Portage and Main: then and now

Portage and Main is an intersection in the middle of downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba. It is well known across Canada as one of Winnipeg’s famous landmarks.  It is also referred to as the windiest street corner in Canada. Combining the wind and arctic temperatures in the winter, it is also known as the coldest major urban intersection in North America, possibly the world. For this reason, along with traffic logistics, pedestrians cannot walk across the intersection, they must go underground into a tunnel system.  In the middle of a windy arctic vortex during the winter, walking across the intersection above ground could cause instant freezing of the face and other extremities.

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Downtown Winnipeg July 3, 2012 (BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

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MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS files A roundabout at the iconic intersection of Portage and Main would work for vehicles and pedestrians.

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Winnipeg Free Press Archives Portage Avenue and Main Street PortageMain February 22, 1977 Construction starts on the Trizec Building (360 Main) and Winnipeg Square the underground mall at Portage and Main. The Trizec Building will open in early 1980 standing 117 m (384 ft) tall and have 31 floors.

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Winnipeg Free Press Archives Portage Avenue and Main Street PortageMain January 25, 1956 Corner of Portage Avenue and Main Street, looking west down Portage.

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The underground where people can cross the famous Canadian intersection

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