Saturday 30 November 2019
Portage & Main
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Address: Portage & Main Street
Date: October 2014
Portage & Main is possibly the best known intersection in Winnipeg, Manitoba. On Sunday, November 24th the Winnipeg Blue Bombers won the Grey Cup after a 29 year drought. Winnipegers flocked to the intersection to celebrate their Canadian Football League victory. We found ourselves standing at this intersection back in 2014.
On one corner stands the Bank of Montreal building. It has been there since 1913. In front of the bank stands a monument to Bank of Montreal employees who died in World War I. The statue is modelled after Wynn Bagnall who worked for BMO, went to war and was lucky enough to return to continue working.
To cross the street you need to take a pedestrian underpass. Once on the other side of the street we encountered some more sculptures. The first sculpture is called Tree Children and shows four children playing in a tree. The intersection of Portage & Main is often said to be the coldest and windiest intersection in Canada. It wasn't too cold but it was windy when we arrived. Hold on tight children!
The next sculpture depicted a herd of caribou which are no strangers to wind and cold. The caribou are navigating the fast moving waters of a river.
The sculpture is called Seal River Crossing. Seal River is located in northern Manitoba but thanks to artist Peter Sawatzky we can witness the caribou migration at a lower latitude.
The main difference between the two sculptures is that North Watch features a dog which sits behind the man. The dog is also keeping watch. One thing we noticed about this sculpture is that the man is facing south. We wondered if the sculpture had been placed the wrong way around. We figure that the artist intended the man to be watching from the north. When visiting Portage & Main be sure to dress warmly and prepare to be blown away. If not by the architecture, history and sculptures then certainly by the wind.
Map of Our World
Tree Children , Seal River Crossing , North Watch
BMO Building (Portage & Main)
Post # 270