Newly renovated Cornish Library is reopened to the public

City receives an additional $12.8 million for local housing projects that support Winnipeg’s vulnerable population


Proponents can now submit an expression of interest for project funding through Round 2 of the federal government’s Rapid Housing Initiative

Released: 09:47 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – The City of Winnipeg is receiving an additional $12.8 million of capital funding from the federal government under Round 2 of the Rapid Housing Initiative. The funding, which is being distributed through the Major Cities Stream of the program, will be used to expedite the delivery of affordable housing units to vulnerable people and populations targeted under the National Housing Strategy, especially those affected by COVID-19. In the second phase of the housing project, 51 affordable homes will be built in 12 months or less.

In addition to projects the City of Winnipeg is already aware of, the City is inviting proponents – which includes non-profits, businesses, developers, citizens, or anyone with great ideas that could help to address homelessness in Winnipeg —  to identify any projects currently planned that may fit the parameters of the Rapid Housing Initiative and to submit an initial expression of interest detailing their project by Thursday, August 5, 2021. Proponents can submit a project description through the submission form available at winnipeg.ca/rapidhousinginitiative.

“I’m grateful to the federal government for providing direct funding support to municipalities through another round of the Rapid Housing Initiative,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “This second intake is aimed at creating an estimated 51 units and with housing needs across the entire spectrum of housing in our city, this funding will help address that.”

“Every person deserves access to safe and affordable housing,” said Councillor Cindy Gilroy, Chairperson of the Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development, Heritage, and Downtown Development. “This further contribution by the federal government to the Rapid Housing Initiative will make a tangible impact through the projects it supports and will help more members of our community find a place to call home.”

The City recognizes the timelines are very compressed to meet the rapid timelines and targets set out by RHI. Any individual project must contain a minimum of 5 units/beds and meet all program requirements including affordability as defined by CMHC. Please visit the CMHC website for complete information on Rapid Housing Initiative program requirements.

Newly renovated Cornish Library is reopened to the public


Released: 09:47 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – The newly renovated Cornish Library, located at 20 West Gate, is officially reopened and operating in accordance with public health restrictions.

The renovations to the library, which originally opened on June 15, 1915, ensure the library meets the needs of customers today and in future generations. The fully accessible library now features a 24/7 book return, separate adult and children’s computer areas, redesigned adult and youth collection areas, new lounge spaces in front of existing fireplaces, and accessible washrooms on the main and lower levels. Capacity at the branch is limited and visitors are encouraged to plan for shorter visits.

“With over a century of library service to the community, it’s great to see the Cornish Library receive some much-needed renovations and repairs,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “This marks the seventh library renovation or rebuild to be completed by the City of Winnipeg in the last three years. The investments made in these library renewal projects are an important part of building healthy communities in our city.”

“I’m excited to see the historic Cornish Library reopen as a more accessible and updated facility for all who visit,” said Sherri Rollins, Chairperson of the Standing Policy Committee on Protection, Community Services and Parks. “This library will be a community gathering place for people to enjoy for many years to come.”

The renovation includes an extension to the south of the building with a bright and open reading area that overlooks the river. In order to keep the character of the designated heritage library, existing woodwork throughout the library has been kept and refreshed. The lower level of the library has been completely renovated with new program and meeting rooms. A new Family Literacy Playground has been added to the children’s area. Due to current public health restrictions, the program rooms, meeting rooms, and the Family Literacy Playground are not available for use at this time.

The library also features the Four Flowers kinetic sculpture by artist Michael Dumontier, courtesy of the Winnipeg Arts Council, and the Our Cornish Library and the Suffragist Saga painting by artist Naomi Gerrard, commissioned by the Friends of Cornish Library for the renovations.

The total cost of the Cornish Library renovation was $3.47 million, with approximately half of the funds contributed through the Winnipeg Library Foundation, including securing $1.125 million from the Manitoba/Winnipeg Infrastructure Agreement (MWIA) for the project. The Winnipeg Library Foundation is a philanthropic organization that manages public support and fundraising on behalf of the Winnipeg Public Library. The remaining funding was provided through the City of Winnipeg capital budget.

For more information about Winnipeg Public Library and available services, please see winnipeg.ca/library.

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