One of the major districts in Winnipeg is St. James Assiniboia. This is the far Western portion of the city. The Assiniboine River is to the West. The locals typically just refer to this area as St. James or The West End. While most of it is residential, there are some commercial sectors as well.
The majority of the population in St. James Assiniboia are middle class. However, there are some pockets along the Eastern part of it that are in poverty and have the highest crime rates including drug use. There are some prominent wealthy areas too, especially those closer to the St. Charles Country Club.
This area used to be primarily farming land along the North side of the Assiniboine River. This is where the Anglo-Metis Aboriginal’s lived. They were mainly French speaking. When the streetcar service was extended to Deer Lodge in 1903, this area started to transform into a residential location.
By 1920 the St. James Assiniboia areas was quite developed, and it continued to expand slowly. However, from 1945 until 1970 there was significant expansion. This includes the Silver Heights and Birchwood subdivisions in the 1940s and 1950s. Then there was the developments in the 1960s of St. Charles, Crestview, and Westwood.
Over the years, the community has continued to grow closer to the Perimeter Highway. The population though actually declined from 1971 through 2001 from 66,000 to about 58,000. However, it is now on the rise.
There are high crime rates in some parts of this area, but they have dropped considerably over the past several years. This is due to more community involvement and more law enforcement on patrol. The majority of types of crimes aren’t violent that do get reported in this part of Winnipeg.
In 1877, Winnipeg’s City Council bough a large area of land along Notre Dame Avenue. This is the location of many of the prestigious people around Winnipeg. As of 1915, it has also become a location for many of the military. It is believed to be the oldest of all military cemeteries in Canada. Over 9,200 veterans are in this cemetery. The area is very beautiful with some amazing monuments and statues in their honor.
The construction of the St. James Civic Centre in 1967 has also contributed to the value of these neighbourhoods. It is located at the West end of Winnipeg. It offers an indoor ice hockey arena, a huge swimming pool, and an auditorium where various concerts and plays are held. This is also where the home games of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League are played. The team is called the St. James Canucks.
Portage Place is a small downtown mall, but not the best one for shopping. It hasn’t been kept up and many of the stores are empty now. There are also bad crowds that tend to hang out for long periods of time in this location. Polo Park is a larger mall and better overall in terms of safety and the selection of stores. It is on the edge of being in St. James Assiniboia and being downtown.
The fact that the airport is also located in the St. James Assiniboia area is important. For those that travel frequently either for business or fun, being able to get there in a short period of time is important. Don’t worry if you live around this location though as the flights taking off and landing aren’t going to be a distraction.
There are several schools in this area that offer grades K through 12. This is also a common area for hosting high school International exchange students. They come from all over the world to spend a semester or a year learning in this part of Winnipeg.
Exploring the various neighbourhoods in this part of Winnipeg shows the various opportunities for homes, apartments, and condos. Here are some of the locations that are available around St. James Assiniboia:
The area known as Assiniboia Downs was actually created due to the popularity of the race track there since 1958. The area has continued to be a location for construction of homes along the Red River Park area. There are also plenty of commercial elements in place around this part of Winnipeg. It is one of the main locations for various auto vehicle dealerships.
One of the early aspects of residential subdivisions around Winnipeg is found at Deer Lodge. There are two major developments here – Deer Lodge Place and Oakdale Park. They didn’t do well initially in terms of selling properties. However, today these communities are considered to be very nice and home for sale in them don’t stay on the market for long.
One of the first developed communities in the Western portion of Canada was Silver Heights. This part of St. James Assiniboia is one that was designed by Frank R. Lount, a local developer with a wonderful reputation. The area was settled in the late part of the 1850s by an official for the Hudson Bay Company, John Rowand. Many prestigious political figures and even those that were part of the railway designs lived here.
The majority of the homes found in Silver Heights were created in the 1950s. The most elaborate homes are found around the Southwest corner of Trail Avenue. This location is also considered to be one of the historical elements of the City of Winnipeg.
The area known as Crestview has the Sturgeon Creek Park running through it. During the winter months, it is ideal for cross country skiing. This area is also very close to the Red River Exhibition Grounds. This is a comfortable and quiet community, with homes being very reasonably priced. There are about 6,000 homes here.
One of the largest malls, simply called Crestview, is in this area. The Heritage Victoria Community Club is found here and they host activities all year long. Some of them are indoors and others are outdoors. A common attraction in this neighbourhood is the Old Mill Museum.
The name for the Booth area is in honor of William and Catherine Booth. They are the founders of the Salvation Army. They also established the Grace General Hospital in 1904. This continues to be one of the largest hospitals in Canada. In 2008, the Winnipeg Health Authority took control of it.
This is a smaller area in terms of residential, but there are plenty of other areas that can be reached in a matter of minutes. Booth University College is in this part of St. James Assiniboia. There are some lovely homes and parts here and the area offers a very quiet and relaxing atmosphere.
In the 1900s the neighbourhood of Woodhaven was developed. It was in 1913 when homes began being available to those that wished to live in the subdivision. They had to create a bridge across Sturgeon Creek to make the subdivision fully accessible. The bridge wasn’t completed until 1920 and that is also when Woodhaven Park was opened.
This area is very cute and cozy as there are small cottages around the river. In the mid 1990s some newer homes were created on the East side of Glendale Boulevard. During the winter months, the outdoor skating rink is a common attraction.
Around the North entrance to Assiniboine Park is the area known as Birchwood. There are mainly apartments on the blocks that make up this particular neighbourhood. There are some small houses as well. To the East of Moray Street, there is mainly commercial property. The newest additions of homes here are along the West portion of Charleswood Bridge to Moray Street.
The neighbourhood found around the Southwest corner of St. James Assiniboia is Saskatchewan North. This is a rural area with plenty of open land. There are large homes here and many of them are older but in good condition. This is also the location of Optimist Park with one of the largest athletic facilities in Winnipeg.
Omand’s Creek Industrial
Part of what has made this particular neighbourhood flourish and grow is the presence of Omand’s Creek Industrial area. This is a huge manufacturing and warehouse facility that is close to various forms of transportation. That includes the airport, highways, and railroads. There are quite a few well established businesses that have been located here for many decades.
At the West end of St. James Assiniboia is The Oaks. It is along the Assiniboine River. The development is one that is in high demand due to the access to the parks, trails, and natural forests. In fact, it is rare for any homes to come onto the market for this area. There are many realtors though that watch for them as people do want to move into this area if the chance presents itself. The setting is very inviting and unique and families that do live here often don’t wish to leave it.
The price of these homes though also indicates the prestigious nature of the location. The price range for them starts at $800,000 and the top homes are valued around $2,450,000. Forest Oaks Crescent is a place that people from surrounding communities also come to enjoy. The area provides safe trails for cycling, jogging, and walking. The river is a prime location in Winnipeg for canoeing and kayaking. In the winter, it is often a place for cross country skiing to take place.
Homes around Crestview are sold for approximately $406,000. In other areas they can range up to $1,250,000. It depends on location, the type of home or condo, and the amenities that are offered.