North End hotel to be converted to housing, education centre
Merchants Hotel to become affordable housing, high-school completion program
The province has committed $11 million to revamping the Merchants Hotel in Winnipeg’s North End neighbourhood.
The Merchants Hotel on Selkirk Avenue has had a troubled history. In 2011, a 42-year-old woman was stabbed to death just outside the building. Months before that, a 47-year-old man was set on fire after buying beer at the hotel.
Now, the province is spending millions to convert it into affordable housing and a high-school completion centre.
The province previously committed to converting the hotel in 2012 and has now provided the exact amount it will spend on the conversion.
About $9 million will be spent on creating 30 affordable and low-income housing units for students enrolled in education programs in the North End.
The remaining $2 million will be invested in creating a space to house the Community Educational Development Association's Pathways to Education high school completion program.
The University of Winnipeg will also use the space for part of their urban and inner-city studies program.
Community organization Merchants Corner Inc. has committed to running the space and raising another $1.7 million for its operation.
Since the hotel closed street crime and property crime have decreased in the 21-block surrounding area, according to provincial officials.