Demolition debris & rubble

Regardless of what initiated the need for the demolition of a structure, the property owner is responsible under the Winnipeg Building By-law for remediating the site, in compliance with all applicable bylaws.

Site remediation may include:

  • Securing the site with fencing 
  • Hiring a licensed demolition contractor and obtaining the necessary permits to conduct work
  • Completing the demolition of the structure
  • Removing the debris and rubble

Potential reasons for protracted demolitions & site cleanup

We recognize that derelict properties and incomplete demolitions have a negative effect on the health and safety of those in the surrounding community. We are looking at all options to prevent protracted demolitions and to speed up site cleanup.  

The reasons why a demolition may be in an incomplete condition vary, and could include:

  • Issues locating the property owner
  • A lack of property insurance
  • A property owner's financial limitations to carry out the work

Weather conditions may be a factor too. For instance, if it’s determined that wet demolition is required, that work can’t happen in the winter months. 

Wet demolition involves spraying debris and rubble with water to prevent the release of potentially harmful particles in the air.

The availability of licensed demolition contractors may also impact how quickly the site can be remediated. 

A licensed demolition contractor is required because the removal of debris could expose additional safety issues, such as:

  • Open excavations (basement areas)
  • Foundations in unknown condition 
  • Utility connections 

Work can also only take place with proper permits and approvals. 

Report a concern

You can report construction site concerns online or by contacting 311


Under the Winnipeg Building By-law, the owner of a property is required to keep their property in safe condition, including cleanup of debris or rubble left after a fire through demolition.

A permit for demolition is required to demolish any building or structure over 10 m2 (108 sq. ft.).

When an owner does not complete the demolition and cleanup of the property, the City can: 

  • Issue an Order to the owner to remediate the property 
  • Issue penalty notices (tickets) 
  • Have the site remediated by a contractor, with the costs added to the property tax bill

City-led remediation

If the City undertakes the demolition or cleanup of a site, we will:

  • Award a tender a tender for the demolition and site cleanup
  • Issue demolition permits
  • Ensure the remediation occurs

Costs associated with the remediation would be charged to the property owner through their property taxes.

If the property owner doesn't pay their taxes, we could take the property through the Tax Sale Process.

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