Winnipeg O' My Heart | An Interview with Emma Durand-Wood
We at Navut are always looking for local expertise on your favourite neighborhoods, and truly enjoy getting in touch with those who love where they live. As such, we recently had the pleasure of speaking with much-loved Winnipeg blogger Emma Durand-Wood, the brains behind of the popular Winnipeg O’My Heart blog. We chit-chatted about her well-travelled blog, what Winnipeg neighborhood she lives in, and most importantly, why, despite growing up elsewhere, she settled on Winnipeg.
How Long Have You Been Running WinnipegO’MyHeart?
“Since 2009,” Emma recalls, explaining that she and two of her friends had relocated to the city and wanted to share its coolness and quirks with folks at large. She’s maintained the site ever since, and often gets e-mails from people relocating to the Winnipeg who feel reassured by her positive experiences and great insights on the city.
While her family’s roots lie in Winnipeg, she’d never actually resided there before adulthood. Emma grew up in Lethbridge and spent a good chunk of her 20s in Vancouver. Once she had her heart set on somewhere with a lower cost of living, the decision to move to Winnipeg (along with two good friends in tow) was clear, if also a little spontaneous. “I was looking to settle down, and for somewhere more attainable in terms of home ownership and putting down some roots,” she explains. Further, she’d had incentive to come back: “I was always here (in Winnipeg) for summer vacations and there was always a warm feeling about the city. So on kind of a whim, I finally decided to move here.”
Emma now resides in the community of Glenelm.
What Kind of Neighborhood is Glenelm?
“It’s a really lovely little neighborhood, two blocks from the river and from Henderson Highway, which is a major thoroughfare around here. Not many people know it’s there,” she says, explaining that Glenelm is part of a larger area called Elmwood, which people have in the past associated to a rough-around-the-edges sort of reputation. “Glenelm is a little pocket that’s quite different,” she affirms, citing the beautiful centennial homes (Emma’s home is over 100 years old), and mature elm trees which canopy the entire area.
As for Glenelm’s ambiance, it all boils down to family and neighborliness, according to the mother of two.
“People have families who grow up, the kids move out, but eventually they come back to Glenelm to raise their own kids.” In short, it’s a neighborhood where people tend to stick around, and its amenities, including a great elementary school and a Church-based coffee house where weekly live music nights draw crowds from all over the city, reflect that.
Would You Recommend It?
On this point, Emma shows no hesitation. “Yes definitely, this is a really great neighborhood.” And it’s not just because she lives here either, though her affection for the area definitely shines through. She explains that it makes good financial sense as well, because “(Glenelm) has a similar sort of feel to it, in terms of housing stock and environment, to some historic and more popular (read: expensive) areas in the city, without the prices.” Sound convincing? Well she’s managed to encourage a number of family members and friends to move to the area as well, and why not? Glenelm is a welcoming and affordable spot to enjoy a family lifestyle a stone’s throw from downtown.
What About Other Amenities?
Emma mentions that Glenelm is well-served by local bus routes and that a quick jaunt to Winnipeg’s downtown is a matter of 10 minutes or so. One of her family’s favourite spots to visit is The Forks, a National Historic Site where the two major rivers in Winnipeg meet. There’s a huge market there (for which a 2.5 million dollar revitalization is planned in the near future), and many activities take place there year round (skating, concerts, etc.). “It’s a public space that people really feel proud of,” she says, “and people come from all around to see it.”
We’d like to thank Emma for her precious insights on the vibrant and surprising city that is Winnipeg, and in particular, for sharing her local knowledge of Glenelm. Make sure to check out Winnipeg O’My Heart for more of Emma’s Winnipeg experiences; we’re sure you’ll end up wanting to visit as much as we do!
If you’re looking for your own slice of Winnipeg heaven to call home, check out Navut’s Neighborhood Finder to find your ideal neighborhood, based on your preferences! (You’ll be interested to know that both Emma and her husband got Glenelm in their top results! Why not try it out for yourself?)
Daily Feature : Update = SOLD
Continuing with our theme of Winnipeg for today, we're proud to feature a St-Boniface area semi-detached house, if you're considering the Peg as your next home. It's a large, 2-bedroom semi-detached home in pristine condition, just a stone's throw away from downtown Winnipeg, in a nevertheless tranquil area.
Contact Aleksandra Banas for more information!