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Planning, Property & Development

Residential Infill Strategy

Residential infill is new housing in established neighbourhoods. New housing can be single-family, two-family, townhouse, or multi-family. The goal for this project is to advance a shared vision for residential infill that helps address demand for new housing while preserving neighbourhood quality, character, and liveability.


October 23, 2020 - Thank you to all those who provided feedback on the draft Guidelines. Online surveys were accepted until Thursday, October 22. We received feedback through 778 online surveys. Feedback is currently being considered and a summary of the engagement process will be posted online.


September 28, 2020 - Winnipeg has been elevated to Restricted (orange) in the Province of Manitoba's Pandemic Response System. In response, the City is cancelling in-person public engagement events. All those who are registered for in-person events for the Infill Guidelines will be notified.

If you are interested in learning more about the Guidelines and discussing with the project team, please consider attending a virtual event. Three virtual events have been added. Please provide feedback by completing the online survey until October 22. More information on the 'Engage' tab.


September 17, 2020 - Feedback received from the first round of open houses has been analyzed, and is summarized in Infill Design Guidelines: Round 1 Public Engagement Summary.

This feedback has been used to develop the draft Small-Scale Residential Development Guidelines for Mature Communities (Guidelines), which are now available on the 'Documents' tab of this website.

The City of Winnipeg is now collecting feedback on the draft Guidelines. Please visit the 'Engage' tab on this website for further details.


October 11, 2019 - Thank you to over 2,000 residents who participated in the first round of engagement on the residential infill design guidelines and intensification criteria. The feedback received will be analyzed and a public engagement summary of what we heard will be made publicly available and sent to all those who have subscribed for updates.

Stakeholders and members of the public provided feedback that will be used along with Winnipeg data, a cross-jurisdictional scan, and research to guide the location and design of residential infill development in established neighbourhoods. Preliminary design guidelines and intensification criteria are expected for public feedback in winter 2020.


Thank you to all those who provided feedback on the draft Guidelines. Online surveys were accepted from Thursday, September 17 to Thursday, October 22. We received feedback through 778 online surveys. Feedback is currently being considered and a summary of the engagement process will be posted online. Records of the questions asked during our online discussion sessions, and answers to them, have also been posted to the 'Documents' tab.

Feedback received from the first round of open houses has been analyzed, and is summarized in Infill Design Guidelines: Round 1 Public Engagement Summary.  This feedback has been used to develop the draft Small-Scale Residential Development Guidelines for Mature Communities (Guidelines), which are now available on the 'Documents' tab of this website.

These Guidelines seek to build on the opportunities infill housing provides, while addressing the questions and concerns raised by residents, builders, developers, designers, and City staff who work with new residential development in Mature Communities. This document reflects a wide variety of community input and addresses the following key considerations:

  • Building massing (i.e., the building’s structure or three-dimensional form), including lot coverage and building heights;
  • Building setbacks (i.e., how far back the building is set from the edge of its lot);
  • Landscaping;
  • Vehicle access and parking;
  • Separation distances;
  • Façade materials and building design;
  • Main floor height;
  • Projections into setbacks (i.e., how far a building can extend or project into a setback area
  • Privacy; and
  • Utilities, servicing, and mechanical.

By addressing these key considerations, the Guidelines will help ensure that new development within our Mature Communities adds to, rather than detracts from, the character of the neighbourhood and street.

Previous Engagement:
To begin defining the main challenges and opportunities presented by small scale residential infill housing, stakeholders were invited to five focus group meetings between June 14 and June 22, 2017. A stakeholder workshop was held on June 29, 2017 to determine key issues to focus on in developing the residential infill strategy. An online survey followed to collect further public feedback, from October 3 to December 1, 2017.

Information collected to this point was summarized in Public Engagement Summary 1, and presented at public workshops on January 27 and 31, 2018. The input provided at the workshops held on January 27 and 31 refined the list of key issues, based on public priorities and the perceived complexity of implementing them. Feedback from the public priorities workshops is summarized in Public Engagement Summary 2.

Building on what was learned through previous engagement activities, a public open house was held on September 19, 2018 at the Millennium Library. This open house focused on presenting the Residential Infill Strategy Action Plan, and gathered feedback on each of the proposed actions. In addition to hosting the public event, the draft implementation action plan was also presented through an online survey, which was open from September 6 to 26, 2018. Feedback from the open house and online survey was used to refine and re-prioritize the draft implementation plan actions. A summary of this feedback is available in Public Engagement Summary 3.  The recommendations of the Implementation action plan were presented to the Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development, Heritage, and Downtown Development on Monday, January 7, 2019, which included the opportunity for members of the public to appear as a delegation before the committee.

Round 1 - Design guidelines and intensification criteria
Building on the priorities identified in the Residential Infill Strategy's Implementation Action Plan, the City asked for public input on residential infill design guidelines and intensification criteria to help ensure that new development in Mature Communities is compatible in form, scale, and design, and to help determine when and where density changes should occur on residential streets.

Thank you to all who attended the public open houses from September 24 to October 3, 2019 and filled out our survey. Approximately 300 people attended the open houses, and over 1,988 surveys were submitted (126 in person). The feedback received has been analyzed and is summarized in Infill Design Guidelines: Round 1 Public Engagement Summary.

If you have any comments or would like to get in touch with the Residential Infill project team, email us at .

To stay up to date on this project, please for email project updates.
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Project Timeline




On December 5, 2016, City Council directed the Public Service to prepare a residential infill strategy to include:

  1. A policy framework to encourage residential infill development;
  2. Planning and design guidelines for residential infill; and,
  3. A residential infill communications strategy to share information clearly and widely with builders and residents.

