Quality Impact

Student Living → Creating a high quality living experience for a growing residential population that also increases the opportunity for education for many students. 

  • Since 2007, the University has tripled the number of housing units for students (often in arrangements including high-quality, affordable housing for community residents).

  • A wide range of housing options have been developed including communal housing, bachelor apartments within a seniors’ residence, dorm style units and multi-bedroom apartments for mature students with families. 

  • The expansion in housing has been combined with a new daycare centre, doubling the number of available daycare spaces available.

  • In addition, a retail mall with an expanded bookstore (tripling the size of the old University bookstore), and multiple eateries have been established.

  • Since 2009, Diversity Foods, the main University food service provider (which operates all cafeterias, a separate restaurant and a catering operation) has achieved a range of social objectives, tripled food service sales, and changed the perception of the University food service from one of the worst in Canada, to one where student perception of healthy food on campus is rated among the highest in Western Canada, according to the most recent Globe and Mail Survey. 


Campus Expansion → Creating a presence in the downtown by repatriating programs scattered through the city and increasing the overall University campus size in response to an overly dense footprint. 

  • Since 2005, development activities have increased the campus footprint by more than 30%, including four LEED Silver or Gold facilities, McFeetors Hall (Silver), UWSA Daycare (Silver), Richardson College for the Environment & Science Complex (targeted Gold), and the Buhler Centre (targeted Silver), and 2 major expansions to existing facilities.

  • During that same period, enrollments have increased by approximately 15%. Expansion continues with two new major developments, the Axworthy Health & RecPlex (targeted LEED Gold) and the Downtown Commons, a mixed-use apartment complex for students and the community (targeted LEED Silver). 


Community Emphasis → Creating a campus that is accessible and welcoming to the entire community

  • Self-identified Aboriginal students now comprise 12% of the University student population, and visible minorities, many of whom are New Canadians, a further 23%. 

  • Many of these students are mature students with families. The development of apartment-style housing has been specifically targeted to meet their needs. 


Commitment to the Environment → Becoming a leader in environmental sustainability.

  • All new developments are designed to achieve LEED Silver or Gold. 

  • This, along with the retrofit of existing campus facilities, will result in the University significantly reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and achieving Kyoto compliance. 

Financial Impact

UWCRC has helped the University achieve financial gains or cost reductions in many areas. 

  • Serving as the University’s development arm eliminates the need to hire outside developers. UWCRC develops these projects at a substantially lower cost than a third party developer. 

  • Business units also have improved outcomes. Over the past five years, housing has moved from a loss centre to a modest profit centre while tripling the number of units and absorbing the debt service associated with a construction mortgage for McFeetors Hall. 

  • Similarly, food services were historically provided by multinational service providers who provided commissions in lieu of rent.  Generally, sales at the University of Winnipeg never exceeded $1 million, and were often lower.  In three years, Diversity Foods’ sales have increased to $2.5 million. 

Transformative Value

Tuition and the Provincial operating grant, the traditional sources of University funding, are insufficient to cover the University’s operating costs. The University recognized the need to develop a third stream of revenues, fuelled by the work of UWCRC.

  • Development fees and the conversion of business units from loss centres to modest profit centres are now being augmented by consulting revenues associated with community development initiatives, business development initiatives with an Aboriginal focus and commercialization initiatives. 

  • These UWCRC initiatives are, in turn, inspiring other revenue generating initiatives in other areas of the University.

  • The dramatic growth in the campus footprint, including expanded state-of-the art science, business and other academic facilities, along with the addition of housing, daycare, and other retail amenities has been a critical factor in facilitating substantial enrolment growth, also critical to addressing the University’s financial challenges. 

  • The University’s approach to growth has established it as a community leader in sustainability, reflected not just in its environmental practices, but its social and cultural commitments as well. It has been recognized by Manitoba First Nations as a home for Aboriginal people. 

  • Finally, the effect of the campus development over the past five years has been a re-imagining of the University in the community. The University is seen as innovative, dynamic, cutting edge, and sustainable and a primary engine for the redevelopment of Winnipeg’s downtown.