In partnership with the City of Winnipeg, Intergroup, and Urban Systems, Green Action Centre hosted an exciting full day event – Healthy Streets Day – for students at DMCI, General Wolfe School, Greenway School, and École Laura Secord School on Friday, September 14th, as part of the of the City of Winnipeg’s community consultation project looking at installing a Greenway along the Ruby/Banning corridor.  

A continuous line drawing was painted along Ruby and Banning Streets stretching for 2.5KM to Wellington Avenue (the proposed length of the Greenway). Starting at 9:30 am, three sections of the street were closed to vehicles and parking, to allow for the students at the four schools along the corridor to create their own street art using chalk and paint along the continuous line. The purpose of this event was to give students an opportunity to spend time in their community thinking about active school travel and safe streets through the expression of art!

As a recently retired art educator and someone who actually taught here at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate in the 90’s, this was like revisiting the best moments of my career. Seeing the kids flood out of the school and quickly settle into the project of transforming the street was so sweet. I was able to just step back and watch as the images, colours and patterns emerged – it was like seeing a garden grow in a time-lapse film. I think the students completely understood the vision of the healthy streets initiative, and were excited to express their feelings and ideas through their drawings.” – Joe Halas

In the afternoon, students at these four schools had the opportunity to play safely on the closed off street, as well as admire the art along the corridor. Unfortunately, the weather was a bit chilly and wet, so outdoor play was cut a bit short and replaced by activities in the schools’ gyms.  

From 3 pm to 7 pm, the design team from the City of Winnipeg and Urban Systems was at Greenway School with poster boards on the proposed design options, gaining input from local residents. At the same time, Councillor Cindy Gilroy also held a community BBQ at Greenway School for around 200 people. A demonstration of the Bike Education and Skills Training (BEST) Session was held by BEST Instructors and the Flaming Cheetahs Bike Club, outlining the basics of safe road riding. 

This Community Consultation project is looking at options to encourage walking and cycling for people of all ages and abilities through the creation of a neighbourhood greenway along Ruby Street and Banning Street to link the Wolseley and West Alexander neighbourhoods. Ruby Street and Banning Street provide an important north-south connection between Palmerston Avenue and Notre Dame Avenue and beyond.

To learn more about this project, visit the City of Winnipeg’s Public Works page. To have your say on this project, take their community survey HERE.