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Planning, Property & Development

Gord Dong Park Redevelopment

The newly-named Gord Dong Park is located on green space west of the Exchange District along Ross Avenue between Ellen Street and Paulin Street. The south side of the site is currently used for community gardens. To add to the diverse recreational needs of site users, the City of Winnipeg (the ‘City’) is working with stakeholders and residents to determine future park enhancements.

Engage

Thank you to everyone who provided their feedback through an online survey and public workshop to help determine future park enhancements. On the evening of October 19, 2017, 14 individuals participated in a public workshop. The online survey available on this website until October 23, 2017 received 27 responses.

Participants in the engagement process can now see how their feedback was considered within the design through the public engagement report.

If you have further questions or feedback, please contact Shauna Prociuk, Project Coordinator, Planning, Property and Development at 204-986-3938 or email ShaunaProciuk@Winnipeg.ca.

If you would like to stay updated on City of Winnipeg public engagement events, follow the City on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for the City of Winnipeg public engagement newsletter.

 

Project Timeline

Timeline

Timeline

Background

Green space west of the Exchange District (Ross Avenue between Ellen Street and Princess Street) has become available to the City to develop as park space. The area sees a variety of uses and people – residents, students, entrepreneurs, churchgoers, and more. The City would like to consult with stakeholders and the public to determine how to develop the green space to meet the needs of diverse users. Early in the engagement process, stakeholders have proposed several ideas for the park space, including a community garden, a fitness trail, and a contemplative space.

Park Name History
In 2003, together with the Winnipeg Foundation, the CCIA launched special investment in the Centennial neighbourhood called the “Centennial Project”: a multifaceted, five-year commitment to help rebuild, revitalize and restore hope to the families who call the Centennial area home. Mr. Dong and members of the CCIA successfully lobbied City Hall to designate the Centennial Neighbourhood as a Housing Improvement Zone. Mr. Dong served as President (2005-2008) and Vice-President (2009-2015) of the CCIA and continues to be a strong voice for his fellow neighbours living in the Centennial neighourhood.

On April 18, 2017, the Standing Policy Committee on Protection, Community Services and Parks decided that the green space located in the Centennial Neighborhood between Pacific Street and Ross Avenue be renamed “Gord Dong Park” in honour of Mr. Gord Dong. In the 1960’s, as an infant, Gord Dong immigrated to Winnipeg from Hong Kong, China. He grew up in Winnipeg’s Chinatown and was a founding member of the Centennial Community Improvement Association (CCIA).

Site History
Records from the early 1900s indicate that the area near the current Gord Dong Park site was a rapidly-changing, and predominantly made up of a mix of residences and businesses. Operating at this time were a veterinary hospital (350 Pacific Ave.) and the Mattson John Sash Door Factory (338-340 Pacific Ave.). Nearby and still within the blocks bounded by Ross Avenue and Pacific Avenue, Paulin Street and Ellen Street, were the Metropole Hotel (325-327-329 Ross Ave,) and two Chinese laundries (373 Ross Ave. and 390 Pacific Ave.). T.L. You is listed as operating the laundry at 373 Ross Ave., and Lee Sing is listed as operating the laundry at 390 Pacific Ave. (Source: Henderson Directories, circa 1905). The laundries were located directly north of the future park site and east of Ellen Street. In addition to these buildings, maps and other records show there was an additional street between Paulin Street and Ellen Street, Leonard Street, which was bounded by Ross Avenue and Pacific Avenue.

Of central importance to the site’s development was the biscuit factory owned and operated by the Paulin Chambers Company (311 Ross St., now the present site of the City’s Records Centre). The Paulin Chambers Building was built in 1905 and 1910 and was the driving force behind the first major change to the area. Following a Council decision in 1921, the Midland Railway Company built a spur track for the Great Northern rail line to service the biscuit factory (Source: Minutes of City Council, 1921, No. 1480). Many but not all of the buildings in the area were demolished as a result. Maps show that after the spur track was built there was still a fish processing plant, a few residences, and a warehouse located in the general area of the future park site. By 1946, the spur track was no longer in use, and the Midland Railway Company took steps to have it removed (Source: Minutes of City Council, 1946, No. 582).

