University of Winnipeg, Downtown Commons

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Neighbouring the Winnipeg Art Gallery, this 14-storey, 102-unit residential tower supports vibrant living in the urban core. Prioritized to address a need for housing to support students with families pursuing post-secondary education, the building offers a mix of affordable apartments, rent-geared-to-income units and apartments at market rent. Ranging from one-to-three-bedroom units, including three fully accessible suites, the design creates diverse living options while optimizing city views, convenience and a sense of community.

In line with the University of Winnipeg’s Sustainability Strategy, the building was designed to LEED Silver Certification standards, specifically focusing on reducing the facility’s greenhouse gas emissions to virtually zero. By raising the majority of the building podium 30 feet above grade, the tower can accommodate a future expansion of the adjacent Plug-In Institute of Contemporary Art, further enhancing the mixed-use, communal efforts of the facility and overall development.

A wide range of shared amenities on-site allow residents to retreat to diverse spaces to study, socialize, relax or play. An expansive outdoor terrace on the second floor offers a BBQ, lounge area and children’s play space, supported by a communal kitchen, multi-purpose room and adjacent smudge/meeting room. The building’s bright and clean aesthetic collides with bold, colourful accents and sleek materiality, complimented by high-volume ceilings, to give the residence a distinct urban edge.

With a mixed-income mandate, the University of Winnipeg’s Downtown Commons provides an opportunity for creating a true urban community with a broad cross-section of people from different cultural, economic and social backgrounds; it is a place built to respect and facilitate the diverse needs of people to thrive in the downtown core.

Completion date: 2016

Size: 111,500 sq. ft.

Client: University of Winnipeg Community Renewal Corporation


City of Winnipeg Accessibility Award


102 units (one to three bedrooms), fully accessible units, at-grade parking, indoor bike storage, laundry room, lobby, lounge, multi-purpose room, smudge/meeting room, communal kitchen, children’s play area, resident terrace, elevators, public washrooms, building service and support spaces


Architecture: LM Architectural Group
Interior Design: Environmental Space Planning

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