Addressing Surface Parking Lots


Winnipeg’s strategic plan “OurWinnipeg” was adopted in 2010 by Winnipeg’s city council in order to ensure the long term goal of a healthy and vibrant city would be realized.  Downtown was identified as a priority; a prosperous, vibrant downtown is the heart of any great urban centre.  Housing, heritage, development, business safety and culture are all key features of OurWinnipeg’s plan.


City Council has taken a positive step in achieving their goals with the release of  the “Live Downtown-Rental Development Grant Program.”  Using incentives to encourage development of rental housing in specific and strategic locations, the program seeks to address the overwhelming problem of surface parking lots in downtown Winnipeg.


Surface parking lots in urban centres are unattractive, unsafe, and unprofitable to anyone except the owner.  The City hopes that incentive grants to cover the economic gap related to construction and bonus grants which focus on specific locations (surface parking lots) will create higher density, generate a larger tax base and promote safety and development in downtown Winnipeg.


According to the report:


“All eligible projects will receive a base incentive equal to 12 years of incremental property and education based taxes and grants will be provided on an annualized basis.  Eligible projects are potentially eligible for bonus incentives as follows:

–       4 additional years for developing at strategic locations that leverages existing momentum or supports adjacent developments in targeted areas of the Downtown

–       2 additional years for developing on existing surface parking lots

–       2 additional years for integrating structured parking into the development.

Thus the development incentive represent up to 20 years of property and education related taxes granted back annually based on the incremental taxes generated.”


For further information see “Live Downtown- Rental Development Grant Program”