WINNIPEG- The Merchants Hotel is getting a massive multi-million dollar makeover.
The eye sore on Selkirk Avenue will soon be converted into a mixed use education and housing complex.
The provincial government is pumping in $11.1 million to the redevelopment.
Of that , the province says $9.1 million will go towards 30 affordable and rent geared to income homes for students enrolled in North End education programs.
“The people of the community will benefit from it,” said Premier Greg Selinger.
The remaining $2 million will be given as a repayable loan to house the University of Winnipeg Urban and Inner-City Studies program as well as the Community Educational Development Association’s Pathways to Education high school completion program.
Michael Champagne with the North End Renewal Corporation said the area has gone through many positive changes lately and expects the building will be a safe place for the community to go.
“My hope for this building is that it will become the opposite of what it used to be,” said Champagne. “It used to be a place where there was a lot of violence and addiction and I hope it becomes a place where there is a lot of peace and healing and learning.”