The Bridgwater banner is flying high these days, becoming one of the most sought after set of new neighbourhoods in Winnipeg. And with good reason. From varied architecture, to matured natural features, to future new schools and a potential community centre, putting down roots in the Forest, Lakes, or Trails feels like home.
Join the Neighbourhoods B y C arl y P e t ers Photography: Michael Roberts
Bridgwater Forest, which will be host to 1,103 single-family dwellings, was the first area to be developed, starting in 2007. Today, the six phases of the neighbourhood are fully serviced, and Dwayne Rewniak, Director of Land Development for Manitoba Housing, predicts all lots will be sold and fully built out by 2016. The unique neighbourhood features mature forest, 70 acres of open space, and an abundance of scenic paths for walking and cycling. Rewniak states they are continuing to expand the existing forest to ensure there is increased green space in the development -mixing a natural environment with modern conveniences. Bridgwater Forest was also the pilot project for introducing visitable housing into the neighbourhood, which entails elements such as no-step entry, wide doorways and hallways, and a wheelchair accessible bathroom on the main floor. These features make it possible for homeowners to remain in their community of choice over the years as they age, are ideal for people with mobility issues; and are even good for young families with strollers. “Manitoba Housing thought it was an important concept that needed to come to fruition, so we started with 14 visitable homes in Bridgwater Forest,” states Rewniak. “The pilot went very well, so we decided to incorporate a higher percentage of visitable homes in Bridgwater Lakes.” About 50 percent of the 1,190 homes in Bridgwater Lakes will be visitable, making it one of Canada’s first ever visitable neighbourhoods. Currently, the development, which began in 2010, has over 400 homes built, and 850 lots sold. Here it’s the water features that are making waves with homebuyers. Residents can enjoy a stroll by one of the three naturalized lakes, or the serenity found in a waterfront lot. The architectural guidelines of Bridgwater Lakes, such as an exclusion of repeated housing designs, the encouragement of varied exterior elements and recessed garages, promotes diversity and character, and ensures the uniqueness of the neighbourhood. The newest neighbourhood in the Bridgwater trifecta, Bridgwater Trails, will see its first home built this year, with showhomes coming available in 2015. The first phase will offer 282 single-family homes, including lots with back-lane access, and smaller lot options for affordable entry pricing.
Yet, the heart of the three neighbourhoods will be Bridgwater Centre. The mixed-use area will feature 1,000 multi-family units, office space, and commercial development. Red River Coop has already signed on to be one of the first businesses in the centre, with a gas bar and car wash slated to begin construction later this year. Rewniak states Bridgwater Centre is meant to be a walkable area, where residents can shop and visit within a short walk or cycle from home. Once complete, the Bridgwater neighbourhood will feature a network of 80 kilometres of
scenic paths and sidewalks, making it the largest pedestrian focused network in the city. The developer has also identified areas in the three neighbourhoods for potential school sites, and there has been talk about a future community centre in the neighbourhood as well. “With the Bridgwater communities, many of the amenities are upfront - parks, paths, fencing, trees, lakes - they are all there,” he says. “Unlike other new developments, you get a sense you’re moving into an established community.” Summer 2014 | STYLE MANITOBA | 15