We are a unique non-profit, community based, elderly person apartment and service complex. The Centre promotes a structure that enables its’ members to voluntarily unite for individual and community betterment.
We believe that regardless of whether a mature person is low income or not, everyone should have excellent living accommodations available to them.
Board of Directors:
Willow Centre is a privately owned, subsidized apartment building, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and managed by an onsite Property Manager and Caretaker. The Board provides direction and support to an on site Property Manager who runs the day-to-day operations of the complex.
The Burrows-Keewatin area was first developed in the early 60’s, when the City built a low-cost housing development which was federally and provincially subsidized, on a section of land in Northwest Winnipeg. At the same time, a group primarily interested in promoting and building Housing Co-operatives, was incorporated as the Co-operative Housing Association of Manitoba (CHAM). They developed plans to build townhouse units in the same area of the City. The City agreed to lease 11.6 acres of land for 60 years to CHAM for $50,000.00, to develop the Willow Park Community. On March 1, 1961 Willow Park Housing Co-Op Ltd. was incorporated as the first major continuing housing Co-Operative in Canada. On November 9, 1970, a second continuing housing co-op was incorporated as Willow Park East Housing Co-Op Ltd. and built in the Willow Park Community. Willow Centre was eventually incorporated on December 23, 1970 as a result of needing a community place which would provide services for its members. The surrounding community at this time consisted of lots of vacant land, and elementary school, large park and playground with wading pool and more residential of a recent vintage.
When Willow Centre began to operate as a facility, it provided a 52 unit bachelor style apartment building for mature adults and commercial space, which was occupied by a grocery store, day nursery, restaurant and recreation centre. While the community was developing, the Manitoba Government was identifying the need for a community based delivery system, which would provide a range of health and social services, and at the same time a community base. A study of the availability and accessibility of health services in North Winnipeg recommended a consumer controlled Community Health and Social Service Centre, that offered an integrated array of health and social services be established in the North Winnipeg area. On November 27, 1972, Nor’West Health and Social Services Centre was incorporated as a Co-Op without share capital. Nor’West moved into Willow Centre on November 27, 1972 and replaced the recreation Centre. As a result of expanding growth in the community, a permanent office and staff were created to provide Property Management for Willow Centre, Willow Park Services commenced operation on July 2, 1974, to provide administration and maintenance services for the Willow Park Community. It played a key role in maintaining a formal method of communicating the needs of the community as a whole, for the benefit of all.
Today Willow Centre is over 35 years old and the Willow Park community has changed in many ways. The 52-unit bachelor apartment and health and social service centre currently occupy Willow Centre and the two Co-ops still exist. The remaining space of Willow Centre is occupied by Willow Park East office and meeting room. The restaurant and grocery store no longer exist. As well Willow Park Services has dissolved. This change has lead to each organization focussing on their own needs, for their own benefit, leaving all the common purposes of the community behind. Each organization has always had their own Board of Directors, but now they manage and maintain their property independently. The surrounding community now consists of a larger low-cost subsidized housing development, the school, park and playground with wading pools and the vacant land has almost been fully occupied with a large industrial park, commercial strip malls, for profit service provider and several residential communities.