Empty lot in Winnipeg neighbourhood to be hub of summer activity

What used to host a gas station 25 years ago is now going to become a hub of summer fun on Henderson Highway and Chalmers Avenue in Winnipeg.

Michel Durand-Wood, chair of with Reimagine Elmwood, said the old lot will soon have a lot to look forward to — after over a decade of anticipation.

“What we’re seeing is the culmination of a lot of community calls,” he said. “This was identified at least 10 or 15 years ago as kind of a big insight that needed some TLC.”

Now, Elmwood residents and visitors will have all kinds of events to look forward to as the hot months roll in.

“We’re looking at doing farmers markets, and movie nights. It’s (also) a great place to come sit and have lunch. We’re just basically making it useable and accessible to the community,” he said.

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Leilani Villarba, executive director of Chalmers Neighborhood Renewal, added there will also be a beer garden “for the first time ever.”

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Durand-Wood said the organizations are not rushing to finish the community nook.

“We’re just adding things as we go along. So, we started with our first step: We’ve got a couple of tables, we’re going to have some flowers, we have some staging. But as we go along we’re going to keep adding more,” he said.

Villarba said, ultimately, the area will be based on the community’s needs.

“We are required to do a five-year plan and hear what the community has to say,” she said. “The things that come up in our five-year plan are creating a beautiful space where the community can come together. This is a reason why 243 Henderson exists.

“This community corner is because we listened to what the people want, and so we try to do the best we can to bring the people who need to be at the table together, and make it happen for the community.”

The duo says Winnipeggers will start seeing events at the corner on Henderson and Chalmers before the month is out.

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