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65-year-old man spends free time cleaning up garbage, needles from downtown Winnipeg streets

Last Updated Feb 23, 2021 at 6:36 pm CST

WINNIPEG – The streets downtown are looking a lot cleaner, thanks to a local man who spends his free time tidying up the core.

Lawrence Corbiere, 65, spends his time scraping the filth, trash, and leftover needles off the sidewalks around the inner city.

Except he doesn’t get paid a cent.

“The city has pretty much given up cleaning up so I clean up as much as I can before springtime,” said Corbiere.

“It can sometimes get bad. It’s like a dump sometimes.”

His motivation? Pride for the city he lives in.

“I love this city.”

He wants others to have the same pride.

Ben Friesen saw Corbiere raking up trash one evening just over a week ago. He introduced himself and offered his help.

Friesen has set up a Facebook page to help Corbiere make ends meet.

“He just inspired me. He inspired me to try to care for the city more. And, you know, if a 65-year-old can do it, I think some of us can also [do it],” said Friesen.

“We just want to make him more comfortable.”

Corbiere rents a floor of a nearby house and says he wishes he was taught how to work.

He wants to see more supports for the homeless population who largely congregate in this area between shelters and soup kitchens.

Friesen and Corbiere both have ideas on how the garbage program could be revisited—including one-way trash cans and a pick-up system.

In the meantime, you will likely find Corbiere and Friesen, cleaning up the streets downtown.

“We know the garbage will be back. But if we stay on it, it won’t build up and it won’t look nearly as bad,” said Friesen.