There's been quite the flurry of local anniversarial activity, as late; Kelvin High School and Transcona have both celebrated their 100th anniversaries, the Pride Winnipeg festival turns 25 this weekend, and all of the local media outlets
went entirely over the top with partook in some One Year Ago reminiscing about the return announcement of the Winnipeg Jets. Worthy subjects all! But the most historic and notable of these civic observances -- the granddaddy of them all, if you wee-ull -- will be tomorrow, tomorrow being the 150th birthday of the Portage and Main intersection.
Now, like most local stories of historical significance, just about everybody was set to ignore it completely. (Who's "Mostyn"? What's a "Rathje"? How old was that building we just knocked down?) The anniversary would have passed by completely unrecognized had radio superstar Christian Cassidy not brought up the oncoming date in this blog post; many fine folks in the local blogosphere answered the call with their birthday wishes -- I'd link them all here as they come in, but I think that'll be more of a Tuesday pursuit -- and a hastily assembled but still appreciated party was thrown for the intersection after the story garnered some mainstream media attention.
So Happy 150th Birthday, Portage and Main! You've been closed to pedestrians significantly longer than I've actually been alive, but I've enjoyed the opportunity to walk around on you those couple of times during the occasional street party or parade. (Santa Claus parades, I mean; this town hasn't had a victory parade in, well, a lifetime.) I've driven through you more times than I could ever count, I'm sure; I can say for certain that I've never tried to cycle across you, but I'm sure that if I did it would be a fun and creative way to die.
And, hey, there are only five more years until that legendarily idiotic agreement expires -- it's legitimately impressive, sometimes, how long bad decisions tend to last in this city -- so when the next crop of mayoral candidates assembles a couple of years from now, there will be a lot of people lining up to position themselves as your savior. Things are looking up! Exciting times are ahead, and to avoid unnecessarily anthropomorphizing you I'll instead say that I'm excited on your behalf.
Happy Birthday, Portage and Main, and here's to 150 more!