The moment I stepped into this building, I didn’t expect that this small airport is a big contributor in reuniting immigrant families in this city.
I’ve been to Winnipeg’s James Armstrong Richardson International Airport in 2003. I was actually surprised about how small it was, but then again at that time, I’ve never fully realized the scope and the size of cities and airports in Canada.
Regardless of its size, there is one thing about the James Richardson Airport that made an impression on me: it was a location for families – specifically immigrant families – to congregate and meet relatives arriving to live with them. Speaking from experience, my family has been to the airport on separate occasions to meet my aunt and her family, three cousins and a nephew, on top of my usual flights to Toronto to see my beau.
Initially, I thought the airport was relatively small to the number of people that use the facility everyday. But as my visits there became more frequent, it dawned on me that this place, no matter how small it was, has been a hub of different people from different cultures, all there to see their families or loved ones arrive to Winnipeg, whether it is their first time or not. I thought that is kind of impressive.
Recently, the airport has undergone a new facelift. It was long overdue, I think. This year I got the chance to see the new airport and thought the new building is fantastic. It still hasn’t lost that charming and nostalgic feel to it, in my opinion, as it still continues to be a witness in reuniting family members who arrive to make this city from the prairies their new home.