Based on the latest population forecasts prepared by the Conference Board of Canada, the City of Winnipeg is expected to grow by more than 200,000 people by 2040. While the greatest percentage of residential growth continues to occur in emerging neighbourhoods at the edge of the city, many new residential units built over the last five years have been located within established neighbourhoods. Market demand for new units in many existing neighbourhoods continues to remain high for the foreseeable future.

Infill housing is desirable because it makes efficient use of existing services. Established neighbourhoods already have infrastructure in place, are typically well-served by transit, and are conducive to cycling and walking, meaning less congestion and less wear and tear on our arterial roadways. This is why infill is an important tool in addressing our infrastructure deficit.

Despite its benefits, infill development can sometimes be a source of tension and conflict. A number of recent infill proposals in Winnipeg have demonstrated a lack of consensus on how and where different forms of infill should occur. Many cities have guidelines or policies around infill housing. Winnipeg currently does not have a comprehensive city-wide infill strategy to serve as a blueprint for development.  


Document Name Date Type

Infill webinar Q&As

10/28/2020 Report
Online event presentation 10/05/2020 Presentation
Small-Scale Residential Development Guidelines for Mature Communities (DRAFT) 09/16/2020 Document
Infill Design Guidelines: At a glance 09/16/2020 Document

Infill Design Guidelines: Round 1 Public Engagement Summary

09/16/2020 Report
Presentation Boards 09/16/2020 Storyboards
Map of Area 1 & 2 Neighbourhoods 09/16/2020 Map
Print ads 09/16/2020 Promotion
News release 09/16/2020 News release
Open House Boards (September 2019) 09/09/2019 Storyboards
Newspaper advertisements 09/09/2019 Advertisements
Open House News Release (September 2019) 09/09/2019 News Release
Implementation Action Plan summary 09/09/2019 Image
Public Engagement Summary 3 12/05/2018 Report
Fall Open House Boards 09/15/2018 Storyboards
Print Ad 09/05/2018 Promotion
Open House News Release 09/05/2018 News Release
Public Engagement Summary 2 06/28/2018 Report
Real Estate News Article 01/31/2018 News article
Public Engagement Summary 1 01/26/2018 Report
News Release 01/11/2018 News Release
Survey Cards 01/11/2018 Promotion
Residential Infill Strategy Committee Approved Workplan 04/11/2017 Report
Meeting Notes from engagement planning: 09/12/2017 Notes

Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the biggest benefits of infill?
  • it is financially sustainable by making efficient use of existing city services and infrastructure;
  • it meets Winnipeggers' housing needs by providing for greater housing options;
  • it builds more complete communities by increasing population within our mature neighbourhoods to better support existing businesses and schools;
  • it is a critical source of neighbourhood reinvestment; and
  • it helps to reduce our environmental foot print by reducing vehicle miles traveled and reducing the speed by which the city grows outwards;

Date added: September 2019

What are the biggest challenges of infill?

Infill poses challenges in trying to integrate a new building into an existing neighbourhood with an established character. Form and design details need to be responsive to the context and complementary to the neighbourhood. For builders, there is much greater risk involved, especially when a public hearing is required. Site acquisition and site constraints can also make infill costlier than a comparable project in a greenfield setting.

Date added: September 2019

How do Residential Infill Guidelines relate to the 2016 Residential Infill Strategy?

The Residential Infill Guidelines was a priority action that came out of the Residential Infill Strategy.

Date added: September 2019

What are design guidelines?

Infill guidelines are a tool that will be used to evaluate how the design and location of a building will look on a property, while also encouraging a better "fit" within the established character of the immediate surroundings.

  • Ensure Winnipeg accommodates a wide variety of housing options to meet all needs;
  • Encourage economically sustainable development that draws value from existing infrastructure and enhancements such as rapid transit and active transportation;
  • Clarify and build on concepts such as ‘context-sensitive development’;
  • Understand and mitigate the concerns most commonly associated with residential infill; and
  • Provide greater clarity, consistency and predictability in the development application process.

Date added: September 2019

Do other cities across Canada have Residential Infill Guidelines?

Many cities in Canada and elsewhere have guidelines or policies specifically around infill housing. Outside of a few neighbourhood plans, Winnipeg does not.

Date added: September 2019

What is location criteria?

Location criteria is a means to evaluate where new development might occur.

Date added: September 2020

What type of development will it apply to?

This project will apply to small scale infill development such as single family homes, duplexes/side-by-sides, triplexes, fourplexes, and small scale apartments.

Date added: September 2019

Is this project about downtown housing and transit-oriented development?

No, higher density areas like downtown and transit station areas are not part of this project. Nor are mixed use corridors like Pembina Highway or Academy Road. Residential Infill Guidelines will focus on mature neighbourhoods and how to integrate new housing within neighbourhoods, at a scale and density compatible with lower density housing.

Date added: September 2019

Will the Residential Infill Guidelines focus on certain areas of the city?

This project will establish guidelines for neighbourhoods identified as "mature communities" within the Complete Communities Direction Strategy.

Date added: September 2019

Where will the Residential Infill Guidelines not apply?

This project will not apply to other policy areas within the Complete Communities Direction Strategy (e.g. New Communities, Recent Communities, Mixed Use Corridors and Centres, the Downtown). These Guidelines are also intended not to supersede the policies of a local area plan, heritage conservation districts, or secondary plan, since these areas have already undergone an area-specific planning process to articulate their unique development objectives.

Date added: September 2020

What neighbourhoods will be consulted via the planned infill public engagement activities?

Public engagement activities will include three in-person events located in city venues where social distancing protocols can be adhered to, as well as two online Zoom events. Registration is required for all events. For more information, please see the 'Engage' tab.

Date added: September 2020








Last update: October 28, 2020

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