Mischa G.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Red River Heritage Fair

The History and Evolution of Portage and Main

The project talks about how the intersection evolved from an ox cart trail to one of the most famous intersections in North America. It also talks about each of the corners' history and the big debate on whether to open up the intersection or to leave it closed to pedestrians.



What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

There were many interesting things I learned about Portage and Main. For example, Portage and Main is called the coldest and windiest intersection in North America and considered the crossroads of Canada. Also, the sculpture in front of the Bank of Montreal is wearing an American army uniform instead of a Canadian army uniform. 201 Portage is the tallest office building between Toronto and Calgary. The fact that I found the most interesting was that Hugh John MacDonald had an office on the southwest corner of the intersection and that he was the only son of John A. MacDonald, first Prime Minister of Canada. I found out that he was also the eighth premier of Manitoba.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

I learned how important the intersection is to the city and that many important celebrations happened there. I learned that the role of the mayor is very important when there are decisions to make. Another important lesson that I learned is that you must be hard working and creative when it comes to big projects like this. You must think outside of the box and practice for presentation purposes. You have to love your project to make everyone believe that you have the most amazing project ever.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

Today, I see Portage and Main as a no-pedestrian zone, but I can imagine so many people walking there before the barricades went up. I can see a very busy area with many stores.