provencher Boulevard looks to
address some of these issues by supporting development of higher-density
and more diverse housing options, encouraging good urban design that is
pedestrian focused, enhancing existing parks and celebrating the
neighbourhood’s cultural assets.
The City of Winnipeg currently owns two of these cultural assets on the
street: the former St. Boniface city hall and the adjacent, long-abandoned
fire hall. In November 2019, a request for proposals was issued to find a
new owner for the buildings and adjacent parking lots, with the goal of
leveraging them to breathe new life into Provencher Boulevard and the
After a year-long search, Manitoba Possible (formerly the Society for
Manitobans with Disabilities), an organization that provides services and
supports to persons with disabilities, has come forward with a visionary
idea that ticks almost every box in the neighbourhood plan.
The proposal is inspired by a development in Singapore called “Enabling
Village,” a firstof- its-kind neighbourhood campus dedicated to integrating
people with disabilities into society by providing social, creative and
economic fulfilment in a place that is also a hub and destination for all
residents in the area. The development offers education, employment,
training, retail and social amenities, while bringing people with
disabilities and the broader community together to share experiences and
Manitoba Possible’s proposal, called “The Abilities Village,” envisions a
campus of new multi-use buildings constructed on the existing parking lots
that surround the iconic city hall and fire station. These buildings will
flow together as a single choreographed space, inside and out, drawing
people from the sidewalk through an active collection of dynamic
experiences and public amenities.
Some of the proposed features include restaurants, pubs and bistros, a
grocery, a retail art gallery, a gymnasium, training centres, a daycare,
offices and a technology hub for entrepreneurism. The village will elevate
the heritage buildings to a new place of prominence by inviting people to
interact with them in a more intimate way, as part of a vibrant
neighbourhood destination that brings new life to the street.
The unique twist on this dynamic community hub is that it will also be a
global showcase of barrier-free design — breaking down all types of
barriers to establish a sense of belonging for people with disabilities. It
will reimagine everyday spaces to be meaningful, accessible and completely
The campus is specifically not an institution; it will be a model for
seamlessly accessible public spaces that connects the broader community to
people with disabilities in a type of reverse inclusion, helping to break
down the barriers of social isolation, independence and economic
opportunity while inspiring new social networks and personal experiences
The commercial and public services components of the village will provide
job training and work experience to people with disabilities that will open
new employment opportunities beyond the campus. The campus will also
include a housing component that will be a demonstration of technology
driven accessible design, providing quality independent living
opportunities while increasing the population density and residential
diversity of Provencher Boulevard to help support local shops and services.
The campus will be a blend of dynamic, sidewalk-focused modern
architecture, interior design, signage, lighting, art and landscape, woven
together in a single composition with the iconic historic buildings and
sculpture garden. Designed by 5468796 Architecture and Scatliff + Miller +
Murray, the development will be phased to ensure it grows seamlessly into
the neighbourhood over time.
The derelict fire hall will be redeveloped into public space and, once the
sale is complete, Manitoba Possible is hoping to work with the local
community to find economically viable uses that ensure the city hall
building, which will be independent of the development, remains a proud
cultural contributor to the Franco-Manitoban community.
The proposal for the St. Boniface city hall site presented by Manitoba
Possible is an aspirational and forward-thinking idea that could bring the
heart back to Provencher Boulevard. As a magnet for public gathering, it
will provide an opportunity to reimagine the future of the street as a
place that is a celebration of the community and a vibrant focal point of
The beauty of the old St. Boniface city hall has inspired people for
generations; it will always stand as a proud symbol of a proud community.
In its new life as part of The Abilities Village, it will take on the added
symbolism of a place that unites communities and builds relationships. It
will continue to inspire as a declaration of inclusivity, opportunity, and
*Brent Bellamy is senior design architect for Number Ten Architectural
A few special events coming up for your interest:
*THURS FEB.11 AND FRIDAY 12 - eGlobal Winter Cycling Congress* Two short
jam packed days of unique presentations and fascinating discussions, with
post event social activities in a virtual Finnish bar. The Winnipeg
connection includes Councillor Sherri Rollins sharing political wisdom and
ideas and the story of learning to ride a bicycle only a few months ago.
She will be sharing a stage with Oboi Olatunji, the founder of Slow Roll
Chicago who visited Winnipeg for Bike Bike a few years ago (along with
Sarah Goodyear from the War on Cars podcast from NYC and Lisa Bender, the
President of City Council in Minneapolis to talk about the role of
enforcement post in a BLM era and ways of making winter cycling both normal
and inclusive. As conference director, I get the honour of moderating a
session with MP Andy Fillmore, head of Canada's new AT strategy, Bronwen
Thornton, head of international pedestrian design and land use network,
Walk21 and Dr.Peter Newman, an award-winning sustainability and urban
design expert who is a lead author for transport at the IPCC. So many other
great speakers! Local engineering firm Sandbox is a sponsor and helping to
support Winnipeg Trails' assistance with project management and
communications. It is truly a global team effort, with teams from Boston,
Montreal, Helsinki, Masstricht and more combining to pick up the pieces
from the usually in-person conference sites that had to be cancelled due to
you-know-what. We hope you can join. Student registration is only 5EUR.
