Age 23. Resides in Winnipeg, MB.
One thing I’ve learned about Zachary is that he can speak. Real well.
The questions usually stay the same.
“Originally from Winnipeg, I grew up in Wolseley, the story I often tell people when they ask about my roots in Winnipeg is that I went to my first city hall meeting at the age of two.”
He’s since had a passion for city politics, he shared with me.
“We grew up on Palmerson. The folks next to us wanted to open up a hair salon. My mom helped organize the neighbourhood against it, we didn’t feel that it would be conducive to the vitality of the neighbourhood. We organized the neighbourhood and we spoke at committee and they rejected their rezoning variance.
My mom always says about that story “We didn’t want our street to be like Pembina highway!” which I had no idea about whenever I heard that story growing up.”
As a two-year-old, I would bet Zachary couldn’t wait to see Pembina highway… But really, he has a clear passion for this city.
“Winnipeg is an incredible city because it really speaks to the ability to work within a broader multicultural society, while still creating and maintaining your own identity. You have the opportunity to not be part of a melting pot in the same way that you might see in Toronto.”
Zachary comes from Jewish roots.
When I asked for something typically Winnipeg, he took his time picking the right story for me.
“I can speak back to a moment I had riding my bike about two weeks ago. I was coming from Osborne Village – I’m a West Ender right now – and I took the long route around. I took all the way through Crescentwood and I had this beautiful bike ride with limited traffic. The snow was flying, I had my goggles on. It was such a picturesque moment that I got to enjoy on my ride home. It was so beautifully Winnipeg, and so beautifully serene.
To be able to ride through a city and feel connected to it, but also disconnected. But to see those tall trees and to really see a city that has so much history and the stories that could be told. For me what it really comes down to, not even that particular bike ride, but knowing that there’s so much history in this city. Stuff that really comes together over time. To be able to walk down the streets of Selkirk Avenue for example, and to be able to speak to it as a hub for Jewish communities – Ukrainian, Russian, German – and seeing it now as a counterpoint of Aboriginal activism is really really the history of the city is what it comes down to for me.”
The City of Winnipeg has history hanging out of it’s every dirty corner downtown. The Exchange has old buildings. Main Street has old buildings. You can go down to South Osborne and see that old street car stop.
If you’re interested to learn more about Winnipeg’s history, check out these links: