Benjamin M. Gillies

Winnipeg, Canada

Benjamin M. Gillies

Winnipeg, Canada

Benjamin Gillies is the co-founder and executive director of the Winnipeg Trolley Company. This unique charter transportation and sightseeing tour company promotes Winnipeg as a vibrant and dynamic urban centre through engaging guided tours aboard Manitoba's only tourist trolley - designed to resemble an original 1920s Winnipeg streetcar. Additionally, he works as a research associate for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, an urban development correspondent for CBC Radio, and an editorialist for Troy Media, Inc.


Benjamin is currently completing a Master in Public Policy degree at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a Master in City Planning degree at the School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Adv.) degree from the Global Political Economy program at the University of Manitoba, where he focused on urban development and energy policy.

Interests and Employment

Benjamin is interested in the study of urban planning, specifically the creation of communities that are socially vibrant and economically sustainable, with a reduced environmental footprint. He seeks new ways of engaging with citizens to help them appreciate the importance of building more resilient cities.

This focus led to the creation of the Winnipeg Trolley Company, offering unique tours of downtown Winnipeg meant to connect Winnipeggers with their city centre, to engender support for investment in great public spaces. Benjamin has also co-founded the RISE Urban Incubator, a non-profit social enterprise that designs, implements, and studies innovative socio-economic and infrastructural projects on the Canadian prairies.


Benjamin has had documents published through the CCPA, as well as a number of other journals and publications including the Parkland Post and the Progressive Economics Forum. He has recently completed the 'Energy' chapter for Transition Winnipeg's Energy Descent Action Plan, due out in 2014.

As an editorialist, he has written for over a dozen major dailies and numberous smaller publications including the Edmonton Journal, the Winnipeg Free Press, and the Toronto Star.

  • Work
    • Winnipeg Trolley Company
  • Education
    • BA (Adv.), University of Manitoba