Manitoba announces 10-year deadline to fund eligible Bay preservation efforts

The Hudson's Bay department store on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg. Michael Draven / Global News

More information has been announced about Manitoba’s $25-million fund to preserve the historic Hudson’s Bay building in downtown Winnipeg.

The province announced Monday that money from The Bay Building Fund — previously announced as part of the 2021 budget and held in trust by the Winnipeg Foundation — will go toward eligible projects to be completed over a 10-year period.

Eligible projects could include conservation efforts to restore heritage elements of the building, capital repairs, or creating and installing historical exhibits in the display windows or elsewhere in the building.

If the full $25 million isn’t used by the end of March 2031, any leftover funds will go to Manitoba’s heritage resources endowment fund and used to support other heritage buildings.

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“Manitobans have many memories attached to the HBC building,” said Cathy Cox, culture and heritage minister.

“It was more than just a retail location, it is part of our province’s heritage and the social fabric of downtown Winnipeg.

“We are pleased to offer this significant commitment and we look forward to the inspiration of private enterprise to unlock the potential that awaits for the redevelopment of this landmark building and vibrant neighbourhood.”

The landmark building, originally opened in 1926, survived until November of last year, when it was abruptly shuttered after retail restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic were the final nails in its coffin after years of decline.

In 2019, the City of Winnipeg granted the building protected heritage status.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba creates $25M fund for downtown HBC building redevelopment'
Manitoba creates $25M fund for downtown HBC building redevelopment

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