Did You Know

The southeast corner of Snelling and University Avenues, now home to the Midway Shopping Center, was once home to the main construction and repair shop for the Twin City Rapid Transit Company, the transportation company that originally operated Twin Cities streetcars and later buses until 1962.

The Snelling Avenue Station & Shops expanded over the years and became a major garage for the bus system until it was shut down and demolished in 2001.

The Midway

Located midway between Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the Midway District is today one of Saint Paul’s most popular shopping areas.

The Midway area of Saint Paul is bounded by Pierce Butler Route on the north, North Lexington Parkway on the east, University Avenue on the south and Cleveland Avenue on the west. The name comes from the fact that the area is almost literally midway between the downtown metros of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

Midway District Map

The Midway is also home to St. Paul’s warehouse district, and a diverse mix of residential and commercial properties, including Midway Center, one of Saint Paul’s key shopping areas. A variety of retail stores, grocers and restaurants, operated by owners representing a variety of nationalities, provide a bustling mix of commerce and traffic on any day of the week. The key Midway intersection of University Avenue and Snelling Avenue is one of the busiest in all of the Twin Cities – a far cry from a century and a half ago, when the area was a giant prairie between Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

The Midway area is a retail bonanza for shoppers, between its permanent retail stores on and around University Avenue, and the Minnesota State Fair, one of the nation’s most popular state fairs, attracting more than 1.7 million visitors during its annual two-week run before Labor Day. When the State Fair is not running, its property hosts year-round a variety of large-scale wholesale and retail sales, auctions and shows, typically attracting several thousand visitors for each event.

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