Art supply store paints the picture of an overdone parking lot

The City of Winnipeg orders a longtime art supply company to open a paradise parking lot or not be allowed to open the doors to its new location.

Artists Emporium, which closed its decades-old location on St. James Street in November to move into purchased space at 580 Roseberry St., was denied its request to amend zoning laws so that it would not You don’t have to pave an 11,400-square foot gravel parking lot at the rear of the property.

The company is appealing the decision at Thursday’s meeting of the Civic Appeals Committee.

Store owner Janeen Junson said she doesn’t understand why the city wants there to be more than 40 parking spaces on the entire property – 31 in the back – when there is no only needed eight in total at its old location.


New Artists Emporium location in Winnipeg

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New premises for Artists Emporium in Winnipeg

The new location has 13 spaces in the front and side of the building, and the street allows parking.

“If I had 42 people all the time, I would be very happy, but I’m not,” Junson said Wednesday. “It would cost me over $100,000.

“The parking areas at the front and side of the building are both paved and offer almost double the spaces we had in our previous building for 40 years. And there is street parking here, which we didn’t have before,” she said. .

“I was in shock when they told me I had to do this. It could close my business.”

“I was in shock when they told me I had to do this. It could close my business. – Janeen Junson

Junson said the building was built in 1958 and the two previous retail businesses on site (Belair Party Rentals and Blinds are Beautiful) weren’t required to pave the rear gravel lot, even though the rental business had customers accessing it from this point and used to store delivery trucks.

Under the banner of the art supply store, the gravel lot was to become a green space with shrubbery, to be used by employees for their lunch breaks, for outdoor art classes or individual artists to use.

St. James County Scott Gillingham (also a mayoral candidate) is on Junson’s side and will speak in support of his request at the appeal committee meeting.

With small businesses still grappling with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city should do more to help them survive instead of hurting them, he said Wednesday.

“She owns a small business and she knows her parking needs,” Gillingham said, noting that there is also street parking available.

“The city has bylaws and the staff follows them, but there are deviations…This parking lot has been gravel for many years. Now demanding (over $100,000)…to be paved doesn’t is only a significant financial burden.”

According to a municipal report, the city wants the gravel lot paved because blown sand and dust are a problem for pedestrians and surrounding properties.

This car park has been gravel for many years. Now, demanding (over $100,000)… to be paved is just a big financial burden. – Deputy. Scott Gillingham

Additionally, according to the city, in wet conditions, gravel can be tracked down the street, increasing the need for street cleaning, and when there is snow on the ground, a gravel surface cannot be plowed properly. The report says it is also impossible to mark individual parking spaces on gravel ground.

Although there was a previous business on the site, its primary function was as a warehouse and not a retail outlet, such as one selling art supplies and doing custom framing, notes the report.

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Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason is one of the Winnipeg Free Press’ most versatile reporters. Whether covering City Hall, the Courthouse or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws – who, what, when, where and why – but to do it. in an interesting and accessible way for readers. .

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