A Weekend in Winnipeg: The Finest Issues to Do in Winnipeg, Manitoba

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When most individuals take into consideration Canadian cities to go to on their travels, they consider the “large ones”: Vancouver and Toronto and Montreal. Perhaps Quebec Metropolis will get thrown in, or the nation’s capital metropolis of Ottawa.

However are you aware which cities usually get missed and not noted? The cities in central Canada. Cities like Winnipeg.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Winnipeg – the capital of the province of Manitoba – is not precisely a small city. It has been an essential buying and selling put up since lengthy earlier than any Europeans arrived in North America, and was included as a metropolis in 1873. As we speak, Winnipeg is a metropolis of greater than 700,000 folks.

I would been to Winnipeg as soon as earlier than, however I visited within the useless of winter when temperatures have been effectively under zero and the wind was howling. Evidently, I did not get to discover very a lot on that journey.

So when Tourism Winnipeg invited me to return up early earlier than my journey as much as Churchill to see polar bears, I jumped on the likelihood. I needed to get to know Winnipeg higher – and to see if I might put my finger on what satisfied 700,000 folks to name one of many coldest cities in Canada dwelling.

The Forks Market in Winnipeg

Saint Boniface Cathedral in Winnipeg
Assiniboine Park Zoo Journey to Churchill exhibit

Enjoyable info about Winnipeg

  • Winnipeg is, certainly, one of many coldest cities in Canada – and arguably on the planet. Nevertheless it’s ALSO one of many sunniest cities in Canada, with greater than 300 sunny days per 12 months. So… it is frigid, however at the very least the solar shines!
  • Winnipeg’s identify comes from the Cree for “muddy waters.” And, certainly, Winnipeg’s main rivers often do look fairly brown as a consequence of their quick flows and excessive quantities of sediment.
  • Winnipeg sits on the geographic middle of Canada and North America. Fairly cool!
  • Winnipeg has ties to Winnie-the-Pooh. Again throughout WWI, a Canadian lieutenant (Lt. Harry Colebourn) bought a black bear cub in Ontario and named her Winnipeg after his hometown. The bear turned the mascot for the Canadian Military Veterinary Corps, and traveled with all of them the best way to England. When he was despatched to France, Coleburn left Winnipeg (by then nicknamed Winnie) on the London Zoo. Winnie was common in London, and it was there that A. A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin noticed her, and the little boy’s stuffed bear was re-named after her.
Esplanade Riel bridge in Winnipeg
Esplanade Riel bridge

Issues to do in Winnipeg

Winnipeg is not actually a small metropolis, however in some ways it FEELS like a small metropolis. It isn’t overwhelming, and it is potential to see all of the highlights in simply a few days.

Winnipeg, subsequently, makes for a superb weekend getaway.

I had three nights and two full days in Winnipeg, and managed to do and see quite a bit. Some belongings you undoubtedly must do in Winnipeg embrace:

Discover The Forks

The Forks in Winnipeg

My favourite place in Winnipeg undoubtedly needs to be The Forks. The spot the place the Crimson and Assiniboine rivers meet has been vital on this a part of Canada since earlier than Canada even existed. The river junction has been a gathering place for greater than 6,000 years, first for the indigenous individuals who lived and traded there, and later for European fur merchants, Scottish settlers, railroad employees, and extra.

30 years in the past, The Forks was nothing greater than an deserted rail yard. Nevertheless it’s undergone a change and immediately is a gathering place as soon as extra.

The Forks Market in Winnipeg
Contained in the Forks Market

The Forks is now dwelling to retailers and eating places in previous rail buildings, museums, a Journey Manitoba customer middle, a resort, and outside areas that make it a significant draw for each locals and guests alike. And it has been a Nationwide Historic Website of Canada since 1974.

Cross the Esplanade Riel to St. Boniface Cathedral

From The Forks, it is simple to make your approach throughout the placing Esplanade Riel pedestrian bridge and over into the Saint Boniface neighborhood. Right here you will discover one of many largest francophone communities west of the Nice Lakes.

Grave of Louis Riel
Grave of Louis Riel

You may additionally discover the St. Boniface Cathedral, the place Louis Riel is buried. Riel was a frontrunner of the Métis folks and fought for his or her rights (particularly their land rights) as Canada was being shaped. He was thought-about a insurgent and was finally tried and hanged for treason for main rebellions in opposition to the Canadian authorities. However immediately Louis Riel is thought to be the daddy and founding father of the province of Manitoba.

Go to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg
Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Talking of individuals combating for his or her rights… In case you solely go to one museum in Winnipeg, let it’s the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. That is the solely museum on the planet solely dedicated to human rights consciousness and training, and it is so extremely effectively carried out.

The very first thing that may strike you about this museum is its structure – and if you happen to take a guided museum tour, you will be taught that each final element of the constructing’s design is intentional. The foundation-like look of the decrease a part of the constructing makes you are feeling such as you’re coming into a darkish underground house; dove-like wings envelop the higher a part of the constructing; and the upper you go, the extra gentle that pours in, representing hope.

Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Alabaster ramps provide help to get across the museum

The CMHR covers all kinds of points surrounding human rights, coming at most of them from a Canadian perspective. The primary room within the museum has a captivating timeline of concepts and legal guidelines which have formed how we see and perceive human rights, and different galleries embrace reveals on indigenous views, the Holocaust and different genocides, “turning factors” in historical past, and an essential one on breaking the silence.

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

It is a heavy museum and requires at the very least a number of hours to discover absolutely, nevertheless it’s an absolute must-do in Winnipeg.

See Inuit artwork on the Winnipeg Artwork Gallery

I do know I stated if you happen to solely go to one museum in Winnipeg to make it the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. However if you happen to go to TWO museums within the metropolis, make the second the Winnipeg Artwork Gallery, or WAG. This artwork gallery has been round for greater than 100 years, and is the sixth-largest gallery in Canada.

WAG is nice for artwork lovers, however even gentle artwork admirers like myself ought to go to as a result of the Winnipeg Artwork Gallery is dwelling to the biggest public assortment of up to date Inuit artwork anyplace on the planet. The WAG is presently setting up a devoted Inuit Artwork Heart so as to home and have a good time the 10,000+ items in its assortment.

Go to the Assiniboine Park Zoo

Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg

Once you’re able to take a break from museums, take into account a go to to the Assiniboine Park Zoo. I do not often embrace zoos in my weblog posts as a result of I do not take pleasure in seeing animals cooped up in tiny cages… However the Winnipeg zoo has an award-winning exhibit referred to as Journey to Churchill that is value visiting if you cannot afford to make the costly journey as much as Manitoba’s Arctic Tundra your self.

The Journey to Churchill exhibit is essentially the most complete exhibit of its form on the planet, and is dwelling to species from muskoxen to Arctic fox to even polar bears. The animals stay in massive outside areas with few seen boundaries, making you are feeling such as you would possibly actually be out on the tundra watching them.

The “Gateway to the Arctic” exhibit is the star right here, the place you is perhaps fortunate sufficient to see polar bears swimming over prime of you as you stroll by means of a tunnel.

Additional alongside within the exhibit there are many locations to look at the lazy polar bears of their massive enclosure, and even a reproduction of the city of Churchill.

I used to be fortunate sufficient to see wild polar bears of their pure habitat in the actual Churchill this 12 months, however seeing them on the Assiniboine Park Zoo is a superb different for anybody who would possibly solely make it as far north as Winnipeg.

Polar bears at Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg
I discovered sleepy bears

Earlier than you permit, make sure that to step into the Interpretive Heart on the Worldwide Polar Bear Conservation Heart, too. Right here you possibly can be taught all about polar bear conservation and local weather change by means of a number of interactive reveals. It’s also possible to study how the zoo will get its polar bears (spoiler: they’re NOT bred – they’re all rescued bears that have been discovered orphaned as cubs).

Have a spa day

Excellent news for these seeking to work a bit of leisure in round their sightseeing: Winnipeg has some distinctive spas to go to, too!

My choose could be Thermëa, a Nordic-style spa complicated that is open year-round. You will get a therapeutic massage, or simply benefit from the saunas and swimming pools.

OR, if you happen to’re up for much more pampering, I am instructed the Ten Spa contained in the historic Fort Garry Lodge can be glorious.

