Bright Ideas

Co-op Housing and Dorms Together


Institution: , Winnipeg, , Canada

Implementation Date: September 2009

Approximate Budget: $18000000

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The University of Winnipeg is a vibrant part of downtown Winnipeg, and it takes seriously its commitment to downtown revitalization and community integration.

In September 2009, UofW opened McFeetors Hall, an innovative and unique 82,000 sq ft residence concept that combined 172 dorm-style student residences on the upper floors, with 25 townhouse-style family homes on the ground floor, half reserved for students with families, and the other half available to the community as co-op housing. 19 townhomes have rent ceilings, and the Manitoba government is providing further rent subsidies to eligible low-income households. One floor is devoted to English Language Program Homestay students, and is staffed by multilingual Resident Assistants. A visiting scholars program includes students in residence from the University of Manitoba and Red River College’s downtown campuses. Next to McFeetors Hall, the new uWinnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) child care centre will accommodate approximately 120 children from the university community and surrounding neighbourhood.

The complex is a LEED Silver building offering a range of leading-edge environmental technologies to foster sustainability and energy efficiency, including geothermal heating/cooling system, south-facing glazing to maximize natural daylight, operable windows, water-conserving fixtures, power-smart electrical fixtures and energyStar laundry facilities.

$10 million of the $18 million budget will be covered by long-term financing, to be repaid from housing revenues.  More than $5 million in private donations made the project possible, including $1.67 million from uWinnipeg alumnus Ray McFeetors, and $1 million from Great-West Life, the company he chairs. Manitoba Housing committed $1.95 million.

UofW announced in November 2010 that it would commence construction on a second 7-storey building of similar, integrated design.

Key Contact

Name: Kevin Rosen

Title: Director, Marketing & Communications


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