Developers ask for public input on future of Kapyong Barracks site

By | June 17, 2020

People will get a chance to weigh in on what they want to see at the former Kapyong Barracks in Winnipeg at an online consultation session Wednesday night.

The draft plans for the site include housing, green spaces, recreation sites and a war museum — but what the finished space will look like depends on the input developers get from the community, said Tim Daniels, chief operating officer of the Treaty One Development Corp.

“The opportunities are endless,” Daniels told CBC Information Radio host Marcy Markusa on Wednesday.

“We want to offer a diverse range of housing options [and] provide places to work, learn, shop and play.”

The concept plans include three design options developers are considering, which each include different examples of how commercial, mixed-use and residential spaces could figure into the final development. They also all include sports, recreation and education spaces, and a cultural campus.

Demolition is ongoing on some of the buildings on the former Kapyong Barracks in Winnipeg. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

Around two-thirds of the 65-hectare site — 44 hectares — will be owned by the Treaty One Nation Government (a group of seven Treaty 1 First Nations) and developed by the Treaty One Development Corp. The other 21 hectares will be owned and developed by the Canada Lands Company, a federal Crown corporation.

Daniels said planning has been underway since October, and the developers have travelled across the country to see other examples of urban reserves in Canada, like Westbank First Nation in British Columbia and Membertou First Nation in Nova Scotia.

They want to create an urban development in Winnipeg that will showcase Indigenous business, design, arts and culture, while fitting into the larger community around it.

“Our vision is to create a community within a community,” he said.

Land transfer made official last year

The site was abandoned in 2004 when the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry was moved to Canadian Forces Base Shilo, near Brandon, Man.

The Canadian Forces then declared the site surplus, and the federal Treasury Board tried to sell it to a Crown corporation.

That decision was challenged in court by the group of Treaty 1 First Nations, who argued outstanding Treaty Land Entitlement claims meant they had a right to the site.

The land transfer was ruled illegitimate and the federal government fought the decision. Then-prime minister Stephen Harper announced in 2015 that the government would no longer continue to appeal the decision.

In 2019, the land transfer to Treaty 1 First Nations was made official.

People can register at treaty1.ca/kapyong to weigh in on the draft plans at the online consultation Wednesday at 7 p.m. The online event will also be streamed on the Treaty One Development Corp. Facebook page, Daniels said.

“Part of this master plan process is consulting and engaging with the public,” he said.

“I think we all will benefit from what’s developed on that land. We will be open for business.”

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