One great city?

This is it, readers. This is The Urban Issue – our last issue of the publication year. Yes, we’ll refresh your stands with a summer issue in June, but that’s more of a bonus. This issue is, to put it lightly, a big deal. 

We Winnipeggers are somewhat notorious for navel-gazing, but I’d venture a guess that citizens of any city in the world have some aspect of their identity formed by the space they live in, whether they love it or hate it or debate it ferociously. Are we really any different? Are we really all that special? And could we be, well, better somehow? 

Those are a few of the core questions we address in this special issue, titled Why Winnipeg? We’re looking at some trends, and a trend is called what it is because it rises and falls in many groups simultaneously. So if it’s happening here too, what’s the big deal? What makes our coffee culture so special, or our community bicycle programs, our programs for international students? Lots, we say. So we wrote about it. 

And what about those things that are not trends, that are so specific and relative to our dear little hometown? Learn more about the history and unique quirks of the Winnipeg social, because that rye-bread-fueled tradition is ours and somewhat ours alone. 

We’re also peeking into some lesser-known corners of our city and its inhabitants. Explore some niche libraries and meet the members of groups that gather to practice swordsmanship, among other hobbies. Read about why some businesses are adopting each other. Hear from the volunteers that patrol the streets to find missing people. 

There is, of course, always room for improvement, and there is a lot of work to be done to make our city a better place. And that won’t happen without asking some questions. Like, what happened to all the benches in The Exchange District? How could we re-invigorate our downtown mall and make it a more welcoming space? And why, oh why are we always comparing ourselves to bigger cities, like Toronto and Vancouver? 

For this issue, we’re going long – this is a whopping 24-pager with many extended features. Our staff has spent the last 25 issues refining their skills, and now it’s time to dig a little deeper into the question: Why Winnipeg? 

– Anastasia Chipelski

Published in Volume 70, Number 26 of The Uniter (March 31, 2016)

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