BOMA Advocates for Portage & Main concourse

BOMA has corresponded with Mayor and council regarding the potential decommissioning of the underground concourse at Portage & Main.  In its March 13th letter, the association reminded councillors that the city-owned ‘circus’ underneath the intersection forms an integral part of the walkway system; buildings directly connected to the underground concourse contribute millions of dollars in property taxes and “provide workspaces for more than 6,000 downtown workers, plus amenities for thousands more visitors and hotel guests.”

Although it is encouraging that council has since passed an amended motion to provide full costing for a decommissioning plan, it is our belief that the City’s desire to ultimately close the concourse, rather than reinvest in this important public amenity, would be the wrong approach for ensuring a vibrant and sustainable downtown.

As early as February 2017, all property owners at the intersection expressed conditional support for opening Portage & Main to street-level pedestrian traffic, provided that the City would work to ensure that:

  1. Impacts on vehicular traffic would be minimized;
  2. The City would modernize its own assets in the underground concourse, “commensurate with private investment in adjacent spaces”;
  3. The City would “significantly enhance at-grade street-scaling and lighting”
  4. The City would “improve signage and way-finding at and below grade”; and
  5. The City would work collaboratively to “create an artistic focal point at Portage and Main that draws visits and Winnipeggers alike to the iconic intersection”

A copy of BOMA’s March 2024 letter to council is available here.

Mayor Gillingham’s written response to BOMA is available here.

BOMA will continue to lobby on this issue on behalf of our downtown members.

Manitoba Government Investing $10 Million to Make Downtown Streets Safer

$10 Million Will Provide 24 Additional Officers, Downtown Safety Office, Police All Purpose Vehicles, Security Cameras and More: Stefanson

View the News Release from the Province of Manitoba

BOMA Occupancy Permits Bulletin – April 6, 2022

BOMA Members, please note discontinuation of Occupy Only permits per City of Winnipeg (Planning, Property & Development) memo, below:


Working towards Process Improvements: Occupancy and Building Permits

BOMA Manitoba’s Permits Subcommittee will meet regularly with the City of Winnipeg’s Development and Inspections Division in an effort to improve a number of occupancy and building permit-related process for the CRE industry.

Some of the recent positive steps that the subcommittee and City are working towards include:

  • Improving access to the online permits portal for property managers
  • Exploring process improvements for short-term leases, including retail kiosks
  • Clarifying criteria for signage permits
  • Increasing the frequency of feedback, communiques and bulletins between BOMA and the City re: permit-related matters

Important Links for BOMA members:

City of Winnipeg’s Commercial Permits page (including online portal)

Occupancy Permit Flow Chart (from pre-application to final!)

Bulletin: Defining Occupancy

Building Occupancy Permits Guide

Interim Changes to Commercial Building and Plumbing / Mechanical Inspections

As part of our ongoing advocacy work, BOMA continues to collaborate with the Industry Advisory Group (IAG) and work closely with the City of Winnipeg’s Development and Inspections Division on issues relating to building and occupancy permits.

The City has introduced interim measures to the inspections process and has communicated those changes via its website. Please visit the link here for full details regarding commercial inspections:

Intervener Status for GSS/GSM: Manitoba Hydro’s General Rate Application

BOMA is working to ensure that our industry’s voice is heard by the Public Utilities Board (PUB) as it considers Manitoba Hydro’s latest General Rate Application.

As virtually all of BOMA member firms are classified as a General Service Small (GSS) and General Service Medium (GSM) Hydro customer, we are pleased that the GSS/GSM customer class has been granted intervener status at the PUB Hearings. The PUB decision from June 30, 2017 is available here

For further information on our advocacy efforts regarding this matter, please view the communique to our members here.

Update on Implementation of Impact Fees (Development Charges)

BOMA’s recent advocacy efforts on the issue of potential impact fees in Winnipeg have resulted in an amending motion for the Executive Policy Committee.

We are pleased that the amending motion recommends a phased-in approach to impact fees, and that commercial, office, industrial and institutional developments will be exempt from any fee for two years. We’re also pleased to see that residential infill development in existing neighbourhoods (including downtown) will be exempt from impact fees for three years.

BOMA looks forward to contributing to the City’s working group to advise on the three-year phase-in process, as well as advise on reasonable fee values for all asset classes.

Amending Motion on Impact Fees

Amending Motion on Impact Fees – Backgrounder

EPC Amending Motion on Impact Fees

Terms of Reference – Impact Fee Working Group

Impact Fee Implementation Map

Implementation of Impact Fees (Development Charges)

To view the written submission from BOMA Manitoba to the Executive Policy Committee of the City of Winnipeg regarding Impact Fees, please click here.

Comprehensive Fee Review

On March 23, 2016, City Council adopted the results of a Comprehensive Fee Review (CFR) that adjusts all fees charged for various permits and services. These changes (with the exception of commercial mechanical permit fees) came into effect on June 1, 2016.

For more information, please click here.

Fee changes for Commercial Property Owners

Adoption of the National Energy Code (Manitoba Energy Code for Buildings)

On December 1, 2014, the 2011 National Energy Code for Buildings became effective in Manitoba. These new efficiency standards apply to the construction of new buildings and additions governed under Part 3 of the Manitoba Building Code.

For more information, please click here.

Managing Asbestos in Buildings

A friendly reminder to BOMA member firms about their responsibilities regarding asbestos management. Although the current legislation pertaining to asbestos management in buildings was introduced in 2006, we wanted to ensure that members still have access to all of the necessary information that will help them meet the provincial government requirements.

The Workplace Safety and Health Act and Part 37 of the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation, M.R. 217/2006 require specific actions when a potential health hazard is present in the workplace.

For information on creating an asbestos inventory, how and what to communicate to building occupants, and what’s required for staff training, please click on the links below.

BOMA Position Paper:

Infrastructure and its Impact on the Commercial Real Estate Industry

National Environmental Statement of Principles for the Commercial Real Estate Industry

BOMA Stance on e-Cigarettes

For more information on what e-Cigarettes are and why they may be a concern, please view the following article, developed by BOMA Ottawa and BOMA Canada here

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