Advocates say Manwin Hotel in Winnipeg needs to be shuttered 

Inspectors found a number of issues that need to be addressed says a city spokesperson.

Inside the Manwin Hotel in Winnipeg, the smell of mold and human waste fills the halls and stairways, the floors and ceilings are sunken and the sounds of drumming and singing can be heard from the rooms.

The hotel is considered a last resort for some of the city’s most vulnerable people. But despite this, people are calling for the hotel to be shut down.

Frontline workers and advocates for missing and murdered Indigenous people claim the hotel has been a hub for drugs and human trafficking.

“If there was an emergency place where you can send people, that wasn’t already at capacity, places like this wouldn’t exist,” said Victor Mondaca, an outreach worker with the SABE Peace Walkers.

Manwin Hotel
Some of the conditions inside the Manwin Hotel in Winnipeg. Photo: Tamara Pimentel/APTN.

The Indigenous-led de-escalation group and the Downtown Community Safety Partnership (DCSP) walked the media through the building where an outreach worker found suspected drugs on the hallway floor.

“I’m sick to my stomach,” said protest organizer Brarb Guimond after touring the hotel, “No person should be living in there.”

APTN News has reached out to Manwin Hotel owner Akim Kamamba but he hasn’t returned any of our calls or social media messages. He told Winnipeg’s City News the hotel is “providing accommodation for people who have nowhere to go” and denied claims of human trafficking.

According to the City of Winnipeg, inspectors from various departments attended the Manwin Hotel in August as part of a joint inspection coordinated by the province.

“Following the inspection, we issued orders related to property standards, including: the condition of windows, doors, and screens; litter and garbage; as well as plumbing, electrical, and floors,” the email to APTN said. “The building had functioning life safety systems in place (sprinklers, alarm system, etc.). There were no Fire Code violations which would have justified a vacate order of the building.

“The City continues to be in communication with the property owner on resolving identified issues, and ensuring that the work undertaken and the property itself complies with applicable codes and by-laws.”

Manwin Hotel
People gathered outside the Manwin Hotel on Friday to encourage the city to close the establishment. Photo: Tamara Pimentel/APTN.

Vincent Lillie with the DCSP said he faced addictions in the past and “knows the things that go on in these places.”

“It’s very horrible the things that go on. And if they public knew, they would be out there with is trying to get this place shut down also,” he said.

Protestors like Sue Caribou said they won’t stop protesting until the Manwin Hotel closes its doors and a safer space is created for Winnipeg’s most vulnerable.

“I think we should keep coming here to protest until it shuts down,” Caribou said, “It’s very dangerous. I don’t want the next generation to come here.”

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