A new infill project situated near the University of Manitoba will eventually become the residence of 20,000 individuals, making it one of the largest communities in the province. The Southwood Circle development, which is situated at the former Southwood Golf and Country Club, just west of the Red River and next to the University of Manitoba’s south Winnipeg campus, broke ground on Wednesday.  Construction on the new neighbourhood development is expected to begin shortly.

Upon completion, the development is expected to house around 20,000 residents, which, when combined with the University of Manitoba’s community and the Smart Park development nearby, will have a daily population of approximately 60,000 people. This population is greater than any other city in Manitoba, except for Winnipeg.

The University of Manitoba has been planning the Southwood Lands Development Project since purchasing the Southwood Golf and Country Club in January 2008. The University officially took ownership of the 120-acre property in 2011. The Southwood Circle spans approximately 45 hectares, with over 30 hectares of buildable land, according to UM Properties’ news release. Additionally, the project prioritizes sustainability, aiming to preserve the property’s 5,000 trees, utilizing existing city infrastructure, and requiring only 2.5 kilometers of new roads to be constructed.

There are also plans for Sifton Road — which runs off University Crescent, at the north end of the U of M campus —  to become a hub for shopping and dining.

“We will not only have people living here, but we will have services here,” said Michael Benarroch, president and vice-chancellor of the U of M, including access to existing U of M facilities like fitness centres.

“We’ll have grocery stores, we’ll have cafés, we’ll have other services that people want to use, so that within 15 minutes of where they live, they will have all those amenities.”