Discover a novel neighborhood

Winnipeg Exchange District
Winnipeg Trade District

Like most massive cities, Winnipeg is made up of a number of totally different neighborhoods, every with a unique vibe. Some value visiting as a vacationer embrace the Trade District downtown (for heritage buildings, artwork, and funky eating places); hip Osborne Village (for an artsy vibe, stay music, and buying); Corydon (as soon as referred to as Little Italy, now it has a number of worldwide meals); and Saint Boniface (the town’s French quarter).

Street art in Winnipeg's Exchange District
Avenue artwork within the Trade District

Or, if you wish to get a complete historic overview of all Winnipeg’s neighborhoods, take into account taking a tour with the Winnipeg Trolley Firm. I went on their “Coronary heart of a Nation Metropolis Tour” and realized a TON in regards to the metropolis and its historical past.

Winnipeg Trolley tour

The place to remain in Winnipeg

My choose for the place to remain in Winnipeg is the Inn on the Forks, a contemporary resort positioned at The Forks. The resort is snug and trendy, with a spa and restaurant each on-site. I am additionally a bit of bit obsessive about the design of their rooms!

Inn at the Forks in Winnipeg
I am OBSESSED with this room on the Inn on the Forks

I additionally like staying right here as a result of you possibly can stroll to many components of Winnipeg from The Forks, whether or not it is the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Saint Boniface neighborhood throughout the river, or the Trade District downtown, which is just a couple of 20-minute stroll away.

Learn opinions on TripAdvisor | E book a room right here

The place to eat in Winnipeg

Winnipeg has no scarcity of nice eating places. A few of my favorites have been:

  • Clementine – For brunch (I can extremely advocate the Turkish Eggs with a aspect of Maple Braised Bacon)
  • King + Bannatyne – A sandwich store within the Trade District that serves up hand-crafted (and scrumptious) sandwiches.
  • Passero – An Italian restaurant in The Forks Market. I like to recommend going with a buddy so you possibly can order a number of dishes, tapas-style.
  • Segovia Tapas Bar & Restaurant – Talking of tapas, that is the place to go for Spanish-style tapas in Winnipeg. Their Brussels sprouts and eggplant dish was my favourite.
Segovia in Winnipeg
Brussels sprouts, eggplant, and feta dish at Segovia

Different highly-rated eating places within the metropolis that I did not get to attempt embrace the 529 Wellington Steakhouse and deer + almond.

When to go to Winnipeg

You may discover the warmest temperatures from Might to September in Winnipeg. However with a number of sunshine and a few critically cool festivals and occasions occurring throughout the winter months, too, Winnipeg really is a year-round vacation spot.

In case you assume you would possibly need to pair your go to to Winnipeg with a novel competition or occasion, listed here are the very best ones to contemplate:

Cool Winnipeg festivals & occasions

Winter: RAW:almond – A singular culinary expertise that takes place every winter on a frozen river. Cooks come from far and large to create tasting menus for this pop-up restaurant.

February: Pageant du Voyageur – This annual 10-day competition celebrates Canada’s (and Winnipeg’s) fur-trading previous and French heritage. It takes place in Saint Boniface, and is the biggest winter competition in Western Canada.

July: Winnipeg Folks Pageant – An enormous people music competition that attracts acts from everywhere in the world. It has been working since 1974.

July: Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Pageant – This 12-day different theater competition is a well-liked one in Winnipeg. It started in 1988 as a part of the Royal Manitoba Theatre, and is presently the second-largest occasion of its form in North America. Final 12 months, greater than 170 corporations from everywhere in the world got here to carry out.

August: Folklorama – This people competition is the biggest and longest-running multicultural competition on the planet. For 2 weeks, dozens of venues across the metropolis of Winnipeg spotlight totally different cultures, presenting every thing from music to ethnic meals to cultural traditions.

Hopefully you’ve got now been satisfied that Winnipeg is a metropolis value visiting! Who’s able to plan a visit?


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Things to do in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Things to do in Winnipeg, Manitoba


Word: Because of Tourism Winnipeg and Journey Manitoba for internet hosting me throughout my time in Winnipeg. As at all times, opinions and suggestions are 100% my very own.