The office industry as an instrument of urban economic development : advantages, disadvantages and policy implications of Winnipeg's infrastructure

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Scott, Marnie Ann Kimberly
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Winnipeg's economy at present is in a period of slow growth. Development policies currently are directed at assisting and encouraging the growth of manufacturing industries. Energies however, should be divided, and the office sector too should be utilized as a growth instrument owing to the fact that Winnipeg is a metropolitan centre with a multitude of diverse office functions serving public, tertiary as well as a variety of secondary industrial demands. Winnipeg is however, but one city in the midst of many of equivalent, or greater stature... Presently, Winnipeg's location between Alberta's and Ontario's cities, has put the city in a state of limbo. This however was not always the case, for Winnipeg once enjoyed the identity of economic benefits befitting a gateway city... Winnipeg at one time was "vitually the Canadian archetype of a gateway city," growing rapidly in its young years, and commanding a large work force supply, the majority of which was employed in the transport industries, finance companies, wholesale trade and hotel and restaurant businesses... Winnipeg's dominance over the Prairies however declined with the development of other Western cities... Winnipeg also is no longer a boom town, but a "mature, sophisticated, cultured, even staid city. It is associated more with the arts than with speculators." It has maintained its position as a financial and trade centre and has a strong office orientation. The city must utilize this existing infrastructure to both attract and create additional office oriented businesses to complement its manufacturing sector. New business would breathe new life into our city and revive its failing economy and social structure.