Our latest news

Local retailer brings outdoor spirit to the heart of the West End


If you have ever rented a canoe in Winnipeg, chances are you have rented from Wilderness Supply. Well, we’ve got very exciting news: the prominent local outdoor retailer has just relocated to the West End!

According to owner Rick Shone, Wilderness Supply is the biggest canoe, kayak and stand-up board supplier in Winnipeg. Of course, you don’t become the local go-to for outdoor gear without developing a philosophy behind the goods you’re selling. Rick believes in mindfulness when making a purchasing decision.

“I’m the type of person that really wants to think a lot about what I buy and why I’m buying it. It has to have a specific use. It sounds a little funny coming from a person in retail – but that’s how I prefer to think,” said Rick.

Walking into Wilderness Supply, you can tell the inventory has been carefully chosen. It’s the kind of place that has that quality item you know is going to make your next outdoor trip just that much better. Whether it’s comfortable hiking shoes, the right ski wax or a lighter canoe for your next expedition, Wilderness Supply is the place to improve the quality of your next adventure or to get the right gear for your first foray into the great outdoors.

Wilderness Supply first opened in 1995 and Rick has been with the company since 2001. Rick has always been an avid outdoor enthusiast: beginning in childhood when camp was a summertime staple, to adulthood spent canoeing in northern Manitoba and backpacking around the world.

Just a quick stop at their brand new location on Isabel Street and you will see for yourself the passion for the outdoors. The products at Wilderness Supply are all meant to facilitate the perfect outdoor experience. Beyond the canoes and kayaks, you will find quality outerwear, backwoods trekking supplies, cross country skis, snowshoes, climbing gear and so much more.

“First and foremost we love the gear – and we love having conversations with people and hear what they’re doing with the gear,” said Rick, who also sees himself and his staff as outdoor experience facilitators. By sharing their collective decades of trekking knowledge, the folks at Wilderness Supply are channeling their passion to their customers.

“We prefer to call ourselves educators – helping people get out there and make the first step to the outdoors. I think [being educators] lends itself well to what we do,” Rick said, “because once you have the tools to take that paddling trip or hiking trip all you have to do is ask yourself how you feel afterward.”

While the business has been around for over two decades, it’s new to the West End. The location at 50 Isabel Street had actually been on Rick’s mind for a while – he first stepped into the space a little over six years ago. The brick walls and the wood trusses gave the interior a gorgeous rustic warehouse look.

Rick spent about a year modernizing the building, but he made sure to keep the heritage touches. The striking ceiling was refinished to bring out the historical charm and two giant shipping doors were left in place and remain fully operational.

Wilderness Supply owner Rick Shone

If you’ve never stepped into Wilderness Supply before, you’re sure to discover something that will kindle that excitement for exploring the outdoors. If you’re already a loyal shopper, you will find the new central location more convenient than ever before.

Stop by and check out Wilderness Supply at 50 Isabel Street.

Wilderness Supply hours of operation:

Mon-Wed: 10 AM – 6 PM

Thurs-Fri: 10 AM – 7 PM

Sat: 10 AM – 5 PM

Sun: 12 PM – 5 PM

First mural unveiling of the season: A Women’s Parliament



Journey’s Quartet

This week we had our first mural unveiling of the summer. The mural celebrates 100 years since the vote was first extended to some women in Manitoba in 1916. The mural portrays a scene from the play “The Women’s Parliament,” a performance put on by Manitoba Suffragists in 1914.

Drawing dignitaries from the Province and the City, the event was one of our most popular mural unveilings to date. Among the various representatives, we were honoured to have in attendance Her Honour, the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, Janice Filmon, The Minister for Sport, Culture & Heritage, Rochelle Squires and Mayor Brian Bowman.

The “Nellie mural,” as we have been calling it around the office for the last few months, features Nellie McClung in the centre playing the role of the Premier in the Women’s Parliament. Seated to the right are a number of women who played parliamentarians in the play. These women do not represent specific women, but instead represent the many, many women who worked for women’s suffrage in Canada.


Manitoba Living History Society

The event featured a number of speeches and a description of some of the elements of the mural by Lila Goodspeed , Chair of the Nellie McClung Foundation. Journey’s Quartet and the Manitoba Living History Society brought the early 20th century to life with period music and costume.

The unveiling was followed by a short reception at X-Cue’s Bar and Billiards. If you would like to learn more about this mural, take one of our award-winning mural tours – offered until the end of August.

The West End BIZ extends our sincere appreciate to our sponsors and partners on this project:

The Winnipeg Foundation, Take Pride Winnipeg, The Nellie McClung Foundation, the Province of Manitoba Department of Sport, Culture & Heritage, Councillor Cindy Gilroy – City of Winnipeg, The University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg Building & Decorating, Crestview Pharmacy and North American Lumber.



Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, Janice Filmon


Awaiting the big reveal


The ladies of the Red Hat Society came out for the event.


Mural artist, Mandy Van Leeuwen cutting the cake


New condo development coming to former ‘Pal’ site

Want to live in a community where all the amenities are just a short jaunt from your front door?

The West End has it all and with our growing condo market, it’s easier than ever to buy a home that’s the right size for you.

The latest development coming to the West End is The Icon Condominiums on the site of the old Palomino Club. The name of the new development, The Icon, celebrates the iconic status “The Pal” had on Portage Avenue.

The West End is central and well-connected to the entire city making the location of The Icon appealing for those who want to be close to downtown but still able to reach virtually any area of the city quickly. Portage Avenue has dedicated bus/bike lanes and buses that come with some of the highest frequencies in the city. You are less than ten minutes from downtown by bike, car or bus and by car, it takes less than 20 minutes to get to the Perimeter Highway.

Daily life is cinch in the West End. Full service grocery stores, convenience stores, clothing retailers and more are all located within just a short trek with any mode of transportation. The West End has over a thousand businesses and organizations, making the commercial landscape one of the most diverse in the city. Local mom-and-pop stores, top notch ethnic restaurants and niche retailers dot the West End and make the whole neighbourhood one of the most interesting communities in Winnipeg to explore.

Finding things to do on a Friday evening is easy when you’re in the centre of it all! There are 30 eateries on Portage Avenue alone, 20 of which are independently-owned local restaurants. Movie theatres, pubs and parks and recreation are all nearby. You can check out all the West End’s amenities by heading over to our directory.

Condos in The Icon development range in size from 565 square feet to slightly more than 1000 square feet.  One bedroom condos start at $169,900 and two-bedroom condos at $219,900. The building will contain 60 units and underground automobile and bike parking.

If you are interested in finding out more about The Icon condos, check out their website:   Want to know more about the West End? Contact us at

Daniel McIntyre Ward 2016 City’s Budget Consultation 

Date: Monday, March 14, 2016

Venue: 999 Sargent Avenue, Cindy Klassen Recreation Complex

Time: 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

City Councillor Cindy Gilroy will be talking about the budget with constituents of her ward. Come and learn about the 2016 City Budget and provide your voice on issues that impact our community and City.

If you want to check whether your business is in her ward, check here

Please contact the office of Councillor Cindy Gilroy at 204-986-5953 if you have any questions. Thanks.

2016 grants now available


It’s a new year and that means we are taking grant applications once again.

Have you got a major project on your to-do list that you keep meaning to get to? We’ve got the perfect thing to help you get started on it: cash!

We offer grants to our members to do storefront improvements, safety improvements and business development.

We take grant applications all year, but the budget is limited – So the earlier you get your application in, the more likely you are to be approved.

NEW THIS YEAR: we now accept grant applications after the work has been completed without requiring multiple after-the-fact estimates. If you’re a go-getter and have already checked your project off your to-do list, you can still apply for a grant rebate. We offer rebates up to 25% of the cost of the completed project (up to $1000).

So what are you waiting for? Check out all the details on our grants program by clicking HERE!

Free Facade Washing

Does the front of your business look dirty? Would you like the front of your business to look a little more inviting?

We have a solution for you – West End BIZ offers a free Business Façade washing service. We will power wash the front of your business and the sidewalk for free!

This service starts on May 18th and runs until June 19th 2015 (space is limited)

How to request a free cleaning: fill out the waiver and return it to the West End BIZ by Fax 204-772-8604, e-mail or regular mail to 581 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2G2

You can find the waiver form HERE

Coming Soon: Around The World In A Few Blocks

Winnipeg’s West End is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city and there’s no better way to experience it than on a West End food tour! Celebrate the diversity of your city by joining us for a restaurant tour in one of the most walkable communities in Winnipeg. Weekly tours will be hosted in the month of August. Keep an eye out for more details coming later this month.



Concierge Tour 2014

Concierge Tour 2014

On Friday, June 13, we hosted our 3rd Concierge Tour. Hosts Cindy Klassen and Ace Burpee, along with Gloria and Melissa of the BIZ, led 13 individuals from the Tourism industry around the West End to discover some of our “Hidden Gems”. Stops included: The Old House Revival Company, Independent Jewellers, Mordens’ of Winnipeg, Gohe Ethiopian Restaurant, Pho Binh Minh, Café Dario, and De Luca’s Specialty Foods. Guests were also shown some of the more prominent murals of the area.

You can find a gallery of photos on our Facebook Page.