Kapyong / by Greg Gallinger

Anyone who has spent time in Winnipeg will have noticed the vast area in South Winnipeg left vacant after the exodus of the Canadian Forces.

Glazed eyes may have noticed the empty houses during the daily commute, or noticed the hundreds of metres of barbed wire fence while enroute to IKEA.

It seems like such an unfortunate misuse of the many buildings and land that make up the complex. Local First Nations groups are seeking to acquire the land for residential and commercial developments. Media coverage of the First Nations plans predictably brought bigots out of the woodwork, spewing hate and vitrole on social media and the comment sections. The controversy and the mystery became an obsession to me.

I contact an uncle, a veteran who was once stationed in Winnipeg, to ask if he spent time in the place that now sits as a vacant space. He said he was stationed at Minto Armories, not Kapyong, but vaguely remembered the place. His vague recollections did little to satisfy my intrigue.

I decided to see grounds for myself, so one afternoon I walked the permiter of the barracks, through the snow, along the outside edge of the enclosed complex. Peeking over barbed wire and around warning signs from the Department of Defence. What mysteries remain locked away or forgotten in those many buildings? I felt like David Duchovny, looking over my shoulder for the lone security vehicle that patrols the grounds.

I came home with only these pictures and more questions.