Regular conference registration is just 20EUR with a membership to the
Winter Cycling Federation. Viva la Bike Boom. Register now:
*Friday Feb.12 WinterBikeALoopza (Winter Bike to Work Day COVID 19 Edition)
*With so many people worldwide working from home or unemployed, this year
is different. People are committing to ride, like usual, but encouraged to
do loops of their own neighbourhoods. Sign up online, and check the maps.
The School Loops team will be adding all kinds from Winnipeg this week.
Rememberm we started this event, Winnipeg, its up to you to finish it. ;)
Join us. WinterBikeToWorkDay.org
*Wednesday Feb.24th *- *LAUNCH of Women in Cycling Network. T*his is
partially organized by Angela van der Kloof, whom some of you may remember
from the Kickstand sessions that Janice Lukes and I organized with Michael
Colville Andersen almost a decade ago or from the 2014 Winter
cycling Congress here in Winnipeg.
Cycling for Sustainable Cities
MIT Press just published “Cycling for Sustainable Cities," co-edited by Ralph
Buehler and John Pucher. In addition to its up-to-date analysis of cycling
trends and policies, the book provides practical lessons for making cycling
safe, practical, and convenient for almost everyone and for most trip
The 21 book chapters feature contributions by authors from around the world
who are experts in both cycling and their respective professional fields of
urban planning, public policy, public health, transportation, and
engineering. Following the introduction, chapters 2-15 explore topics such
as the health benefits of cycling; cycling safety; cycling facilities,
programs, and project evaluation; the special cycling needs and preferences
of women, children, and older adults; and social justice in cycling
decision-making, policies, and infrastructure. Chapters 15-19 examine these
same topics in the context of specific countries and cities in Europe,
North America, Latin America, and Asia. Chapter 20 explores the importance
of cycling advocacy. Finally, Chapter 21 proposes specific strategies for
policy implementation and summarizes the main lessons for increasing
cycling and making it safer and more convenient for daily travel.
More info: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/cycling-sustainable-cities
Winnipeg Trails breaks ground on more than 30 cross-country ski and walking
loops in city neighbourhoods
MAKING TRAILS, MAKING CONNECTIONS
WINNIPEG’S winter sport enthusiasts have more places to go for a ski,
snowshoe or hike now that Winnipeg Trails has broken ground on more than 30
cross-country ski and walking loops in neighbourhoods around the city.
“One of the most beautiful things about winter is the new trails that it
opens up for people,” said executive director Anders Swanson.
“It basically creates bridges all over the city on a temporary basis. So it
inspired us to see what we could do about increasing access to trails, at
least for the winter, in places close to people’s homes.”
Planning for the extra trails began in July as Winnipeg Trails started
thinking about what a second wave of COVID-19 cases and lockdown rules
would mean for Winnipeggers this winter.
“The idea ultimately comes from the need for human beings to connect, and
it turns out one of the few places we can do that has been outside,”
“We are in the business of community-building more than anything else. We
do that by connecting people with safe and comfortable ways to be outside
and to move so that we can see each other face to face.”
More than 30 sites are underway in neighbourhoods such as St. Boniface,
Dufferin, Garden City and Tuxedo. Dozens more approved by the city are
still to come.
“The whole point of this project was to make sure there was some winter fun
near you for Winnipeggers; there are sites in every neighbourhood basically,”
Swanson said. The trails are built and maintained by a team of volunteers,
Swanson said. The crew can make three or four trails a day, and the sites
come with benches and sculptures — built of snow, of course — for visitors
to use to put on skis or sit for a cup of cocoa.
The trails are made by a machine Swanson describes as the “Swiss army knife
of trail building.” It looks like a snowmobile cut in half, he said, and
can be fitted with different attachments to carve out ski trails or pack
snow for walking and biking. The broader Winterpeg project is designed to
“spark a little joy” in the city, Swanson said. For those who may not be
into skiing, there are opportunities to walk, bike, snowshoe, build snowmen
or ice candles, among activities showcased on the organization’s website.
For those who want to try skiing for the first time, Winterpeg will offer a
mobile ski library to take free ski rentals and guides to loops around the
“It goes hand in hand with Winterpeg and building the trails,” said Jenny
Sawatzky, who runs the Icicle Garden, a gear library that has ski and
“People who maybe don’t have access to a car or can’t afford it, show up
and try some skis out.”
Though the Icicle Garden, based out of the Bicycle Garden storefront on
Sherbrook Street, has been in operation all season, the new mobile option
is intended to run events and encourage access to winter sports for all
Sawatzky said the gear library has been a huge success. The storefront has
been busy every day, she said, and has had an influx of donations of both
money and winter gear.
“Everybody has been very grateful that we opened. Feedback has been
positive every time,” Sawatzky said. “Everyone’s been fairly generous.”
That ski library has been a major source of funding for the trail program:
donations for rentals are funneled into the trail-making efforts. The
Winterpeg team has received funding from the federal EcoCanada internship
program and the City of Winnipeg’s wellness fund. Swanson noted city
councillors have roundly supported the trail-building effort, and helped
secure the $5,000 in municipal funding.
