Picture yourself, if you will, in your dream home—every possible convenience and amenity you would ever need, all in a beautifully designed and constructed package. You look out the window and notice nothing but a sea of green and perhaps even the sparkling water of a lake; you step outside and breathe in fresh, clean air not typically found within city limits. Thanks to Bridgwater Forest, you can make that dream home a reality.
With over 70 acres of open space, mature forest and four tranquil lakes, Bridgwater Forest’s natural beauty makes it ideal for recreation and relaxation. Raising a happy family has never been easier for homeowners, with kilometres of walkways and children’s play areas already in place.
But what is arguably one of Bridgwater Forest’s standout features is the unmatched amount of open space it offers residents. In fact, one third of this innovative 375-acre development is preserved as natural open space, with a full 25 acres dedicated to mature forest.
“The forest has actually been expanded, as we’ve added several hundred new trees,” says Dwayne Rewniak, director of land development at Manitoba Housing. “Our goal is to see more trees than what the forest started with. Where we’ve removed forest—such as to build the pathways—we replace whatever we’ve taken with new trees. It’s very important for us to preserve the forest as much as we can.”
Careful and advanced planning has gone into creating the entire Bridgwater Forest development, which means homeowners can enjoy the latest technologies and contemporary conveniences along with the best of traditional neighbourhood features. This unique combination ensures residents are completely content with their decision to move into the most coveted new development in Winnipeg.
One of the ways in which Bridgwater Forest developers have demonstrated their forward thinking is through the construction of visitable housing. Visitability consists of housing that is designed in such a way that everyone—regardless of mobility—will be able to visit someone else’s home, access a main floor washroom and exit the home. Though visitable homes are not entirely barrier-free, their design greatly increases opportunities for inclusive communities.
“Our goal is to see more trees than what the forest started with.”
“A very important feature we’re incorporating in Bridgwater Forest is our visitable lots. These are lots that are pre-engineered to provide a grade-level entry—they include wider doorways and hallways and wheelchair access on the first floor,” says Rewniak. “And they are designed for more than just people in wheelchairs—they are also ideal for seniors, people who use walkers or scooters, and even families with young children in strollers.”
Fifteen lots in phase two of the six-phase development will incorporate visitability, including three show homes that will open during the Fall Parade of Homes, and “that’s really only the start of what Manitoba Housing is trying to accomplish,” according to Rewniak. Three of Bridgwater Forest’s designated builders—Artista Homes, Maric Homes and Arlt Homes—are behind the construction of these homes.
Whether incorporating visitability into a home or not, Bridgwater Forest offers numerous options to residents so they are able to find the best home suited to their taste and lifestyle. “One of the best parts of Bridgwater Forest is the look of the homes themselves—we have architectural guidelines in place to ensure there are a variety of house designs,” says Rewniak. “We also have a lot of variety in terms of the lots we offer.”
In fact, to avoid repetitive use of similar house designs on lots, Bridgwater Forest’s architectural guidelines ensure that there will be a variety of home designs throughout the neighbourhood. The designs draw on traditional themes ranging from everything to colonial revival to Victorian to country, to name a few.
In addition to visitable lots and select geothermal lots, Bridgwater Forest also provides homeowners with the opportunity to choose a lot with or without a back lane, a feature that has proven to be a favourite among those involved with the development. “This option has gone over really well with our homeowners and our builders,” says Rewniak. “We are pretty much sold out of all of our lane products.”
To contribute to the close community feel of the development, Bridgwater Forest also offers homeowners recessed garages. “These recessed garages are designed to prevent garage-dominated streets to create a more neighbourhood-friendly streetscape,” says Rewniak.
With plenty of amenities nearby, its traditional neighbourhood feel and many design options to choose from, it’s no wonder Bridgwater Forest has quickly amassed a reputation as the neighbourhood for discerning new homebuyers. And judging by the hundreds of happy residents already living in the development and the scads of people waiting to move in, it looks like that reputation will only continue to grow along with Bridgwater Forest’s development.