Rapid Transit, Transit-oriented Development, Downtown Parking, Transportation Plan



Most Canadian cities have begun to see the value in rapid transit and how it can connect people to services and amenities. However Winnipeg seems to be falling behind in this regard. While ridership on the free downtown spirit has increased, 40,000 cars still travel along portage every day. This keeps CO2 emissions and commute times high, and results in a less competitive downtown business hub. Transit oriented development can help communities address these transportation issues, while addressing housing and environmental issues as well.  Transit oriented developments are mixed use, walkable communities that are located within close proximity to good quality public transportation.

We brought 70 planners, architects, city officials, downtown stakeholders, and Mayor Bowman to discuss strategies to implement Transit Oriented Development in Winnipeg. Click here for more information.


  • TOD creates more vibrant and exciting places for people
  • TOD helps communities work towards sustainability goals
  • TOD is about lifestyle and opportunity development


  • Winnipeg’s cold climate combined will always make some residents hesitate to use public transportation
  • Unreliable service
  • Bus stigma
  • Policy documents don’t change fast enough to support the need for resources


  • Parking minimums
  • Lack of certainty in transportation design will result in development not happening as expected
  • Lack of understanding of what is and isn’t allowed in TOD
  • Gaps in commitment and funding
  • Perception that families need a car


  • Winnipeg’s transit system is maturing, can learn from other cities and avoid their mistakes
  • River and Osborne is an existing node that can be further developed for TOD
  • Graham mall, another existing transit pathway which can be capitalized on for additional TOD development, is evolving and is home to the largest drivers of economic growth in the city
  • Connect Transit plans and mixed use neighborhood plans at the Forks

Option 1 – Education

  • Encourage awareness about TOD in the general public and banks
  • Educate the public about successful infill projects
  • View transit as an investment that cannot be ignored

Option 2 – Consultation

  • Get ideas from the public (experts and users)
  • Ensure transparency

Option 3 – Create a clear vision

  • Choose locations where TOD is possible
  • Build on what already exists
  • Redevelop surface parking lots
  • Remove parking minimums

Step 4 – Create a Plan

  • Should be clear and straight forward
  • Include timeframes, budgets, infrastructure plans, measures for success, etc.
  • Must be respected by all levels of the development community
  • Must be winter-friendly

Step 5 – Begin Development

  • Choose quality over quantity in terms of design
  • Showcase success afterwards

 Past Blogs/News: