West Broadway Commons – 175 Colony Street

Description: 12 storey, 110 unit mixed-income apartments and ground floor commercial. 56 units designated as affordable housing, 45 units market rate rentals, and 9 premium rate units. Replaces greenspace attached to All Saints Parish Hall and All Saints Anglican Church.

“The idea, says David Wilson, chair of All Saints’ Housing Development Committee, is for the market- and premium-rate units to subsidize the affordable units, ensuring the building’s long-term financial sustainability. But there are other motives, too. Affordable and market-rate units will be mixed throughout each floor, so that there is no obvious distinction between the two.” – Anglican Journal

Status: Completed/leasing. Constructed August 2019 – Summer 2021.
Project website: West Broadway Commons
Architects project page: Number Ten Architectural Group
Developers: Joint venture project of University of Winnipeg Community Renewal Corporation and All Saints Anglican Church

Project Description
The West Broadway Commons, at 175 Colony Street, is a joint venture project of UWCRC 2.0 and All Saints Anglican Church. 12 storey, 110 unit, mixed-use, mixed-income apartments, with over 3,000 ft2 of street-level commercial space, which will replace the current All Saints Parish Hall.

  • A minimum of 51% affordable units
  • Attractive units across a range of rent levels in studio, one, two and three bedroom configurations
  • 31% of suites meet barrier free accessibility standards and all common areas are universal accessibility designed
  • Alternative transportation options through access to transit, car sharing and cycling amenities, in addition to on-site parking
  • Vibrant commercial activities at street level.
  • Quality design creating a building that fits with the character of the neighbourhood and the adjacent historic All Saints church
  • An energy rating 30% better than required by the 2015 National Energy Building Code

Common ground: Winnipeg church plans affordable housing on site of parish hall
West Broadway Commons gets federal help (Winnipeg Free Press, text quoted below)

West Broadway Commons gets federal help
Fund contributes $25.6M to project
By: Caitlyn Gowriluk
Posted: 7:23 PM CDT Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019

As construction vehicles clattered and squealed in the background, a small group of people gathered behind the All Saints’ Anglican Church on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the mixed-income rental housing project that will soon rise up where there is now just a hole in the ground.

The West Broadway Commons will feature 110 new homes in the community, 56 of which will be affordable housing units.

“We need more projects like this across the country to fill that missing gap for people that need suitable housing to live in,” Wilson said. “This is a prime example of that.”

Winnipeg Centre MP Robert-Falcon Ouellette said the project shows what a community as determined as the one in West Broadway can accomplish.

“We’re all passionate about our city, and we all share common goals of ensuring that everyone has access to safe, affordable and stable housing,” Ouellette said. “That’s why we are here today.”

Ouelette said all common areas in the building will meet universal accessible design standards, and 33 of its units will be fully accessible. The housing development will also meet an energy rating 30 per cent better than what’s required by the National Energy Building Code.

The project received $25.6 million in federal funds through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s national housing co-investment fund. The City of Winnipeg also contributed $250,000 through its housing rehabilitation investment reserve.

The project was the result of more than four years of work, and began to take shape when members of the All Saints’ Anglican Church realized the hall behind the church was in dire need of costly upgrades.

“We faced an impossibly high cost to put it back in shape,” said Sandi Mielitz, vice-chair of the church’s building committee.

Instead, they decided to look into the possibility of repurposing the land.

“We wanted to be involved in a project which did not lose money, but had a strong social and environmental component. It had to contribute to the quality of life in West Broadway,” Mielitz said.

The church received many serious proposals for commercial spaces, but Mielitz said only one submission pitched the idea of affordable, accessible and environmentally conscious housing units: the University of Winnipeg Community Renewal Corporation 2.0.

Mielitz said the support behind the project, which is expected to be complete by December 2020, shows just how many ways thoughtful design and development can benefit communities.

“What truly is the highest and best use for a piece of land? We quickly think about financial terms, return on investment,” she said. “But if we care about our future and the health of our society, we need to broaden this definition.”

David Wilson, chair of the church’s building committee, said the housing project could provide ideas to other cities across Canada as they look at possible solutions to housing instability.