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

Dear Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Member,

Welcome to the first edition of the Downtown Counts snapshot, a monthly roundup of information about the past month’s downtown activity and what we expect lies ahead. We are committed to sharing the information we collect to help prepare BIZ members for more people returning downtown.

We are all excited to see people walking around, shopping and dining downtown but we know businesses still need support to help generate revenue. Our team is advocating on your behalf and working hard to secure increased investment in our downtown. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: we’ve got your back.

As always, if you have any questions, contact us at

Downtown Winnipeg BIZ: Downtown Counts
April 18 – Downtown Counts

Since January 2022, we’ve seen a slow and steady increase of people downtown. New data gives us confidence that the number of people coming downtown will continue to trend upwards this spring. We’ve also been looking at similar data across the country and the return to downtown in Winnipeg is consistent with the return to downtown in other Canadian cities.

GRAPHIC: Downtown Visits - source: Environics Analytics
Downtown visits

We’re increasing our research efforts this year to better track data that gives members an accurate picture of downtown activity. The “downtown visits” information is brand new for us and we’re excited to share this data which captures the number of people who visit downtown and spend time in the area.

This new information shows more downtown visits in the first three months of 2022 than in the first three months of 2021.

  • January – 30% more visits than January 2021

  • February – 32% more visits than February 2021

  • March – 30% more visits than March 2021

As you can see, downtown visits are trending upwards.

GRAPHIC: More workers are coming downtown Visits - source: Probe Research
Probe survey

According to a Probe Research survey from March 2022, two-thirds of downtown workers said they are already back working downtown or expect to be soon — many said they will return in the next few months.

GRAPHIC: This April, the Workers Compensation Board welcomed approx. 500 employees back tot heir office on Broadway full time.
Return to downtown offices

We wanted to learn more about workers coming back to the office so we conducted our own targeted survey of downtown employers to better understand the number of employees returning to downtown offices. We had a 50% response rate — a total of 24 downtown employers representing over 10,000 employees. Thank you to everyone who took the time to help!

The downtown employers’ survey shows 67% of respondents are planning to bring employees back three to five days a week and the majority are starting to bring employees back to downtown offices in April or May.

GRAPHIC: Employers surveyed plan to bring employees back downtown - source: Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Survey

Employers are eager to promote downtown businesses to their employees and the BIZ is developing print and digital materials with information on where to “shop, dine and unwind” downtown. Our goal is to show employees how working downtown is more enjoyable than the home office!

GRAPHIC: More people are using on-street parting spots downtown - source: Winnipeg Parking Authority
On-street parking demand

New data from the Winnipeg Parking Authority shows a steady increase in the number of people parking on downtown streets. Last month, downtown on-street parking use was close to but still below the 2019 (pre-pandemic) average.

The Downtown BIZ continues to advocate for parking policies that benefit downtown including working with the City to make complimentary curbside pick-up locations permanent. We’re also advocating for a portion of parking profits to be invested back into downtown to make improvements in the area.

On-street parking is only part of the picture so we’re working with Winnipeg Transit to get current data on ridership to share in the next Downtown Counts.

Upcoming large events

Below is an overview of next month’s large events where attendees will likely want to find places to dine and shop nearby.

We hope this helps you better prepare your business and marketing efforts.


RBC Convention Centre

Canada Life Centre (capacity: 16,345)

Winnipeg Jets home games

  • April 24: Colorado Avalanche

  • April 27: Philadelphia Flyers

  • April 29: Calgary Flames

View Manitoba Moose schedule

View Centennial Concert Hall upcoming shows

Burton Cummings Theatre (capacity: 1,638) – shows with few tickets left


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

Thank you,

Kate Fenske, CEO
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