Waverley West Is Growing Fast

We are seeing so many new apartments being constructed along Pembina Highway and alongside the new rapid transit corridor, and many more are being proposed. Many of you have asked why all this construction is occurring and I would like to provide you with a brief overview.

Winnipeg is growing. Between the 2016 census and July 2020, the city grew by 40,679 people. Over 27 per cent of those people (11,171) moved into the Waverley West ward.

Winnipeg is growing through immigration and city economists project Winnipeg’s population will increase by another 52,000 over the next four years (by 2025). Many will continue moving to southwest Winnipeg.

Apartments are being built along Pembina Highway and along the transit corridor for a multitude of reasons.

Many new students and families come to Canada to study at the University of Manitoba, there is excellent transit service linking to downtown to the university, there is a wide variety of goods, services and health care services along Pembina Highway and southwest Winnipeg has one of the lowest crime rates in all of Winnipeg.

In addition, city council has developed policies to encourage multi-family development along major corridors and, of course, there is the rapid transit corridor. Extensive infrastructure is already built to handle the increase in population on the major corridors; rapid transit provides incredible service, cycling lanes (still needing some refinement) and sidewalks exist, there is a fire station, an emergency hospital close by, and schools throughout the area.

I am supportive of new apartments being constructed as they meet council-approved policies on how we want to grow our city. They provide clean, safe accommodation and affordable housing options, as not everyone has the means to purchase a single family home.

In addition, construction brings billions of dollars to the economies of Winnipeg and Manitoba. This, in turn, creates jobs, wealth and an improved quality of life for all. In 2019, investment in building construction totaled approximately $2.1 billion in the City of Winnipeg, the highest on record.

The Canadian Home Builders Association 2020 Economic Performance Review identified that residential home building in Winnipeg created 10,578 jobs, $657 million in wages and $1.2 billion in investments.

The construction you see is making a tremendous contribution to improving the quality of life for all. I know it can be challenging to see our community undergoing change, and there can be inconveniences and disruptions but, overall, the benefits outweigh the downside.

I welcome any questions or input you may have on this topic at jlukes@winnipeg.ca