Things looking up in Sage Creek and Bonavista
In recent weeks, there have been two significant announcements for the southeast corner of the city, for residents of Sage Creek and Bonavista (which are both part of the St. Vital ward).
First, the province teamed up with la Division scolaire franco-manitobaine to announce a new French K-8 school in the northern part of Sage Creek. They are now also moving forward with the Louis Riel School Division on the long-anticipated K-8 French Immersion School in southern Sage Creek. The next big priority for the southeast is a recreation complex in Bonavista.
Many readers may wonder “Where is Bonavista?” Think “south of Island Lakes” and you will be in the right area. The population (listed as “6 residents” in the City’s 2017 ward boundary study) is now a few thousand people, with approximately 800 occupied houses and apartments at the time of the 2022 election. Construction is ongoing and when the “build-out” is done, there should be about 1,700 doors, in addition to the 5,000 residences scheduled for Sage Creek. Overall, the area is not as big as Waverley West, in the city’s southwest corner, but it is still a large new section of Winnipeg.
At the corner of Warde Avenue and Evelyne Reese Boulevard in Bonavista, 11 acres of land was set aside for a future community or recreation centre. Now all we need is the money.
Getting this funding will be a priority for me in the city’s multi-year budget, starting in 2024. Fortunately, City staff are aware that there are presently no city-run recreation facilities in the St. Vital ward and that there is no community centre campus in Sage Creek, Bonavista or Royalwood.
The need for a new facility in the southeast was recognized in the city’s Infrastructure 2020 Plan, which was adopted by city council in 2019, with an estimated budget of $12.1 million. This project was endorsed again in the city’s 2022 Recreation Strategy.
While I hope for federal and provincial funding assistance, the Cty needs to take the lead on the project. The site does not have room for indoor ice or a pool, but there are options for amenities such as a gym, outdoor basketball court or skateboard park, which would make sense.
While it will not equal the planned $89-million Waverly West Rec Centre, this project should be the vibrant heart of the new Bonavista area.
St. Vital ward report
Brian Mayes is the city councillor for St. Vital.