Our city will welcome 160,000 new Winnipeggers over the next 20 years. All of them will need a place to live.
We couldn’t be more excited for our city’s diversification and growth in our various communities. As one of the leading infill developers in Winnipeg, we are proud to help our city reach its goal to increase density and fulfil 82,000 homes needed to accommodate this growth.
How? Through building quality residential infill in mature neighbourhoods.
Residents in these established neighbourhoods can live, work, shop, learn and play within close proximity to each other. These communities are walkable and bikeable, giving Mother Nature a break from toxic vehicle emissions.
We chatted with one of Paragon’s residents, Trent, an owner of two infill duplexes and he shared his story of what that’s like and what it’s like living in one of the suites.
Living In A Desired Neighbourhood
Trent is no stranger to owning Winnipeg real estate.
He’s had his hands on numerous single-family homes in the past, selling his last one in 2013. After selling his last real estate property he continued on as a renter.
“I was a renter for a few years after that. During that time, I never stopped looking for a rental property because I eventually wanted to get back into real estate. But I didn’t want my next purchase to be a single-family house with a big mortgage payment - I wanted something that’s better from an investment perspective,” says Trent. “For years, I had a hard time finding anything in the city that was to my liking in terms of quality, style and most importantly, something with positive cash flow.”
Until a friend introduced him to Paragon in 2018. He checked out one of our duplexes and knew that this was it. He contacted Nigel Furgus, Paragon Design Build’s president, and the two of them got to work.
“We built two two-storey duplexes, and I live in one of the suites. I’m happy I built something with Paragon to my level of expectations and something that’s nice enough that people would feel comfortable living in them, myself included. The reaction I got from potential tenants when I showed them was very strong. They sent their applications in and rented right away.”
A Divided Community
In all the rancorous debates about infill development, Winnipeggers have not heard much about one of the main drivers behind infill - people who are looking to rent.
There’s huge and rising demand from people who need housing and want to live in mature neighbourhoods. And if the city wants to meet its carbon reduction targets, it needs at least half of its future development to come from infill.
“When I was searching for a rental property investment, I had no idea about the ongoing infill debate. I didn’t find out until I was already into the project, coming out to see our progress, and then realizing how much some of my neighbours did not like it. We had a lot of setbacks with the city. We had plans that were approved and the city pushed them back. We changed designs a few times. In the end, it all worked out. The end product went above my expectations.”
The outcome was two designer duplexes made with premium materials and a tasteful design. But even though the residential infill development turned out beautiful and matched a lot of the characteristics of the neighbourhood, Trent still received challenges from some neighbours.
“I see the definite divide in the neighbourhood. One of my direct neighbours on one side loves it. He’s an architect who supports increased density and he said he likes what I did here. The lady on the other side said she has no issues with it too. But a few other residents on the street wouldn’t say so much as hello to me. You get a real mixed bag and you can sense it. Some are for it, some are totally against it. That takes a little bit of getting used to.”
What Infill Brings To YOUR Winnipeg Neighbourhood
Infill presents plenty of benefits to your community. It helps improve Winnipeg both environmentally and economically.
Here’s what we want to achieve with infill developments:
- Physically renew, revitalize and enhance population in older communities
- Support public transit and create walkable communities
- Provide more affordable housing options
- Diversify housing choices to meet the needs of Winnipeggers at each life stage
- Maximize use of existing municipal infrastructure and community facilities
Infill projects can vary from single-family and two-family homes to townhouses, multi-family and apartments. Infill developers construct many medium density housing in mature communities across the city allowing room for population growth in these areas.
The new housing built in mature neighbourhoods replace old and derelict houses. These old houses present many challenges to owners, such as high-utility costs, asbestos, mould, radon gas leaking and more.
“The house we tore down to put these duplexes up was unlivable. I live in a beautiful neighbourhood, but when you drive around you’ll find a lot of derelict houses that are at the end of their life.”
By supporting infill, you also support:
- Young professionals
- New Canadians
- Single parents
- Retirees looking to downsize
- Future generations
“All of my tenants are young professionals: they’re nurses, they’re physiotherapists, they’re teachers. Why would you not want those people in your neighborhood? When there are more people living in a street, it makes the neighbourhood more vibrant with activity. My tenants would play volleyball in the front yard. It brings something to the community rather than some of these old houses that nobody is even living in.”
Support Infill Developments In Winnipeg
As the city of Winnipeg grows closer to one million in population, infill is an essential part of its densification.
“At the end of the day, people want to live in them. It shows in how quickly they lease when suites do become available.”
Be a part of the change and support infill developments in your neighbourhood. Learn more about the City of Winnipeg’s Complete Communities strategy and Infill Guidelines and talk to your City Councillor about how infill can benefit your neighbourhood.