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Tour for downtown condo buyers
May 12, 2006

by Stefano Grande

Winnipeg’s recent City Summit has wrapped up, and one of the recommendations that came out of it is to create more housing in our downtown. 

We at the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ 

believe strongly in the need to have more people calling downtown home to see true revitalization. 

While there has been growing interest about downtown’s funky loft condominiums, some potential buyers are still hesitant to take the plunge to live downtown. They have questions about everything from safety to where the closest grocery store is. 

The trend of downtown living is growing. Across North America, cities like Memphis, Cleveland and Washington D.C. are building and renovating condo and apartment spaces, and people are responding. The pull of our downtowns is strong. People are rediscovering the culture, character and convenience of living downtown. In our car-dependent society, it’s a refreshing change to walk or cycle to work and to live somewhere that is built for pedestrians. 

Plus, living downtown means you’re surrounded by a vibrant community. Whether you want to shop, savour a dinner out, catch a baseball or hockey game, watch a play, stroll by the river, visit a nightclub — or all of the above — it’s all at your doorstep when you live downtown. 

But how do you communicate all these lifestyle benefits to potential condo buyers? 

The Downtown BIZ, in partnership with the Winnipeg Real Estate Board and CentreVenture, has developed a new program that promotes more than cool downtown digs. It’s designed to introduce potential downtown residents to the urban lifestyle in a high-impact way. 

The Downtown Living Tour will show potential condo buyers the sights and 

attractions of the city centre first hand. 

The exclusive tour will shuttle possible downtown residents through some of the city centre’s hottest spaces, including unique shops, new developments and exciting attractions. The goal is to show condo buyers the exciting urban lifestyle they can have by choosing to live downtown, and introduce them to our downtown.

Condo buyers will board a transit bus and travel along Waterfront Drive, into the Exchange District and Chinatown, and to the MTS Centre and Millennium Library. They will tour through Portage Place, seeing shops, entertainment and the YMCA fitness facilities. They’ll tour The Bay’s surprisingly large basement grocery store as well as boutique shopping just outside the department store. 

Along the way, participants will enjoy a lion dance, Chinatown cuisine, drinks at Second Cup and on Moxies’ patio, and cap it off with a ride on the Splash Dash Waterbus (weather permitting). 

Rather than show condos, we’re showcasing the downtown neighbourhood. 

We’re excited to work with REALTORS® on this initiative. A REALTORS®-only tour ran on May 12 and touched on some of these elements as well as several downtown condos. 

Downtown Living Tour tickets, compliments of the Downtown BIZ, are available to serious condo buyers through downtown listing REALTORS®. Three tours will take place on Saturdays this summer: May 27, August 26 and September 23. 

In addition, the Downtown BIZ will offer personal downtown tours to anyone who can’t attend the group tour but is interested in discovering the unique urban lifestyle. 

For more information, call Ryan Paradis at 958-4640 or e-mail ryan@downtownwinnipegbiz.com.  

(Stefano Grande is the executive director of the Downtown BIZ.)