Winnipeg tenants want property owner shuttered until other assets investigated, assessed

Residents who have had their lives destroyed by a forced evacuation of a Portage Ave. apartment say they want to see the company that owns it shuttered until there is a full inspection of its other buildings in Winnipeg. Morgan Modjeski reports

Some tenants who have had their lives destroyed by the forced evacuation of this Portage Avenue apartment building say they want to see the company that owns it shuttered until a complete assessment of all its buildings and properties is completed.

Judi Stanley feels Ladco Company Ltd. lied to tenants the property was secure, but in the past few days her motorcycle was stolen from the lot. But she says the bike- is only the tip of the iceberg.

“If it wasn’t for the Red Cross, we’d be on the street right now,” said Stanley. “I wouldn’t trust them with my dog.” 

Judi Stanley says there has to be an investigation into Ladco Company Ltd. to ensure other buildings it owns are safe after she and roughly 250 others were forced from their homes due to a forced evacuation to prevent what officials called a “potential disaster.” (Photo Credit: Morgan Modjeski, CityNews)

She claims the building was falling into disrepair, stressing to make sure this never happens again, the city has to shutter Ladco Company Ltd. — even temporarily — to ensure other buildings it operates are safe.

“The rot on those pillars did not happen overnight.”

With tears in her eyes, her message to elected officials is a simple one, “Don’t let them get away with it. They’re lucky we got out alive.”


City records indicate over the last 20 years there has been no structural permits pulled for the building, and while CityNews has tried to get questions answered, Ladco has not responded.  

“There’s really no law to protect tenants living in these apartments,” said Verla Umpherville, another tenant.

Umpherville says Ladco has forced her into a situation she never wanted to be in: one where she is asking for help, instead of offering it.

Holding some of her precious items, Verla Umpherville, one of the 250 residents who have been displaced as a result of a forced evacuation at 2440 Portage Avenue, says the problem is a sign of a systematic failure in Winnipeg and says action is needed now. (Photo Credit: Morgan Modjeski, CityNews)

“It’s been really hard for me.” 

Now living in a hotel with her family, she too says the company should be closed, but says the fact this happened at all is a systematic failure at the municipal level. And one that needs to be addressed, saying inspections of these buildings should be mandatory. 

“What always baffles me with city officials, or anyone in a position of power, is they do all the talking, but there’s no deadlines,” said Umpherville. 

A City of Winnipeg spokesperson confirmed Thursday, that while it will continue to support displaced residents and has issued compliance orders to the property owner in Ladco, it will not be asking for mandatory inspections of its other buildings, despite the fact Birchwood Terrace was called a “potential disaster” by emergency management officials with the city.