Council records from the 1970s and onwards indicate that multiple parties had an invested interest in the lands in and around the future park site. Given that the site was either directly or indirectly affected by development plans for the area, a complicated picture emerges. However, we can piece together the following:

1975 Paulin Chambers plans to expand operations and indicates to Council it would be interested in acquiring lands to the west of its property, an area roughly defined as being bounded by Pacific Avenue, Ross Street, Leonard Street and Paulin Street (Source: Minutes of the Board of Commissioners, 1975, No. 331). It appears these were Urban Renewal Partnership and City lands (Source: Referenced in Minutes of City Council, 1979, No. 1050).
1976 Council passes a by-law to close Leonard Street and Paulin Street, between Pacific Avenue and Ross Avenue and a public lane. Closures permit the proposed expansion of Paulin Chambers and a new plan for development of multiple-family housing by the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation on the area roughly defined as “the property west of the Paulin Chambers expansion” (Source: Minutes of City Council, 1976, No. 1505, 1509, 1644, and By-law 1360/76). Note: Manitoba housing presently located east of the park site appears to date to 1977 and 1978.
1978? Plans to expand Paulin Chambers halts when the one of the Urban Renewal partners, the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, objects. (Source: Referenced in Minutes of City Council, 1979, No. 1050).
1979 Faced with ongoing issues with the proposed expansion of Paulin Chambers, City discusses re-opening Paulin Street (Source: Minutes of City Council, 1979, No. 1050).
1980 Faced with ongoing issues with the proposed expansion of Paulin Chambers, Finance Committee recommends purchasing land defined as parcel 14 (sketch plan no. C3327/1C) from the Urban Renewal Partnership to build a parking lot.
2012 The property receives interest from the Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation. A building was never developed and the sale was rescinded.

Documents

Document Name Date Type
Archival Fire Insurance Map – Circa 1895-1906 09/05/2017 Photograph

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does the City of Winnipeg want to develop Gord Dong Park?

The City of Winnipeg is planning to redevelop Gord Dong Park to serve the needs of area residents and visitors. The City will seek feedback from area stakeholders and the public to ask what they would like to see in the park and what types of features would be the most desirable.

Date added: September 2017

Where is Gord Dong Park?

Gord Dong Park is located on Ross Avenue between Ellen Street and Princess Street.

Date added: September 2017

Why is the green space named Gord Dong Park?

On April 18, 2017, the Policy Committee on Protection, Community Services and Parks decided that the green space located in the Centennial Neighborhood between Pacific Street and Ross Avenue be renamed “Gord Dong Park” in honour of Mr. Gord Dong. In the 1960’s, as an infant, Gord Dong immigrated to Winnipeg from Hong Kong, China. He grew up in Winnipeg’s Chinatown and was a founding member of the Centennial Community Improvement Association (CCIA).

Date added: September 2017

How is Gord Dong Park currently used?

Gord Dong Park is currently an open, grassed area with a small community garden on the south side facing Ross Avenue. The park is surrounded by houses and parking lots. Residents often use it as a path to cut across sidewalks.

Date added: September 2017

What types of features could be added to the park?

The City will seek feedback from area stakeholders and the public to ask what they would like to see in the park and what types of features would be the most desirable. Options will then be evaluated to determine their feasibility within space, time, and budget constraints.

Date added: September 2017

How can I provide feedback?

There will be an in-person and online opportunity to provide feedback on the Gord Dong Park redevelopment. Members of the public will be invited to a site tour to learn about the site and provide input on features that could be incorporated into the plan. Following that, an online survey will be available to collect feedback on park redevelopment options.

Date added: September 2017

How much will it cost?

The park enhancement project and funding are subject to Council approval.

Date added: September 2017

Maps

Map

Map

Last update: December 6, 2017