Imagine Portage & Main


Imagine Portage and Main Downtown Winnipeg BIZ

There’s been elevated conversation about the need to open up Portage and Main. How do we do it? Throughout the year, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and its partners will be engaging with the public to imagine what is possible for this iconic intersection. Get involved!

Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, will help open up discussion on Portage & Main. Tim will share lessons and insights learned in transforming Times Square’s busiest street into a vibrant pedestrian plaza – helping New York become the top tourist destination in the world. Tim will also explain what community engagement process he undertook to listen, mobilize, and empower the voice of members of the business community, general public, city departments, and other stakeholders, to create a solution for what was deemed initially their local challenge.

View event invite
View event poster

Schedule of events:

9 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Meeting with the City of Winnipeg (Invite Only)

  • Directors, managers, and planners from key City departments will speak to Tim Tompkins about the collaborative process undertaken by the Times Square Alliance in working with the public and private sector, changing obstacles into opportunities for a better, more vibrant community.

12 p.m. to 1 p.m. – Meeting with Portage and Main Property Owners (Invite Only)

  • Property owners will discuss the value of placemaking and how it can lead to increased property value. Tim Tompkins will speak to his experience in working with property managers in Times Square and how they were fine with slowing down traffic to accommodate pedestrians as long as it translated into greater sales … which it has!

Photos from morning sessions:

Photos from evening panel:

5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Portage and Main Panel Discussion (Free/Open to Public)
Location: The Fairmont Winnipeg. Join the event on Facebook here.

Tim Tompkins will discuss how he collaborated with Snohetta Architects and the NYC Department of Transportation on the plans for the transformation of Times Square, making it a vibrant, shared-street for all transportation modes, and how this increased density has resulted in significant economic and social spin-offs.


  • Greetings from John Orlikow, City Councillor for River Heights / Fort Garry Ward
  • History of Portage and Main: John Kiernan, City of Winnipeg’s Director of Planning, Property, and Development
  • Making the Development Connections: Angela Mathieson, President and CEO, CentreVenture
  • People Over Cars, Placemaking Lessons from Times Square: Tim Tompkins, President and CEO, Times Square Alliance

Watch the video of the event here:

The story of Times Square is meant to inspire us and create a call-to-action. Throughout the year, the BIZ will be compiling an inventory of precedents observed throughout North America, to help educate and engage the public to imagine what is possible for Portage and Main.

Toronto Precedent
Tactical Urbanism

Send your photo and a quote about your favourite Portage and Main memory, or ideas for what you’d like to see at Canada’s windiest corner! + Be entered to win a picnic at Portage and Main in the Spring of 2016. Email

Take a look into the past with storyboards depicting Portage and Main designs and concepts over the last several decades, depicting the rationale and ease of opening up Portage and Main.

Or check them out digitally:
Downtown Through the Decades
Renderings From Past Design Competition

We’re looking for your feedback as well. Click here to fill out our Portage and Main survey for a chance to win a $50 gift card to a restaurant of your choice.

  • Location: Portage and Main Underground Rotunda
  • When: February 1-3 (11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)