Assiniboine Park in central Winnipeg is a gathering place for all who enjoy outdoor activity, beautiful gardens, trips to the zoo, and opportunities to get fit and play. Its conservatory and gardens house tropical plants, a fine formal garden, an English garden with winding paths and free-flowing flowerbeds, and an array of bronze sculptures amidst colorful blooms.
A mini steam train provides park tours for all ages, and the café offers breakfast and lunch at affordable prices. The nature playground for children has water and sand play, tunnels, net bridges, and a crow’s nest. Joggers and walkers make year-round use of the park’s Terry Fox fitness trail. Park-goers can enjoy bandshell concerts and a variety of stage performances. In winter, the park becomes a wonderland with an outdoor skating rink, tobogganing hills, and cross-country ski trails.
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is a thought-provoking and inspirational museum that poses questions about human rights and the idea that every individual has the potential to positively affect social change. It introduces the concept of human rights with interactive displays and videos.
The museum examines the views of First Nations and Inuit people who believe in the interconnectedness of everyone and everything and pays particular attention to the history of human rights in Canada from a historical and legal standpoint. One gallery is dedicated to the Holocaust and to Canada’s own experiences with anti-Semitism, and it clarifies how secrecy and the denial of human atrocities has contributed to a lack of human rights. Finally, the museum looks at the future and at how each museum visitor views human rights.
85 Israel Asper Way, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0L5, Phone: 204-289-2000Photo: Canadian Museum for Human Rights
3.Winnipeg Art Gallery
The Winnipeg Art Gallery, founded in 1912, houses collections of Canadian historic art and focuses particularly on Canadian abstract art by Prairie Artists, works by The Group of Seven, and paintings by renowned Canadian artist Emily Carr. The gallery is home to a sizeable collection of Inuit art, particularly sculptures.
Its international collection contains pieces from 15th and 16th century Europe, including tapestry and panel paintings. The gallery is building a significant Canadian photography collection, and owns a selection of Canadian decorative arts in ceramics, textiles, metal, and glass. The Winnipeg Art Gallery offers guided tours, family programs, art classes, and a summer art camp.
The Forks National Historic Site is the junction of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers, and has been a gathering place for thousands of years. Aboriginal people were here first, but European fur traders, Metis buffalo hunters, and Scottish settlers soon displaced them. Riverboat workers and railway pioneers toiled here and opened the way for the arrival of immigrants from all over the globe.
Today the Forks is a National Historic Site with parks, gardens, sculptures, restaurants, and shopping. The Forks Market started as stables in the early 1900s and is now a thriving farmer’s market. Restored rail cars pay homage to the railway history of the area, and a festival stage is the performance site for most of the theatrical and musical artists who come to Winnipeg.
The Manitoba Museum looks at the history of the province’s peoples, plants, and animals. It closely examines the natural history of Manitoba, focusing on climate change and how it affects the diverse animal and plant species that grow there. The museum has a large collection of fossils, including those from the Ordovacian period 445-450 million years ago, and fossils of Ice Age mammals.
The museum’s other emphasis is on the archeology and ethnology of Manitoba’s people, covering 12,000 years of the province’s anthropological past. Fossils and artifacts show how the population developed from the time of the last ice age until the arrival of the first European settlers in the province. The museum has outreach programs, summer camps andtours, and it welcomes school groups.
The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada underscores the importance of Manitoba pilots in the history of aviation. The collection of early bush planes dramatizes the challenge of vast distances and extreme weather that bush pilots overcame. Another focal point of the museum is Canadian innovation in aircraft and engine design, often undertaken by former bush pilots from Manitoba.
The museum owns several enormous floatplanes that were used for cargo shipment in the early years of far northern exploration in Canada. With the assistance of volunteers, many old planes are being restored in the museum hangar. The Royal Aviation Museum contains the largest aviation library and archives in Canada. Programs for family and school groups change seasonally, and tours are available. Places to Visit in Canada
Hangar T-2, 958 Ferry Road, Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Y8, Phone: 204-786-5503Photo: Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada
The Royal Canadian Mint is open year-round and invites visitors to view the impressive high-tech production of Canadian coins. Tours are offered in both English and French, and reservations are recommended. The Winnipeg branch of the Royal Canadian mint produces all Canadian coins, as well as coins for seventy-five other countries of the world.
It is estimated that fifty-five billion coins have been made here, all of which were made using massive strips of metal punched by fifty-ton presses that create one thousand coins per second. Visitors can overlook the production line through an upper window and learn more about coins through interactive displays in the visitor’s hall. A gift shop is available for those interested in purchasing freshly minted Canadian coins.
