Winnipeg’s Waverley West to get long-awaited fire hall

The late 2019 fire at this under-construction high-rise was used as an example by Coun. Janice Lukes as to why Waverley West needs a local fire station. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Janice Lukes

Waverley West is getting its long-awaited fire hall.

At city hall on Wednesday, Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service Chief John Lane confirmed that a new facility will be located on a new section of Bison Drive off Kenaston Boulevard and will serve as part of a larger community hub being planned for the area.

Lane said at city council’s protection, community services and parks committee that the design of the new station will be an updated version of one of the city’s existing fire halls.

“Probably one of our best-functioning stations is the station on Regent (Avenue),” he said.

“It was built in the late 90s or the early 2000s and it is a very functional station. We would take that design off the shelf and tweak it to bring it up to modern standards.

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“It’s great news that we don’t need to go back to square one.”

Waverley West Coun. Janice Lukes told 680 CJOB the fire hall is something she’s been pushing for since she was first elected in 2014.

Lukes has called for a local fire hall on a number of occasions, notably in late 2019, when an under-construction high-rise apartment complex caught fire.

READ MORE: Waverley West councillor wants to use impact fees to fund Winnipeg fire hall

She said that while she’s not ready to celebrate until she sees shovels physically in the ground, it’s a positive step for the community.

“The demand is there, the need is there, council has voted on it… the pieces are coming together,” said Lukes.

“Onward and upward.”

READ MORE: Area councillor calls for local fire hall in light of high-rise blaze near U of M

The Waverley West fire station will also likely be able to support the nearby Rural Municipality of Macdonald, which will be able to purchase services from the city for anything that happens in the McGillivray area and the south Perimeter Highway, Lukes said.

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Lane said the WFPS is developing framework agreements with all of the surrounding RMs to propose that sort of joint agreement, as they currently do provide some specialty services on an ad hoc basis for neighbouring municipalities.

“As a whole, we are developing framework agreements with all of our surrounding RMs to propose and be ready for those sorts of joint agreements, because we do provide service on an ad hoc basis for specialty items.”

Lukes described the planned development where the fire hall will be located as “the first sort of supercentre that Winnipeg is building,” which will include two new schools as well as other community facilities.

She said the city has applied for both federal and provincial infrastructure funding for the project, and shovels are expected to be in the ground within the next two years.

Click to play video: 'Parents pan plan to move students from Waverley West school'
Parents pan plan to move students from Waverley West school

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