Sixteen people joined us on a blustery Sunday afternoon as we wound our way through several Winnipeg neighbourhoods, finally arriving at our destination about three hours later. This was our Jane’s Walk for 2015. Plane Jane: A Walk to Winnipeg Airport.
Technically, it could have been a quick two hour-long walk at a reasonable walking pace. But there were a number of worthwhile pauses along the way. My partner Gail took time to discuss several architectural and historic highlights, such as the historic St. James Church, one of Winnipeg’s oldest structures, and the much more recent Brutalist-designed Stevenson-Brittannia School. I took on less tangible topics, such as the impact of noise bylaws on local residential development and the evolution of our aerospace industry, a history of rockets and jet engines. This technology hides inside the massive industrial sheds, in the structures that loomed over us tiny pedestrians as we neared the airport.
No less important was our pause at an impromptu lemonade stand in the residential King Edward neighbourhood. A delightfully unexpected stop for us walkers and no doubt an unexpected revenue-booster for the young entrepreneurs serving cool drinks and homemade cookies.
From the airport, we made our way to Omand’s Creek (or Omand Creek or Omands Creek, depending on which authority is consulted). With the wind at our backs and the sun finally on our faces, we quietly strolled down the Omand’s Creek Greenway Trail, back to our starting point. It was about 5:00 pm, the end of a long but enjoyable journey through spaces both familiar and unexplored.
What follows is a catalogue of pictures taken over the past few weeks, some from Sunday’s walk, others from exploratory walks Gail and I undertook to refine Plane Jane.
If you could not make our Jane’s Walk or you’re inspired to explore your city’s own industrial no-man’s land (and, yes every city has them), take a look at my ‘handbook’ for such adventures. “A Dérive to the Airport”. You’ll find it in my Blurb Store (U.S. and Canada).
And who know? Maybe we’ll reprise this walk next May:
Plane Jane Again.
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