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News Releases

March 3, 2014

Mayor Congratulates University of Manitoba Bisons Women's Volleyball Team

Released: 9:42 a.m.

The Manitoba Bisons women's volleyball team defeated the #1 seed and defending six-time CIS champion University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in the championship final on Sunday, March 2 at the University of Regina.

It is with pride that I extend congratulations to the Manitoba Bisons women's volleyball team - CIS women's volleyball champions for 2013-14.

On behalf of the City of Winnipeg, I would like to express my appreciation to the entire team, led by head coach Ken Bentley, for bringing the CIS championship title back to Winnipeg.

I commend all members of the team for their hard work and dedication, not only during the final game in the CIS championships, but throughout the entire season. This victory is hard-earned and well-deserved.

Again, on behalf of all citizens of Winnipeg, congratulations!

Yours sincerely,

Sam Katz

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City of Winnipeg officially opens East Yard complex

New facility enables more efficient and cost effective service delivery

Released: 10:32 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB - In order to provide more efficient, green and cost effective services to Winnipeg citizens, Mayor Sam Katz and City Councillors Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) and Thomas Steen (Elmwood-East Kildonan) officially opened the City’s new East Yard complex today. The new facility, located in the Elmwood area, combines the operations of several Public Works Department divisions and a new Winnipeg Fleet Management Agency facility into one location.

Moving several functions to the new complex has allowed the City to vacate a number of properties which are beyond their useful life and will save an estimated $15 million over the next 30 years. These savings are a result of reduced operating costs such as energy costs, service delivery efficiencies and future tax revenues from development of vacated properties.

Located on a former landfill site at 960 Thomas Avenue, the East Yard complex consists of five buildings including a field office, garage, shops, and storage facilities.

“The new East Yard complex brings several branches of Public Works together, providing efficient office environments and well-lit, spacious vehicle storage areas,” said Mayor Katz. “This previously underutilized 50 acre site has been developed into a modern, well-designed facility that will serve the department and the City of Winnipeg for years to come.”

“The consolidation of several old, inefficient Public Works yards allows the City to introduce best-practices in operations and management of Public Works and Fleet services in one location,” Councillor Jeff Browaty, Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Property & Development said. “From a planning perspective, it’s been exciting to reclaim a former landfill area and turn it into productive space, hosting a number of new buildings.”

The 124,347 sq. ft. complex also includes space for 200 - 273 staff depending on the season. The facility was built with the environment in mind and the City has applied for LEED silver certification.

Completed on time and on budget, the East Yard complex now houses Streets Maintenance East Area, Parks & Open Space East Area, Parks & Open Space Centralized Services, Bridge Operations and will house Equipment Operator Training in the near future. A new Fleet Management Agency facility is also located within the 50 acre site in order to provide more localized fleet maintenance services on the East side of the city.

Frozen Pipe Bulletin #1: City of Winnipeg offers free access to indoor pool facilities to those residents without water due to frozen pipes

Crews working seven days a week to thaw frozen pipes

Released: 2:38 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB - The City of Winnipeg is offering free access to shower facilities at all 12 indoor pool locations as well as Fort Rouge Leisure Centre (625 Osborne Street) for those residents without water due to frozen water pipes. The pools and locations are as follows:

  • Bonivital - 1215 Archibald Street
  • Cindy Klassen Recreation Complex - 999 Sargent Avenue
  • Eldon Ross - 1887 Pacific Avenue West
  • Elmwood Kildonans - 909 Concordia Avenue
  • Margaret Grant - 685 Dalhousie Drive
  • North Centennial Recreation and Leisure Facility - 90 Sinclair Street
  • Pan Am - 25 Poseidon Bay
  • Seven Oaks - 444 Adsum Drive
  • St. James Assiniboia Centennial - 644 Parkdale Street
  • St. James Civic Centre - 2055 Ness Avenue
  • Transcona Centennial - 1101 Wabasha Street
  • Bernie Wolfe - 95 Bournais Drive

Operating hours are posted on Citizens dealing with frozen pipes should simply identify themselves as such to pool staff at the front counter.

City of Winnipeg crews are working to restore water service as quickly as possible. Crews are dedicated to thawing frozen water pipes, working seven days a week. All available staff and equipment resources have been assigned to this effort.

This winter there has been a sudden and dramatic increase in frozen water pipes due to prolonged periods of frigid temperatures and deeper-than-usual frost penetration into the ground. This is the second coldest winter in 75 years and frost has reached a depth of approximately seven feet. The City of Winnipeg is currently experiencing the highest number of frozen water pipes to be recorded in 35 years. Frozen water pipes are also being experienced by other water utilities in Canada (e.g., Brandon, Hamilton, Guelph, Ottawa) and throughout the U.S. Midwest (e.g., Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee).

The City uses specialized CSA approved electrical thawing machines (DBH) equipped with a computer system to monitor the current and automatically shuts off if there is any dangerous current loss into the house. The DBH, capable of thawing large diameter and long lengths of water pipes, is a self-contained unit which is towed to the site where pipe thawing is required. Unfortunately, contractors do not have these specialized electrical machines, nor are they available for rent.

The Water and Waste Department ordered two other types of electrical thawing units to evaluate. One unit was received on February 28, 2014, and will be tested. Normally, in a typical winter, the City only requires one thawing crew to address frozen water pipes.

There are currently about 537 properties on the list for thawing service. Based on the number of properties on the waiting list, and the number of properties with complex thawing requirements, it currently takes about 12 to 14 days to thaw a frozen water pipe. It is difficult to give a timeframe for individual properties as pipe thawing can take anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours to complete.

So that customers have a temporary water supply as soon as possible while waiting for thawing service, staff will install a temporary water supply by connecting a hose from the property owner’s outside tap to a neighbour's outside tap, provided that it is possible to do so (i.e., the taps aren’t frozen) and the neighbour agrees to this arrangement.  Currently there are 67 hose lines in place.

Even if the weather does start to warm up over the next few weeks, it will be at least May or June before the frost is out of the ground. Those water pipes at risk of freezing will remain vulnerable over the next few months.

Residents who have no water should contact 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by phone or by email at

Last update: 11.03.2014

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