All signs point to safety in rural Manitoba municipality

Civic addressing project in Wallace-Woodworth to improve emergency response

Numbers on homes help us with the delivery of our pizza and online shopping—but they serve their greatest purpose in times of crisis.

In southwest Manitoba, the Rural Municipality of Wallace-Woodworth is assisting this need through a three-year civic addressing project, which will see previously unmarked properties in the region receive essential signage to increase emergency response time.

“This project has been a mandate of council since the beginning,” says Chief Administrative Officer Garth Mitchell, who oversees all policies and projects for the RM. “The civic addressing is an important step in ensuring we are consistent with the rest of the province and keeping our people safe.”

Wallace-Woodworth, created in 2015 following an amalgamation of three previously independent RMs, has roughly 3,000 residents who live across 21 townships.

It’s relatively small in terms of population, but the vastness of the area means there’s a lot of ground to cover—and a lot of signs.

“By the time this project is finished we will have installed 1,045 signs,” says GIS technician Shaelyn Langlois, who has been a key coordinator of the project. Langlois herself grew up in an area within the RM of Wallace-Woodworth RM and knows the close-knit nature of the community.

“I think it’s really neat that my family—even I—will be driving past these signs in the future and know that I was a part of this project,” says Langlois.

Time is of the essence for Wallace-Woodworth, as these civic addressing signs must be in the ground before first frost. Otherwise, the hardened ground will likely delay the project to next summer.

Enbridge is committed to the safety of communities near our operations and projects, including the nearby Line 3 Replacement Program across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Our recent Safe Community donation of $1,000 will assist Wallace-Woodworth in the purchase and installation of the civic addressing signs.

The installation is the final step after significant background work such as managing data, assigning address numbers and engaging with citizens.

“We want to make sure that when people need quick response, the civic addressing is there to assist,” says Mitchell.

Though the civic addressing project is the one of the longest-term projects carried out by Wallace-Woodworth, the municipality maintains a number of other ongoing undertakings throughout the year. For one, transportation and upgrades to roads remain a consistent priority for the RM.

Since starting in his role in 1980, Mitchell has seen the RM go through major changes. The civic addressing project is another accomplishment to his credit, but it is certainly not the last.

“I’m quite invested in Wallace-Woodworth and it has truly been a life commitment,” says Mitchell. “I am proud of where we’re at and where we will continue to grow.”