YMCA YWCA Downtown Lobby Refresh

The Downtown Winnipeg YMCA-YWCA location is an important amenity to the surrounding community; open to members and visitors 16 hours per day, 364 days a year, and providing a thoroughfare for pedestrians as part of the +15 walkway (an interior route throughout a significant part of the downtown core). The program offerings of this location include a fitness centre, gymnasium, an elevated running track, a lap pool and shallow pool, day care facilities, studio spaces, and offices, and are visited by thousands of people every week.

MMP was commissioned in 2015 to provide an interior refresh to the lobby and public corridor areas of the Downtown YMCA-YWCA facility. The goal of the renovation was to create a more contemporary and welcoming environment that would improve the space for current members, as well as increase membership by drawing in additional clientele.

Upgrades to the space include the following highlights:

  • A re-oriented lobby featuring an expansive reception desk intended to minimize lines during peak hours as well as ensuring staff safety
  • An upgraded digital security gate system that also provides accessible entry into the male and female locker spaces
  • Integration of a contemporary interior palate anchored by stone and wood finishes
  • The inclusion of a green wall in the lobby which provides not only a living work of art, but also benefits indoor air quality, provides acoustical benefits through noise dampening, and reduces stress and enhances wellbeing for those in contact with the piece
  • Wood canopies provide warmth and bring the seven storey volume in the atrium down to a more personal level
  • Punches of the YMCA-YWCA signature orange-red integrated throughout to better brand the space
  • Benches provided throughout to encourage both members and public to sit and enjoy the space
  • Lounge areas added to provide a space for people to wait for rides, work, or visit with others before and after workouts/classes

Working within the constraints of a tight budget, in a space that was open to members and staff throughout construction, MMP and our team of consultants were able to provide our clients with a bright and welcoming renovated space.


YMCA-YWCA West Portage Project Team
Project Architect: Chris Daly
Lead Interior Designer: Hailey Connor
Technician: Tam Nguyen
Contract Administration: Kristin Szuminsky