‘Master plan’ outlined for Osborne Village

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BY KELSEY JAMES

STAFF REPORTER

OSBORNE VILLAGE

The Osborne Village “master plan” initiative received nearly $30,000 in funding through the City of Winnipeg’s community incentive grant program, said Osborne Village BIZ executive director Lindsay Somers.

Osborne Village is in the process of getting a facelift thanks to a three-tiered “master plan.”

The Osborne Village Business Improvement Zone, under the guidance of executive director Lindsay Somers, is leading the initiative, which received nearly $30,000 in funding through the City of Winnipeg’s community incentive grant program.

“It’s an opportunity take a long view of Osborne Village and how to build a stronger, more inclusive, safer and sustainable neighbourhood,” Somers said. “As we come out of COVID, we have a lot of socio-economic issues that have arisen. Osborne Village is a dense neighbourhood in the heart of Winnipeg, and we can plan for a brighter future. This is an opportunity to take some steps to do that.”

Somers and her team are currently in the “background review” stage of the plan, which consists of doing a preliminary walk-through of the neighbourhood to clearly define its character and improve existing streetscape features, like functioning garbage cans and the “basic street furniture of city-building.”

“We need to understand the inventory of what we have, where our infrastructure is, where the gaps are and where there are potential opportunities,” Somers said.

Thirteen thousand people live in Osborne Village, which was once dubbed “Canada’s greatest neighbourhood” by the Canadian Institute of Planners. The area boasts 150 businesses, Somers said, so part of the plan will include encouraging active transportation, connecting to the “live-work-play” model to draw more businesses, change the perception of the area and increase safety.

“We want to work with our community and stakeholders to listen and understand what the needs are,” Somers added. “We want to create stronger social bonds and community spaces to further Osborne Village as an economic destination.”

It has been nearly two decades since the Osborne Village secondary plan was adopted. Since then, the neighbourhood has experienced significant change, including residential growth, small business challenges and ad hoc development. The BIZ believes it is essential the area receives a “renewed vision” and review of priorities.

The Osborne Village “master plan” initiative received nearly $30,000 in funding through the City of Winnipeg’s community incentive grant program, said Osborne Village BIZ executive director Lindsay Somers.

“Even pre-COVID and post-COVID, we have a different understanding of our public spaces, needs and gaps in our social system,” Somers said.

The final phase of the plan is conceptual design and program development, which will identify streetscape modifications — including lighting, service treatments and possible public art installations — based on community and stakeholder input. The end result will be a road map for the future, Somers said.

“As grants and funds become available, it will be important for us to have projects and ideas that we can pull the trigger on,” she added. “It’s really helpful to have this master plan to guide our decision-making, focus and direction for the future.”

The Osborne Village master plan started in June and is expected to be complete by December 2022.

For more information about the Osborne Village BIZ, visit www.osbornevillagebiz.com

Kelsey James

Kelsey James
Community Journalist

Kelsey James is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. She graduated from Red River College’s creative communications program in 2018 as a journalism major and holds a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric, writing and communications from the University of Winnipeg. A lifelong Winnipegger who grew up in southwest Winnipeg, Kelsey is thrilled to be covering the neighbourhoods she still calls “home.”

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