A Community-led Vision for Portage Place
On Thursday, March 31st my office hosted a telephone town hall to discuss the future of Portage Place and community priorities for the mall. Nearly 1600 residents joined the call to imagine what a community-led vision for the space could look like.
The community needs to be at the centre of any new development of the mall; this hasn’t been the case in the past. Recent developments downtown have been built with the aim of bringing people downtown, rather than to benefit the families and individuals already living there.
Since the recently proposed sale of the mall broke down, our team has been working alongside the community to engage with residents, answer questions, and listen to the many creative ideas for the mall.
Portage Place is currently relied upon by many residents as a warm gathering space and de facto community centre; But downtown needs so much more than that! We heard this loud and clear from those on the call and in follow-up communications with our office.
There is a clear desire for the mall to be a community hub, with meaningful investments in things like social housing, youth programming, learning spaces, childcare, a grocery store, a seniors centre, and safe public spaces and services. This is an opportunity to create real community safety through robust investments in critical infrastructure severely lacking in downtown Winnipeg.
We have an opening to work together and support a vision for the space that benefits all. The town hall is only part of our ongoing effort to engage with residents about their priorities for the mall. If you live in Winnipeg Centre and would like to discuss Portage Place, please email [email protected], or call 204-984-1675.