Tuesday 11 March 2008

Interior Decorating at Upper Fort Garry

I made the mistake of reading Gordon Sinclair's column today:

The resurrected samples of life at the 19th-century Hudson's Bay fort include paper, wood, textile fragments, bottles, china, paper and even a child's toilet seat.


The artifacts might give you a better idea how the Friends of Upper Fort Garry could decorate an interpretive centre that's the cornerstone of their plan to reclaim the grounds that were the very foundation of historic Winnipeg and Manitoba.

That's great: the interpretive centre could be decorated with scraps of cloth, broken bottles and a toilet set. If we're lucky they might find some sheep skin condoms buried in the dirt that they can hang from the lights. Geeze .. I thought Gordon Sinclair supported this proposal.

Wait ... let me read the column again ... hmmm, actually Gordon seems to think this is a good thing. So good, in fact, that he is urging Gary Doer to chip in another $3m of tax dollars.

Thanks, Gordon. I didn't realize it was our birthright to forgo economic development in downtown Winnipeg in favour of an interpretive centre decorated in 150 year old trash, supported by valuable tax dollars.


I don't know how much more I can comment on this without before I feel like I'm flogging a dead horse. There are many other good posts out there on this issue, including Rise & Sprawl who points out that the Friend's proposal calls for a new surface-level parking lot (yes, that's what it is ... the green dots can't hide it).

Why don't the friends work with Crystal Development? Why does the interpretive centre have to go where the apartment building will be? Why can't it go into one of those replica buildings that the Friends want to build? What are all those buildings going to be used for anyhow? ('Cause I'm sure the hookers and druggies could find a use for them). While you're at it, turn another one of those buildings into a farmer's market. I like that Crystal plan idea .. it would be great for the residents of the building and in-keeping with the heritage of the site to some extent. Just don't decorate it with old toilet seats and rusty cans.

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PITT said...

I had a good chuckle at your blog post. When Sinclair wrote about " birthright" I thought it was a bit rich. Where were all these people ready to save the gate before all this ? When someone wants to build something , all of a sudden people jump on the bandwagon.
Since they found all this stuff on site, maybe they can put it on display at Lower Fort Garry.

Unapologetic Ex-Winnipegger said...

So if I read Sinclair right, one of the economic rationalizations for a NEW museum is that the OLD museum is hoarding their loot. We couldn't save our "birthright" by simply putting this stuff on display every so often - isn't that what that big room near the permanent galleries of the Manitoba Museum are for - temporary exhibits?

If Gordon is that interested in toilet seats, I'd love to sell him a few of mine - I promise to try to make myself historically relevant so that his purchase will be justified in a few hundred years' time!

cherenkov said...

PITT: I hear ya, and where were these people when PetroCan rebuilt the gas station a while back? I believe one of them was mayor at the time. Why didn't he expropriate that property if it's so important?

UEW: I'll be watching when you launch your rebellion against the Nova Scotia government. Good luck my friend!

PITT said...

Good point ,Cherenkov....a gas station on a historic site....where were the "friends" then ????

I am going to print off a flyer with a toilet seat with the caption ...."SAVE UPPER FORT GARRY"

watch for them downtown....LOL !

Unapologetic Ex-Winnipegger said...

Next up - interpretive centres at the Brady and Prairie Green landfills. Oh and who can forget the old dumps on Empress and Saskatchewan. If such magical items are our birthright, imagine the legacies just waiting to be dug up!

PITT said...

LOL, Save Garbage Hill !!!

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