James Avenue Pumping Station


Located along the Red River in Winnipeg's Exchange District, the James Avenue Pumping Station was built in 1906 in response to the challenges the city faced during a large fire on Main Street in 1904. At the time, the city could not generate enough water pressure to successfully fight the fire, so firefighters had to use untreated river water as a resource and release it into the main lines. Unfortunately, this caused a typhoid outbreak due to contamination of the city's drinking water. As a result, the pumping station was created to assist with future firefighting. The brick one-storey station opened in 1907. With a capacity to pump up to 9,000 gallons of water per minute, the James Avenue Pumping Station was the largest facility of its kind globally. Decommissioned in 1986 by the City of Winnipeg, the building has not been in use since then.

Various ideas on what to do with the abandoned historical building have been suggested and subsequently declined due to the costs associated with the different projects. What makes this building even more difficult to redevelop is being able to incorporate the architectural character and history of the building into the new design. Neglecting to do so would defeat the purpose of trying to preserve this heritage building. The current and most promising proposal to date for the James Avenue Pumping Station is a mixed-use 24-storey high-rise tower that will preserve the original brick structure and pumping equipment of the historical building on the ground floor. Upper floors can potentially serve as office space, retail space, small restaurants, apartments, and/or condominiums
 

Projected design for the potential high-rise tower to be built at the James Avenue Pumping Station.

 
For more information regarding proposal plans for the James Avenue Pumping Station, please see this August 2013 Article published by the Winnipeg Free Press.  In addition please click on the links below for other more recent articles:

Winnipeg Sun (8/8/13): Big Plans for James Avenue Pumping Station
2012 Pumping Station Conundrum Article

Winnipeg Free Press Article - December 16, 2013
Winnipeg Free Press Article - January 6, 2014
Winnipeg Free Press Article - Exchange District Tower approved - January 6, 2014
Winnipeg Free Press Article - January 8, 2014

CBC Manitoba News Article - 24-storey OK'd for Tower- January 6, 2014
Winnipeg Free Press Article- January 10, 2014

Winnipeg Sun Article - January 10, 2014  - Pumping station backer never claimed-to be an architect
Winnipeg Free Press Article - January 13, 2014
 
 
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