Services are another index of the vitality of a Downtown, because in the profound changes which are affecting the central areas of our cities, services are emerging as the dominant activity. In Winnipeg as a whole, the services sector of the economy has shown the greatest strength and made the greatest gains over the last decade or two. Services include such activities as amusement and recreation, services to business (such as accounting, finance, legal, etc.), personal services (such as hairdressing, laundry, etc.) repair services, accommodation (hotels and motels) and miscellaneous services. These services have expanded vastly as a component of the national economy, and in Winnipeg, as in most of the cities of Canada, they have been a mainstay of economic growth.
In 1961 in the Metropolitan area, there were 1,949 service establishments, and their total revenues amounted to $104,279,100. In 1966 the number had grown to 2,120, and their revenues to $138,430,700, which represented a 32.8% increase in the volume of business in constant dollars.
It is most interesting and gratifying to note that in this particular sector of the economy, the Downtown has held its own. In 1961 the volume of services revenue produced in the Downtown was 26.9% of the total Metro area’s; and in 1966 the proportion remained exactly the same 26.9%.
In terms of relative growth, the services sector of the whole Metropolitan area grew by 32.8% during the five years 1961-66, and in the Downtown it grew by exactly the same amount 32.8%.