4. PUBLIC ACTION

For the key areas, the plan requires action by the public authorities to both acquire and develop land. North of Portage Avenue, in the Ellice-Cumberland sector, the plan proposes the following major public initiatives:

acquisition of the former St. Paul's College site for purposes of development as the expanded campus of the University of Winnipeg.

acquisition of the property lying between Edmonton Street and Kennedy Street, Qu'Appelle Avenue and Ellice Avenue for development as the first stage of the expansion of Central Park.

The provision of a site for the University of Winnipeg is of course the concern of the University and the Provincial Government. Nevertheless it must also be considered as an issue relevant to the development of Downtown Winnipeg, and as falling property within the sphere of interest of a plan for Downtown. The plan visualizes the acquisition of the property by the appropriate authorities, but the proposal is included here because the development of this site as a campus of the University of Winnipeg would provide a powerful stimulus to other development in the whole of the sector north of Portage Avenue and must therefore be considered as one of the key public initiatives in the plan.

The [XMLmind] and development of property for the extension of Central Park raises questions of municipal jurisdiction. At the present time Central Park is under the jurisdiction of the City of Winnipeg. The proposal for its extension contemplates the creation of a new major public open space of an order and size and importance which is metropolitan in scale. It would therefore seem appropriate for the Metropolitan Government not only to undertake the acquisition and development of the additional area, but also to be given the responsibility for the whole park. On the other hand, the whole problem of jurisdiction in the Metropolitan situation is so complex, that the implementation of any of the proposals of the plan probably cannot be achieved by a simple, straightforward exercise of existing authority, but may require special arrangements. The question of the appropriate form of organization is discussed later in this section.

South of Portage Avenue, the fourteen block area referred to as the Broadway-St. Mary sector will require a greater public involvement for its development than the area north of Portage Avenue.

The major public undertaking in this sector is the acquisition of the six blocks indicated for parking, and their development in accordance with the requirements of the plan. This will involve the construction of parking structures, the development of recreation facilities such as the aquarium, and the lease of the commercial space and the development of the pedestrian concourses.

In addition the plan proposes the extension of the weather-protected pedestrian system from block to block; the development of the open spaces and winter gardens; and the development of a convention-exhibition centre, all within the public sector.

A detailed order of priorities cannot be established at this stage, much will depend on specific circumstances as they develop. However it is obvious that the first public action is the acquisition of land for parking. This land need not all be acquired at once, but can be acquired as demand or market condition dictate. Nor must the parking structures all be developed immediately. Parking can be provided gradually, beginning with surface parking and ultimately taking the form of structures, as the need evolves. The pedestrian corridors too, and the commercial space, will be constructed as market conditions dictate and as space in the parking structures become available. The pace-maker for all these projects will of course be the rate of development of the apartment blocks. Decisions on the location and the type of public project can be determined in detail as the plan unfolds.

The “public” referred to in the preceding paragraphs, and throughout the text of this document, is intended to mean that public or quasi-public authority created or designated, presumably by an Act of the Provincial Legislature, for the purpose of carrying out the “public action” proposed in the plan. It is expected that the Provincial Government would base this legislation upon the requirements of the plan and upon discussions with Metro and other interest groups.

* The full development of the riverbank park and Central Park may require more than twenty years, because acquisition of all the necessary property will probably have to wait until the existing structures have outlived their usefulness. In some case this may take longer than two decades.