Daniel McIntyre Coun. Harvey Smith said his office received a complaint Tuesday about the open lot adjacent to the building at 519 Burnell St. and called the city's water and waste department to demand the property owner remove the garbage.
The director of fire prevention for the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service, who is in charge of such orders, said the building had been vacant for about a year.
An inspector was expected to visit the property Thursday.
The open lot in the neighbourhood just south of Ellice Avenue and one block west of Arlington Street has become a repository for furniture, appliances, boxes, clothes, household goods, personal paper and many other articles left behind in the three-storey apartment building.
One morning earlier this week, the lot was a picture of disarray.
Overturned chairs, couches and tables mingled with mattresses in pink, white, blue and floral print. Some mattresses were torn and oozing stuffing.
There were small items amid the wreckage: an orange 8-track tape of country-music legend Johnny Cash. The album was called The Rambler. A box of Table Top Baking Soda, still half full, sat upright on the ground, its top pried open.
Plumbing pipes, velour chairs in various hues, cardboard boxes -- one labelled Operation Christmas Child -- also littered the area.
But the remnants, however poignant, were an eyesore and a potential hazard in the minds of Burnell residents.
"I'm not going into that mess," said one 60-year-old man, as groups of children gathered nearby.
"We just can't have this," said the man, who lives in an apartment across Burnell Street from the garbage pile and who did not want his name used. "Our neighbourhood is bad enough. We don't need something like this."
Other neighbourhood residents also expressed displeasure at the growing garbage pile. Trina Francois, 30, who lives on the other side of the lot from the vacant building, said she wanted to see the building become a "wonderland for sick children." Francois is the mother of a physically disabled boy.
Civic tax records identified the owner of the building as a numbered Manitoba company. However, a spokesman for the numbered firm said the partners in the firm have defaulted on the apartment building's mortgage and the property is now controlled by the mortgagee, which the lawyer identified as another local holding company. A lawyer for the holding company said the owner of the firm could not be reached for comment.
-- With files from Aldo Santin