A “Y” in every neighbourhood? Not quite, but getting there.

Taking a break from politics for a moment…

The city’s southwest neighbourhoods might be the “have-more” parts of Winnipeg — the area of town that can claim Corydon Avenue, the elegant streets of Crescentwood and North River Heights, and the city’s top bookstore as its own — but it has never had its own branch of the YM-YWCA.

That might be about to change, however, as the YM-YWCA of Winnipeg revealed this week that it is considering building a branch in southwest Winnipeg to expand its services to the city’s fastest growing quadrant.

As the following map shows — based on areas within a five-kilometre (3 mi.) driving distance of the existing Downtown, North End, Portage West, East Kildonan and St. Vital branches — southwest Winnipeg is currently the biggest gap in the Y’s regional coverage model, leaving area residents having to use out-of-the-way locations to take advantage of the organization’s wide range of workout and program options.

Catchment areas for current Y locations (estimated 3 mi./5 km. driving distance)

As shown below, a new YM-YWCA branch constructed in Waverley Heights, thought to be the most likely location for a new outlet, would mean a considerable improvement in accessibility for residents of Winnipeg’s southernmost suburbs. This would, however, still leave gaps in River Heights, Crescentwood and Tuxedo, which the Y might figure is already well-served by the Pan Am Pool, the Reh-Fit Centre and the Rady Centre and thus a less pressing priority.

Estimated catchment area of a Waverley Heights Y, compared to existing locations

A branch along Kenaston would nicely fill the gap between the Portage West and Fermor Ave. locations, but would not likely be built until demand in the under-served suburbs further south has been satisfied.

Estimated catchment area of a "Y" branch in the Kenaston/Grant area, compared to existing branches

Transcona also remains a notable gap in the Y’s regional coverage model, a fact not overlooked by the administrators of a Facebook page dedicated to lobbying for a Y branch in that part of town.

Given that even from the western end of Transcona it’s a nine-kilometre drive to the Kimberly Ave. branch in East Kildonan and 13 kilometres to the Fermor branch in St. Vital — add an extra 5 to 7 kilometres from the east end of Transcona — their eagerness for a branch of their own is understandable.

Estimated catchment area of a "Y" branch in west Transcona

Even three new branches would leave the Y with weak coverage in the city’s more distant northwest and southeast suburbs, as well as in areas of West Kildonan and Garden City to some degree, where some residents might be reluctant to use the smaller, resurrected North End facility. But even one new branch would be progress, and would be beneficial to the goal of getting city residents to be a little more active.

Estimated catchment areas based on results from the Drivable Radius Map at abstractlogic.net

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About theviewfromseven
A lone wolf and a bit of a contrarian who sometimes has something to share.

One Response to A “Y” in every neighbourhood? Not quite, but getting there.

  1. John Dobbin says:

    I am wondering if the Y can even afford the land around there. I know there are plans for some commercial space around Waverley West but I haven’t seen any lobbying on the part of the people in the neighbourhood for a Y. Still, the place is so new, who can say who even lives there yet.

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