The options for making downtown home are growing at a rapid pace with the conversion of warehouse and heritage buildings into upscale condominiums and funky lofts for sale and rent.
Since the inception of CentreVenture in 1999, more than 600 residential units, representing a wide range of housing options in various downtown neighbourhoods, have been completed or committed.
Downtown is home to several distinctive neighbourhoods, each with its own unique character and amenities, including greenspace. Among these well-known districts are The Exchange, Chinatown, The Forks, Broadway, Central Park and North Main.
The Exchange District -- with the largest collection of turn-of-the-20th-Century buildings in North America -- was designated a National Historic Site in 1997. At last count, 10 of these buildings have been or will be refurbished for residential use.
Waterfront Drive, downtown's newest neighbourhood, is home to four new, mixed-use condominium developments. Upscale housing with fabulous views of the Red River and the downtown skyline, combined with boutique services and shops is proving to be a winning combination.
Getting around downtown is easy thanks to public transit, which includes the free Downtown Spirit shuttle bus and River Spirit Water Taxi, as well as an extensive indoor walkway system.
One-quarter of downtown residents use public transit to get around, while almost 40 per cent say "walking" is their main mode of transportation.
The new Esplanade Riel — the distinctive, cable-stayed bridge linking The Forks and St. Boniface — is one of the most intriguing pedestrian and cyclist-friendly additions to Winnipeg's downtown. Spanning the Red River, Esplanade Riel features the immensely popular Sal's sur L'Esplanade.
Safety is a top priority for downtown Winnipeg. Several safety initiatives, such as Winnipeg Police storefront community offices, in addition to Downtown Watch and Downtown Exchange Watch ambassadors, are in place.
Partnerships among the community, the police, government and business have helped address safety concerns.
A number of educational institutions call downtown Winnipeg home including the University of Winnipeg, Red River College Princess Campus, University of Manitoba Continuing Education division and numerous private colleges.