Exchange District Community Investment Strategy

Building from the Exchange District Plan 2022, the Exchange District Community Investment Strategy will set the course for an exciting future.

A Sustainable and Equitable Future for the Exchange District

The Exchange District Community Investment Strategy presents a bold vision for the future of the Exchange. Forming the second part of the Winnipeg City Council approved Exchange District Plan 2022, the Investment Strategy provides a model for investment, sustainability, and community growth.

The strategy divides the Exchange District and surrounding regions into seven unique precincts, establishing a clear sense of direction, and building from neighbourhood’s inherent strengths. EDCIS outlines seven essential moves necessary to transform the area into Canada’s most walkable and successful urban neighbourhood.


Envisioning a population base of between 20,000 – 25,000 people living within the area over the 20-year span of the strategy, the EDCIS is a heavily data-driven, deeply researched document that demonstrates the area’s potential for significant growth. The proposed public and private investment scenarios paint a picture of a vibrant urban neighbourhood in the heart of Winnipeg’s downtown, and doing so sustainably and with a return on investment to the City of Winnipeg. 


Mobility & Walkability

Shifting investment away from inducing traffic demand and towards creating attractive routes for pedestrians.

Residential Development & Liveability

Real estate in the study area has tremendous potential to be quickly and efficiently developed into major mixed-use, residential development.

Heritage Conservation, Placemaking & Sustainable Infill

Encourage and formalize the recent trend of co-developing heritage building sites with new building and new green technology integration.

Becoming a Vibrant, Urban Neighbourhood

The proposed public and private investment scenarios paint a picture of a vibrant urban neighbourhood in the heart of Winnipeg’s downtown, projecting a population of up to 25,000 people living within the area over the next 20 years.

Investments that are self-sustaining

The plan uses a Value Planning methodology to demonstrate a substantial boost to the City’s bottom line, projecting over $100 million in net new revenue, with property tax uplift of $9.3 million over trend on an annual basis at year 20.

Sustainability is the future

With a focus on sustainability, the plan is designed to demonstrate the building blocks of growing the area in a way that is environmentally, socially, and culturally sustainable. It presents a Neighbourhood Sustainability Index (NSI), the first of its kind, monitors 16 metrics related to the dimensions of Economic, Social, and Environmental sustainability (triple-bottom-line).

7 Essential Moves

The Exchange District Community Investment Strategy includes seven moves – big-impact, district-wide projects that will accelerate the Exchange District’s renewal by pulling together the public sector, private investment, and community partnerships.

  • Precinct Based Planning
  • Residential Development and Intensification Zones
  • Corridors and Connections
  • Arts Festival Campus
  • High Impact Rapid Transit
  • Infrastructure Maintenance, Replacement & Beautification
  • Transformation of Main Street and Disraeli

Precinct Plans

The EDCIS lays the groundwork for precinct-based plans within the study area by modelling a range of development scenarios and infrastructure projects. Each precinct has a focal point or theme as a guiding principle drawn from what is already working well. The names are intended for convenience of reference and a mild nod to the precinct’s focus. It is these precinct summaries that will form the basis for moving from and Investment Strategy to a series of Investment Plans:

Rows Precinct

Go-to streets for commerce and culture

Education & Innovation Precinct

Fuelling local industry

Chinatown Precinct

Celebrating Chinese-Canadian Heritage

Neeginan Precinct

Realizing the community’s vision

Alex Precinct

Living in the Arts

Waterfront Living Precinct

Bridging people, places, rivers

Connection & Intensification Precinct

Launchpad for a complete downtown

Residential Development & Intensification Zones

Creating investment opportunities that have true, lasting impact work best when developments are planned in clusters. RDIZs allow the city and its partners to create targeted incentive regimes that demonstrate the type of development being sought and provide the confidence and predictability investors seek. These include infrastructure commitments, expedited approvals (within established guidelines), and the judicious use of financial tools.

Enhanced Corridors & Connections

One of the Exchange District’s enduring strengths is its relative walkability and its accessibility across all modes of transportation. By filling the gaps, enhancing the formal and informal pedestrian routes and ensuring access to and from the area, future residents and visitors should be able to efficiently enjoy traversing the streets while taking in the art, culture and all that the community has to offer. Enhancements include new pedestrian walkways, cultural corridors, and the selective implementation of shared streets where warranted.

Measuring Success

Neighbourhood Sustainability Index:

The Exchange District BIZ created the Neighbourhood Sustainability Index to monitor the level of economic, social and sustainable contribution throughout the creation of the strategy. As targets are reached, investments, projects and actions will seek improved metrics.

Return On Investment Projections:

As a result of implementing this strategy, the uplift modelling yields an increase of nearly 11,000 residential units above standard growth projections, which would increase the population of the Exchange District by about 15,000. Over the 20-year projection, modelling of the investment strategy produces a property tax uplift of $103.5 million and a business tax uplift of $5.7 million. By year 20, the City of Winnipeg will collect a minimum of $9.3 million annually based on property value uplift alone.