Swanson said the team at Winnipeg Trails and Winterpeg would love to see
the entire city connected with ski and walking trails — and bike paths for
the warmer seasons — so residents can enjoy time outside with ease
“There are some places where the people in the area already might have
skis… and there are some areas in the city, for example, with a lot of
newcomers to Canada from countries that may not have long winters, and
they’re not as used to it,” said Swanson.
“We’re not expecting those to be as popular right away, but it’s one of the
reasons why we’re bringing the mobile ski library out, so people get a
chance to try.”
Swanson said his favourite part is the opportunity to watch people discover
the joy of skiing.
Bundle up and get active with Jack Frost Challenge
KRIS Kuzdub will be taking extra care while bundling up before heading
outside this week as the forecasted high for today is pegged at -25 C and
with the wind chill considered it could feel colder than -40 C at times.
Today also marks the start of Winnipeg’s Green Action Centre’s Jack Frost
All week, teams and individuals will be competing against one another to
log the most outdoor, active kilometres.
Kuzdub, the Green Action Centre’s sustainable transportation co-ordinator,
says maybe it would have been nice if the challenge landed during one of
the more moderate weather weeks, but she thinks the encouragement to get
out the door might be needed now more than ever — even if it’s just for a
quick walk around the block.
“Manitobans are tough, we can do it. Just bundle up,” Kuzdub told the Free
After activities outside, participants log onto the website and track
There are participation prizes, as well as prizes for the most kilometres
logged by a team and by an individual.
A reminder to readers that Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued
an extreme cold warning for all of Manitoba and notes in this week’s
forecasts that frostbite is possible within minutes if the proper
precautions aren’t taken and skin is exposed.
Kuzdub said unlike other commuter challenges hosted by the centre, people
don’t need to be travelling long distances, simply getting outside and making
a snowman and using your smartphone to count your steps will do.
“People need this this year, myself included,” Kuzdub said.
In 2020, the Jack Frost Challenge had 1,400 individuals registered to
compete and more than 220 teams.
This year, as the competition marks its 10th anniversary, more than a
thousand individuals have signed up with more than 400 teams registered.
Linda Loewen lives in North Kildonan and has signed up for the group
competition for the first time this year. She registered with two friends
and a friend of a friend. They won’t be trying any of the currently trendy
outdoor activities such as fat biking or cross-country skiing, instead,
they’ll be sticking to the basics and walking as much as they can.
Loewen says she wasn’t much of a walker before, but since the pandemic
began she’s found peace and beauty in just walking around her neighbourhood
and down the river paths.
“It made me appreciate it more than I probably would have in the past,”
Loewen said She’s particularly fallen in love with Fraser’s Grove Park and
has made it a ritual to walk past it every time she is on her way home.
“I’ve seen the seasons pass. I started walking when there was still ice and
snow then watched as the river melted… That’s my quiet, peaceful meditative
Loewen signed up for the Jack Frost Challenge because despite the peace
walking has offered her in the last year, she’s struggled to get moving again
since the holidays.
“We just need to get outside because we’ve been so cooped up and people are
feeling that. People might just need that little extra push,” Kuzdub said.
She also hopes the challenge has some of the lasting effects it aims for
every year, such as helping people appreciate the time outside, and
maybe learn that biking to work or walking to the grocery store wasn’t as
a chore as they’d built it up to be in their minds.
In order to show the impact, the Green Action Centre tracks the cumulative
kilometres moved and travelled by participants. In 2020, it was a total of
28,497 km, and if the same distance were covered in a car, it would have
created approximately 6,348 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, their
estimates show. It demonstrates that every climate action matters, Kuzdub
said, and it also burns calories and is fun — so there’s really no downside.
The competition runs from today to Feb. 13 and people can still register at
sarah.lawrynuik(a)freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @SarahLawrynuik
Deaths by Road Type
The most dangerous place to be a cyclist, however, was on an arterial road,
which we defined as a busy, multilane thoroughfare with traffic signals at
intersections and speeds limits exceeding 30 miles per hour. Arterials
accounted for 65 percent of the fatal crashes in our database. We saw that
poorly designed intersections along these roads presented serious hazards
for cyclists. While many had multiple lanes for cars, they had none for
bikes. Furthermore, many had speed limits as high as 45 miles per hour.
(Speed limits have been increasing in many parts of the country.) And
numerous intersections on arterials allow vehicles to turn right on a red
light, or have several turning lanes, which makes it much more likely that
a driver won’t see a cyclist while they are turning.
BikeMaps.org executive director Karen Laberee adds that cars making
unprotected left turns—those with no dedicated left-turn light—are
especially hazardous, because a driver may be watching for other cars
coming in the opposite direction but not for cyclists or pedestrians. “A
left turn is a particularly challenging maneuver cognitively
<https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/the-cure-for-killer-cars/> for a
driver—there’s a lot going on for them to process,” Laberee says. One
solution is to restrict concurrent movement, with separate light cycles for
left-turning vehicles, vehicles driving straight, and pedestrians and
cyclists, she says. That way, only vehicles or pedestrians are going
through the intersection at one time.