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True North, Southern Chiefs Partner on Downtown Winnipeg Revitalization

December 12, 2023 12:44 PM | News

Portage Place Redevelopment Winnipeg

An artist’s rendering of the future Portage Place redevelopment as seen from Edmonton Street. (TNRED / HANDOUT)

WINNIPEG — A real estate arm of True North Sports + Entertainment has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Southern Chiefs’ Organization on two key downtown developments.

True North Real Estate Development Limited announced Tuesday it will collaborate on the Portage Place redevelopment and Wehwehneh Bahgahkinahgohn (former HBC building) projects.

Both organizations say they share similar interests in important downtown priorities including multi-family and affordable housing, healthcare, food security, and community spaces.

“As we have explored the avenues for social and economic opportunity through the Portage Place redevelopment, we have become increasingly more cognizant of the synergies with Wehwehneh Bahgahkinahgohn,” said TNRED president Jim Ludlow.

“Together, we will bring forward thinking solutions to our collective pursuit of market and affordable housing, healthcare, Indigenous relations and reconciliation, and downtown revitalization to realize exponential social and economic benefit.”

The Wehwehneh Bahgahkinahgohn project involves redeveloping the historic downtown HBC building, while also creating economic and social opportunity while celebrating First Nations heritage.

Portage Place - HBC Building Redevelopment


The Portage Place redevelopment will complement this revitalization with a mandate to serve and reconnect north and south downtown Winnipeg neighbourhoods with public greenspaces, essential and community services, culture and arts, affordable housing, and a healthcare centre of excellence.

Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham says the collaboration between the two organizations, along with various levels of government, is a game-changer for the city’s downtown.

“This work has the potential to go beyond just building structures — it’s about creating a welcoming community, expanding training capacity, and addressing economic reconciliation,” said Gillingham. “This is set to be one of the most impactful projects in our downtown’s history.”

Together, both developments represent nearly two million square feet in downtown Winnipeg.

A working group will be created to outline the process and timelines for public space design and programming. An agreement on multi-family ownership and investment will be concluded by mid-2024. A second working group will be formed to address the priority of education and training.

TNRED was granted a six-month extension last week to continue the analysis and due diligence necessary to ensure its vision for a campus redevelopment plan.