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Downtown Winnipeg BIZ: Memo - The latest information for BIZ Members

Dear Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Member,

Kate's away this week enjoying some much-needed R & R after a busy few months, so I'm filling in by bringing greetings on her behalf.

I've been at the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ now for just over a month and one of the greatest lessons I've learned in this short time, is how vibrant and resilient our downtown is. It may sound cheesy but there's so much life here; it really is the heart of our city, flowing and growing every day. It's such a special place and I feel grateful to not only spend my days here, but to play a role in promoting and spreading the word about the incredible places and spaces found here.

We get knocked down, but we get up again.

In addition to bringing back some of our favourite summer activities (while respecting provincial protocols) – to name a few, Fitness in the Park, Downtown Sounds Concert Series, Downtown Tours – our team is working on more initiatives that will help encourage folks to shop, eat, explore and more here. More to come!

Parking rates dropped by 75 cents an hour

As a way to encourage folks to visit downtown businesses and stay longer, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ has been advocating for a parking rate reduction for over a year. Back in May, the Winnipeg Parking Authority submitted a report to City Hall requesting a decrease of 75 cents in hourly parking rates, and now it's coming into effect.

The parking rate reduction started on July 1 but will take approximately six to eight weeks to fully implement as each pay station needs to be reprogrammed manually. Those who pay by phone will be able to pay the new rate right away.

This rate reduction is in addition to the one-hour complimentary parking already offered downtown. At the start of the pandemic, we worked with the City of Winnipeg to establish parking incentives like curbside pick-up zones and one-hour complimentary parking. We've also added decals on the parking meters to communicate the new daily one-hour complimentary parking.

These are all steps in the right direction and we look forward to seeing the comprehensive parking strategy expected in the fall.

We're looking for two new board members who are passionate about downtown

Guided by our core values of respect, collaboration, innovation, excellence, and inclusion, our Board of Directors provides leadership and governance to the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ in achieving the organization's mission and strategic plan. In addition to the standard roles and responsibilities of a board member, our board members are active advocates and ambassadors for the organization and downtown Winnipeg.

We're looking for:

  • A member of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ (work or own a business operating within the boundaries of the zone)
  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ
  • Able to strengthen the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ with expertise developed through previous board, business or professional experience

At the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, we place emphasis on diversity and inclusion and have a board seat specifically reserved for an Indigenous individual that has yet to be filled. If you're of Indigenous descent, we encourage you to apply and include this in your application.

Visit our website for more information on how to apply.

Construction to begin downtown on July 6

Some of you may have received a notice on your door from the City of Winnipeg this week, to notify you about road construction. The City is undertaking a five-year road renewal project that will ultimately improve road surface conditions. The construction began back in May on Fort Street and Hargrave Street and this next phase will start the construction on Portage Avenue. The project includes the following locations and estimated timelines:

  • Fort Street between Broadway and Graham Avenue – May-September 2020
  • Hargrave Street between Portage Avenue and Ellice Avenue – May-July 2020
  • Portage Avenue between Memorial Boulevard and Fort Street – July-August 2020
  • Carlton Street between Portage Avenue and Ellice Avenue August 2020, inclusive

For more detailed information, view the City of Winnipeg notice (PDF).

Enjoy the micro pop up parks throughout downtown

In lieu of our typically larger pop-up parks, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ has rolled out something a little bit smaller...

Downtown Winnipeg BIZ pop up parks

To respect physical distancing guidelines as well as increase comfortable outdoor space, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ has installed ten micro pop-up parks all over downtown. These parks are designed for physical distancing – each park has 6ft circles painted on the ground to indicate recommended spacing.

The parks are open for the public to use and we encourage you to use them for takeout seating, waiting areas, meetups, etc.

Some of the furniture in the parks include: benches, sitting tables, standing tables, and planters filled with edible vegetation such as tomatoes and herbs. Signage will be installed in the coming weeks to give instructions on how to harvest the plants.

Our staff will maintain these micro pop-up parks all through the summer and fall, and they will remain up until the snow flies.

As always, please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions:

Thank you,

Pamela Hardman, Director of Marketing, Engagement and Communications
on behalf of Kate Fenske, CEO
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