In this Oct. 10, 2014, file photo, the lakeside apartment complex at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Toronto, Canada.
The Ritz has announced plans to turn a former industrial site in downtown Winnipeg into a lakefront resort and hotel.
Ritz, owned by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, owns about 15,000 luxury condominiums and 1.4 million square feet of retail space in Canada.
Some condos are set to be demolished and others will remain in their current location.
But many of the residences at the former industrial area, which will soon become a Lake Shore condominium, will be converted into luxury residences.
(AP Photo/Frank Gunn, File) (AP: Frank Gunn) Lake Shore condo development in Winnipeg was one of the largest residential projects in Canada when it opened in 1995, but is coming back to life, after the province of Manitoba approved the construction of the Rits Lake Resort & Spa complex in late 2015.
That is, until the provincial government took a stand in 2015 against the developer and the province’s former chief planner, Anne Marie Aikins.
The province’s then-environment minister, Brad Duguid, said in a 2015 speech that the project had not met “Canadian standards” and was “a public nuisance” that had been in the works for years.
Duguid’s comments sparked protests and a public outcry that included a petition with over 100,000 signatures that was delivered to Duguid and other government officials.
The provincial government eventually agreed to an environmental assessment and the project is now moving forward.
Dugu told CBC News in an email that he would not comment further.
“The Ritz Lake Resort complex was built to meet the highest standards for livability, sustainability and environmental stewardship,” he said in the email.
“There were no plans to build on this property prior to the provincial review.
However, we have taken the necessary steps to comply with the provincial environmental assessment.”
Duguid said in an emailed statement that he had never been a developer and that he did not “represent a group that represents the interests of the developer.”
“The environmental assessment is only a first step in the process and does not give us the right to modify the site in the future,” Duguid wrote.
The project’s construction has attracted criticism from local residents and the city’s planning department, who have said the Rites Lake is already a “public nuisance” and a “poverty trap.”
In a statement, Lake Shore Property Management (LSPM) said in April 2017 that the developer has not met its “highest standards for living and working in a safe and healthy environment.”
LSPM also said the developer’s development plans are not compatible with the city and have not been reviewed by the city.
“LSPMs approach is that of a developer, with a limited vision of what the RITS is going to be like,” the statement read.
“We do not see any need to alter the RIT’s character or character of amenities or design, and will work with the developer to achieve a new, more sustainable and environmentally sustainable design.”
LSSM said in March that it is seeking $5.5 million in environmental mitigation grants from the province for the project.
The company said in its statement that the money will help it complete the project in the most cost-effective way possible.
“In addition to the mitigation funds, LSSMs is seeking a $1 million contribution from the City of Winnipeg to ensure the project can be completed as planned,” the company said.
“This additional financial contribution is in addition to $1,000,000 in funding LSSMS is seeking from the provincial and federal governments.”
The company also said it is in negotiations with other development companies in Canada and has received funding from the Manitoba government for the Ritzes Lake resort.
Aikens told CBC last year that the Rite’s lakefront property is a “very attractive development site” and that she would “absolutely” like to see the resort built in the province.