Why City Planning at Faculty of Architecture, UofM in Winnipeg ?

Why Uof M in Winnipeg is a question potential students will be considering. Questions arise from not knowing much about the city or in some cases having predisposed - often unwarranted - views. We think Winnipeg is COOL! . Some may see the city as at the periphery, we argue in these day often the centre is the periphery. The Faculty and the city have a lot of things going on. Or as the of the 2008 Planners Network conference said "Winnipeg: Flat but not Boring!" Yes it is cold here and we have mosquitos in the summer, but these we have learned to live with, even enjoy! Faculty of Architecture students have often remarked how much they have come to like the city, to appreciate what it and the region offers. This page attempts to provide some responses to the "Why Winnipeg" question by first presenting statements from a number of students and then aspects of the city, with links to further information. (Eventually we will extend this section to be several pages about living in Winnipeg.)

Allison Cook, as a second year C.P. student, said:
"I chose to study at the University of Manitoba because it offered a program which was open
to students from around the world and from different backgrounds. This creates a rich
learning environment. The Department of City Planning is small, making it easy to get to
know your professors and fellow students. I have found the atmosphere supportive and
friendly. So far, I have enjoyed my time at the University of Manitoba and look forward to
continuing to work with the Department."
"Winnipeg is a great city to study in because it is small enough to get around easily, yet large

enough to offer a diversity of planning examples and learning opportunities. Coming from
Ontario, it was important to me to get a different perspective on planning issues which would
become an asset in my planning career. Winnipeg is the ideal prairie city setting."
Allison, who recently completed her practicum, is now the Transportation Demand Management Coordinator with the City of London ON.


Kevan Sumner, while on exchange in Grenoble France said:
"I found the C.P. program excels in several areas. Exposure to a wide variety of current urban
theory was one element I was impressed with, when compared with what I saw in some other
schools. Also the flexibility that comes from a smaller program with a broad range of faculty research
interests. The class size also results in professors being more available and more personal
attention for individual students. The studio environment facilitated the sharing of ideas amongst
the students in the first and second years of study. I am pleased to see that graduates of the
program are entering a variety of fields, pursuing diverse careers throughout Canada and abroad."

Greg Steves, compteted his Practicum in 2001, now working as Senior Policy Analyst,
Housing Policy Branch, B.C. Provincial Government in Victoria) says:
"I found that the generalist philosophy of the City Planning program at the University of Manitoba and
the demands of a studio based program have well prepared me for the 'real world'. Working in housing
policy I am required to provide insight and research into a wide variety of subjects, which has been
facilitated through the depth of knowledge and range of topics that I was introduced to at U of M."

With small class sizes there are better opportunities to participate in exchanges. Brad Squibb (on his exchange program 'Consortium for Sustainable Community Development and Planning' at the University of California, Los Angeles) said: "If one is eager and open minded when participating in an exchange,
there is not a richer, more fulfilling experience to be had." Brad worked in London England and is now studying Municipal Law.

Agnes Mochama and Simon O'Bryne did a similar study exchange at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York .

Our grads are respected. They receive commendations from employers. In the past years most have planning jobs before they graduate. Lindsay Chase, now a Planning Assistant, Regional District of Nanaimo states:
"Overall I still think that the U of M offers a fantastic program, and if I had a choice to go elsewhere I wouldn't.
Our studios are enriching, informative, and challenging. The classes are small and friendly, but still provide an
opportunity for active debate and discussion. And the faculty provides a breadth of knowledge and experience
that would be hard to beat.

Our students tell us there are many reasons for choosing the University of Manitoba. The Faculty of Architecture is a dynamic academic environment in which to study City Planning. There are many opportunities for interdisciplinary learning, interesting projects to be involved in, presentations to attend, working and having fun together. See the Partners Program. This award winning program links students and faculty to the community, industry, design and planning professionals and alumni.

For information on Manitoba, contact Travel Manitoba and request their Manitoba Explorer's Guide at www.travelmanitoba.com.

Winnipeg Tourism provides many reasons for coming to the city. Destination Winnipeg Inc. is Winnipeg's economic development and tourism services agency. They are the source for information relating to Winnipeg: 'Work', 'Live' or 'Play'.

Call Destination Winnipeg for information. Call toll-free from anywhere in North America 1-800-665-0204
Destination Winnipeg
Visitor Information Centre - Main Floor
Business Services Centre - Third Floor
259 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3B 2A9
Phone: (204) 943-1970; Fax: (204) 942-4043
Email: wpginfo@destinationwinnipeg.ca

A good start for anyone new to Winnipeg is at Moving To. Their publication includes sections on "lifestyles, transportation, living costs, health services, events, maps, real estate rent/buy, area analysis, education, etc."
Mapquest.com - lets you find where you live/want to rent.
Click here for a UofM campus map. On this map the J.A. Russell Bldg is #30, Architecture II Bldg. is #40.

Visit CBC Winnipeg for current items on the city. www.winnipeg.cbc.ca

Visit the site of Rivers West for a vision of a future greenway along the Red River.


A GreenMap for Winnipeg and Region is in development here in the City Planning Department. The early draft identifying sites, html links and now over thirty detailed site descriptions has been developed by students in the Urban Ecology / Environmental Planning course. Funding is provided by a Faculty Endowment Fund. The Map will become an ongoing venue for student projects showing research, documentation, analysis, design proposals etc. You can access the map at: http://www.arch.umanitoba.ca/greenmap



The region offers diverse landscapes in each direction. East are provincial parks and the Canadian Shield lake country into eastern Ontario. South is the fertile Red River Valley. East is the expanse of prairie farmland and towns. North is the interlake district and beautiful beaches of Lake Winnipeg.

Winnipeg has some of the most affordable housing in Canada. For help in locating housing see housing information on the New Students page, where you can link to rental and to real estate guides.

Visit the new website of CentreVenture, the downtown development corporation.


An autumn view toward the Manitoba legislature. The rear garden and fountain axis continues past the statue of Louis Riel to the stairs from the River Walk along the Assiniboine (below).


Above street views of the amazing Exchange District, an Urban National Historic Site.

Market Square Park in the Exchange District is the main venue for the summer Fringe theatre Festival.
In July Portage is closed to traffic for three days for a huge street festival, with the Portage Main intersection as venue for the main stage.
Winnipegers enjoy living in an 'all seasons' city !

Former Dean Michael Cox with his wife Sandra enjoying a sunny
afternoon skate along the Assiniboine to the Forks below.

Skating, walking, cycling, snowshoeing, x country skiing along
the Assiniboine river. There are warming fires along the route
and at the the Forks National Historic Site pictured below
at the confluence of the Assiniboine and the Red River.


The Forks venue hosts many cultural events throughout the year.


Evening city scape view from St. Boniface across the Red River.

(Below) Cluster of buildings at Portage and Main.