Tackling vacant properties in the North End


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/09/2021 (628 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

We have far too many vacant buildings in this community.

As the city incentivizes more and more suburban development, our North End is seeing less and less investment. It’s easy to see in the number of vacant buildings and the burden they are putting on our neighbourhood. It’s hard to put a value on the situation, but the City of Winnipeg website says vacant buildings are an increased risk of fire, post safety hazards and increase urban blight.

I see it every day, and I’m sure you do, too. Walking around your neighbourhood, you’ll see a burned-out abandon building here, a boarded-up building there. We need to take steps to fix them.

Photo by Steve Snyder Vacant, untended homes and buildings are a blight on local neighbourhoods.

The problem becomes pernicious in its cumulative effect. As more properties become vacant, arson and crime rise and it creates further incentives for emaining residents to flee.

It’s not just housing, it’s businesses, too. I recently had a great walking meeting with Stephanie Voyce of the Selkirk Avenue BIZ. We walked through the business improvement zone and saw far too many vacancies. Once the thriving heart of the North End, Selkirk Avenue has been relegated to a second-class area with the city deciding to focus its investment on development on the urban fringes.

While the best time to tackle this issue was 10 years ago, the next best time is now.

As I’ve said in some of my previous articles, I don’t think that a solution will come from the top down; real change will happen on the ground.

So, what can you do to effect change?

For starters, you should get in touch with your local neighbourhood association and let them know it’s an issue for you. They are there as an advocacy group for the neighourhood and may have ideas already in place to fight this issue.

You should also talk to your neighbours. Ask them if they have issues with any buildings in the area. Keep an inventory of the suspected vacancies and let the city know through 311.

The most important thing you can do is show up and let your councillor know this is an important issue to you.

If you have any other ideas, reach out to me at the Seven Oaks Residents’ Association. I’d love to hear what you have to say.


Steve Snyder is a community correspondent for the Seven Oaks and Luxton neighbourhoods and chair of the Seven Oaks Residents’ Association

Steve Snyder

Steve Snyder
Luxton / Seven Oaks community correspondent

Steve Snyder is a community correspondent for the Seven Oaks and Luxton neighbourhoods and chair of the Seven Oaks Residents’ Association

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