520 Lagimodiere Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R2J 3E7, Phone: 204-983-6429Photo: The Royal Canadian Mint
8.Things to Do in Winnipeg, Canada: Assiniboine Park Zoo
The Assiniboine Park Zoo is home to more than two hundred animal species from around the world. Its focus is on North American wildlife (particularly polar bears)that live in a large and stimulating enclosure. Visitors can marvel at American bison, Canadian lynx, harbor seals, and Arctic foxes in the Grasslands and Boreal Forest exhibit. The butterfly garden is a colorful place where bright blooms and multi-colored butterflies co-exist.
Endangered Amur tigers are the highlight of the Asian exhibit, which also houses Snow leopards and Bactrian camels. Emus and a family of red kangaroos and their offspring can be viewed in the Australian Walkabout exhibit. Children have the chance for hands-on learning in the Discovery Centre, which houses meerkats, bats, and a variety of amphibians and reptiles. The Assiniboine Park Zoo offers summer camps, school programs, and adult and children’s programs.
Tinkertown Family Fun Park is an amusement park that the whole family can enjoy. It has rides specifically designed for youngsters, including a kiddie swing, a miniature drop ride, and cars to drive around a track. Older kids and their parents will enjoy the moderately speedy roller coaster, a lovely carousel, bumper cars, and a miniature steam train that offers rides around the park.
The fearless family member might try a round on the Ferris wheel or scream on the tilt-a-whirl. Families can cool off with water guns at a play castle, have a round or two of mini-golf, or clamber up the climbing equipment at the playground. Tinkertown has an antique hot dog stand, a candy store, and a main food concession, as well as stroller and wagon rentals. <
621 Murdock Road, Springfield, MB R3X 1Z6, Phone: 204-257-8095Photo: Tinkertown Family Fun Park
10.Manitoba Legislative Building Tour
The Manitoba Legislative Building is the meeting place for the government of the province. It is a stately neoclassical building that was completed in 1920. Tours are available daily from July until the September Labour Day weekend, and by appointment for the remainder of the year. The building is wheelchair-accessible, anda virtual tour of the Legislative Building is available online.
When parliament is in session, visitors are welcome to view the proceedings from the visitor’s gallery of the Legislative Chamber. The building is most famous for the Golden Boy, a gold-covered bronze statue representing the Roman god Mercury thatsits on top of the domed cupola. The outstanding architecture and the bronze North American bison that flank the Grand Staircase draw visitors from around the province and worldwide.
Fort Whyte was never a fort. The name was given by newspapers to a labor dispute that occurred in 1881 between Manitoba citizens and the Canadian Pacific Railway. The CPR had a monopoly on railroad building in Canada, and its vice-president William Whyte attempted to block all attempts at building independent railroads until the Supreme Court overturned his wishes. The site of FortWhyte is now a wildlife preserve and outdoor center within the boundaries of Winnipeg.
There is a nature interpretation center, a large freshwater aquarium, a café, and a gift shop. Rentals are available for rowboats and canoes, snowshoes, Nordic walking poles, fishing equipment, and binoculars. Family groups are offered exploration kits that help them learn about interesting aspects of the park’s ecological system.
The Winnipeg Trolley Company offers 95-minute guided tours aboard old-fashioned trolleys and gives a broad introduction to the city’s history and attractions. Tours begin at the Forks Market at the confluence of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers, where for 6,000 years people have settled.
The tour takes visitors through the French quarter of St. Boniface, into the Exchange District National Historic Area with its wealth of historical buildings, past the stately Manitoba Legislative Building, and to the MTS Centre, home to the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. Assiniboine Park is on view from the trolley tour, as is the community club where The Guess Who and Neil Young first performed. Knowledgeable and entertaining guides share history and lore of the great city of Winnipeg daily from May to September. Photo: The Winnipeg Trolley Company
13.Fort Gibraltar, Winnipeg, Canada
Fort Gibraltar is a popular spot for receptions, weddings, conferences, and other functions, its historic setting being a major draw. Sitting on the banks of the Red River, this popular Winnipeg tourist attraction also hosts events that incorporate the historical setting with entertainment, music, and unique dining options.
The on-site living history museum portrays life in 1815 with interactive guided tours together with costumed interpreters dressed as the fur traders of the day. There is a blacksmith shop, trading post, and winterer’s cabin that adds to the ambiance. The site features predominantly in Western Canada’s biggest winter festival, February’s Festival du Voyageur.
866 St. Joseph Street, Old St. Boniface, Winnipeg, Phone: 204-237-7692Photo: Fort Gibraltar
14.Centennial Concert Hall
The Centennial Concert Hall is a popular entertainment venue for both locals and visitors to Winnipeg. The combination of intense fundraising by the aptly named Manitoba Centennial Citizens’ Campaign, which successfully raised almost $7 million dollars, plus generous donations from all three governmental bodies (Municipal, Federal and Provincial) enabled the center to become the impressive 253,014 sq.ft. venue it is today.
