The great bell on the Bell Hotel on Main Street still sways in the wind, though the neon lights haven't been on in years. The rooms that housed the most destitute on Winnipeg's skid row, are empty. The heat is off and the beds are cold.
With history spanning one-hundred years—from rum-runners to bar-hoppers—the Bell has earned a reputation as one of the roughest rooming houses in Western Canada. Today the hotel and its neon sign wait, as city planners argue whether to replace it, refurbish it or abandon it to the cold Main Street winds.