With a seating capacity of 2,305, it has proudly hosted famous names such as Tony Bennett and Neil Young, plus successful shows like Les Miserables, River Dance, and The Book Of Mormon.
Suite 1000 – 555 Main St, Winnipeg, Phone: 204-956-1360Photo: Centennial Concert Hall
The MTS Centre hosts an absorbing mix of music, premier sports, and entertainment all year round. Already highly rated in the Stadium Journey’s 2014 Top 100 Stadium Experiences, the arena has now undergone a $12 million facelift, enabling it to service more fans with extended seating and a new and exciting 17ft by 22ft four-screen HD scoreboard.
With 278 premium 24-inch swivel first class seats, a counter-style ledge for refreshments, numerous concessions, portable food kiosks, and restaurants supplying delicious snacks and up-to-date and authentic Winnipeg Jets Gear available at the Centre’s store, there’s plenty to keep fans occupied.
345 Graham Avenue, Winnipeg, Phone: 204-987-7825Photo: carloscastilla/Fotolia
16.Things to Do in Winnipeg: Manitoba Theatre Centre
The Royal MTC is the oldest regional theatre in Canada for English language productions. Since 1958, the theatre has presented over 600 plays starring famous names such as Judd Hirsch, Kathleen Turner, and William Hurt. In fact, it boasts the country’s highest theatre attendance, and its 2015-2016 season promises to be just as successful.
With a leaning towards comedy and family friendly entertainment, productions present and past include The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Alice Through the Looking-Glass, Matt Murray’s Myth of the Ostrich, and Tom Hendry’s 23-5, Hand to God, and Kill Me Now.
Ten Spa offers luxurious treatment inside one of Winnipeg’s foremost hotels. Its amenities include a Turkish hamam, which is a ritual hot air bath designed to cleanse and rejuvenate the entire body. Facials are offered for all skin types, including skin that is sensitive, aging, or acne-prone, and the spa features the signature ten skin Rx that guarantees revitalized and healthier skin after only fifteen minutes.
A number of massages are available, including traditional Swedish massage, custom rubdowns for pregnant women, and massages for tired muscles. Body wraps moisturize and detoxify skin, and Ten Spa uses herbal mud, milk and oil, and algae to cocoon the skin of its clientele. Manicures and pedicures that involve massage, exfoliation, and nail treatment are favorites of Ten Spa patrons.
10th Floor, Fort Garry Hotel, 222 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0R3, Phone: 204-946-6520Photo: Ten Spa at the Fort Garry
18.Winnipeg Railway Museum, Winnipeg, Canada
The Winnipeg Railway Museum’s raison d’etre and mandate is the preservation, procurement, and presentation of the railway history and equipment of the surrounding areas of St Paul, MN, the Hudson Bay, Lakeheads, and the foothills of the Rockies; all 375,000 sq. ft. of artifacts are situated on tracks 1 and 2 of Winnipeg’s Union Station.
Among the electric and diesel locomotives and rolling stock displayed is the Canadian Prairies’ first steam locomotive, the Countess of Dufferin. From August 18 to 20, Rail Travel Tours is offering a unique tour of an old Canadian Northern Railway route between Manitoba and Saskatchewan’s Parkland.
48 – 123 Main Street, Winnipeg, Phone: 204-942-4632Photo: Aliaksei Smalenski/Fotolia
19.Le Musee de Saint-Boniface
Le Musée de Saint-Boniface, dedicated to Franco-Manitoban history and culture, is located in Winnipeg’s oldest building, a former convent run by the Grey Sisters who occupied the building between 1847 and 1956, during which time it served as an orphanage, seniors’ home, school, and hospital.
The museum houses interesting Métis and Franco-Manitoban artifacts, including permanent exhibits showcasing the convent’s history and outlining how it was constructed. Other displays illustrate early 20th century daily life among French-Canadian families. Guided tours of the museum are available together with special programming produced over Easter, throughout summer, Halloween, Canada Day, and Christmas.
494 Taché Avenue, Winnipeg, Phone: 204-237-4500Photo: Le Musee de Saint-Boniface
20.Things to Do in Winnipeg: Old Market Square
Old Market Square saw a redevelopment in 2012 that welcomed “The Cube,” a modern open air performance stage that has transformed the city into the cultural center it is today. The open air performance area has a membrane consisting of 20,000 identical hollow aluminum pieces constructed on aircraft cables.
The square sits within the Exchange District, one of Canada’s National Historic Sites, and houses 150 heritage buildings. It is the perfect setting for Winnipeg’s plethora of festivals, which include the Manitoba Electronic Music Exhibition (MEME) Festival, Winnipeg Fringe Festival, the TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival, and the Soca Reggae Festival.
314-63 Albert Street, Old Market Square, Winnipeg, Phone: 204-942-6716Photo: Exchange District Business Improvement Zone