Winnipeg, Canada – Two

You are not done encircling Winnipeg yet! There is so much to see and do in this wonderful city that one visit is never enough. You’ll want to come back again and again.

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1 Welcome to Winnipeg, Canada

Welcome to Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba, Canada. Come explore the city’s history that dates back 6,000 years and enjoy its recent accomplishments like the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on the right that opened in 2014. You’ll find lush parks, converging rivers, professional sports, cultural venues, polar bears, stunning architecture, beautiful murals, a vibrant economy and 750,000 people who are justifiably proud of the “Gateway to the West.”

85 Israel Asper Way, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0L5, Canada
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2 Two Rivers Confluence at The Forks in Winnipeg, Canada

The Assiniboine River in the foreground flows through Western Canada for 660 miles before becoming a tributary to the Red River in the background. The Rivière Rouge is unique because it starts along the Minnesota-North Dakota border and moves north for 540 miles until it empties into Lake Winnipeg. The confluence of the two rivers occurs here at The Forks. Assiniboine Riverwalk is a great place for a stroll or to play hide-and-seek. In the distance is Saint Boniface Cathedral.

River Walk, Winnipeg, MB R3C, Canada
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3 The Forks Market Tower in Winnipeg, Canada

A highlight of the 14 acre public park named The Forks is this six-story glass tower. Take an elevator or climb to the top to enjoy panoramic views of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers, the shoreline of Saint Boniface and the skyline of downtown Winnipeg.

1 Forks Market Rd, Winnipeg, MB R3C 4L8, Canada
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4 The Forks Market Courtyard in Winnipeg, Canada

The Forks Market is filled with delightful shopping boutiques, specialty food stalls and restaurants plus galleries that sell the works from about 300 local artists. Also inside is the Travel Manitoba Visitor Information Centre. Their staff was instrumental in helping me plan my photographic journey encircling Winnipeg. The canopy over this courtyard connects two former horse stalls. They were used by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and the Great Northern Railway in the early 1900s.

1 Forks Market Rd, Winnipeg, MB R3C 4L8, Canada
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5 The Forks Market Plaza in Winnipeg, Canada

The Forks Market Plaza is a great place to meet and chat with family or friends on a park bench or under a canopy. It offers a wonderful view of the historic port along the Red River. In the winter, this area becomes the Plaza Skating Rink. But it is modest in size compared to the rink created on the two rivers out front in 2008. It was named by Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s longest: it stretched for over five miles.

1 Forks Market Rd, Winnipeg, MB R3C 4L8, Canada
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6 Oodena Celebration Circle at The Forks in Winnipeg, Canada

Over 6,000 years ago, Aboriginal groups lived along the rivers in Winnipeg. This area was later occupied by several indigenous peoples including the Nakoda, Cree, Anishinaabe and Dakota. To honor this heritage, a site was developed at The Forks in 1993 called Oodena Celebration Circle. In Ojibwa this means the “heart of the city.” The park is shaped like a 200 foot bowl where archeologists found numerous artifacts dating back 3,000 years. Surrounding a large fire pit are eight steel structures called “armatures” with sights that align to heavenly constellations.

Oodena, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0A2, Canada
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7 Manitoba Children’s Museum at The Forks in Winnipeg, Canada

The Manitoba Children’s Museum has twelve exhibition galleries with creative names like Splash Lab, Time Squared and Lasagna Lookout. It was founded by Linda Isitt in 1986. Since 1994 it has been housed at The Forks in the former train repair facility of the Northern Pacific and Manitoba Railway Company which was built in 1889.

45 Forks Market Rd, Winnipeg, MB R3C 4T6, Canada
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8 Railway Lift Bridge at The Forks in Winnipeg, Canada

This old wooden railway lift bridge was designed by Joseph Strauss, the same engineer responsible for the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The bascule bridge was built in 1914 for the Canadian Northern Railway. The huge concrete counterweight was used to raise and lower the wooden deck to accommodate ships sailing along the Assiniboine River.

Railway Lift Bridge, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0A2, Canada
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9 Manitoba Theatre for Young People at The Forks in Winnipeg, Canada

Since 1999, the Manitoba Theatre for Young People has been housed at The Forks in the Canwest Performing Arts Centre. Its professional actors perform several productions a year on this venue’s main stage as well as tour throughout Manitoba. The company also provides free acting lessons for Aboriginal children.

2 Forks Market Rd, Winnipeg, MB R3C 4X1, Canada
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10 Variety Heritage Adventure Park at The Forks in Winnipeg, Canada

When you take your kids to most historic sites, their reaction often ranges from tolerance to a tantrum. But not at the Variety Heritage Adventure Park. This collaboration between Parks Canada and the Variety Children’s Charity of Manitoba present the area’s railroad history as a colorful and fun playground. It also includes a stage and a water park for those hot summer days.

75 Forks Market Rd, Winnipeg, MB R3C 4Y3, Canada
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11 Assiniboine Park Zoo Entrance in Winnipeg, Canada

The Assiniboine Park Zoo is one of the top attractions in Winnipeg. Since it opened in 1904, it has grown into 400 acres with exhibits of 1,500 animals representing 150 species. At the entrance plaza is this bronze ensemble called Mother Polar Bear and Cubs. It is the work of sculptor Peter Sawatzky. It was donated in late 2014 by Bob Williams who was the former chairman of Polar Bears International. Mama bear stands about nine feet.

Assiniboine Park Zoo, 2595 Roblin Blvd, Winnipeg, MB R3R 2N7, Canada
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12 Winston the Assiniboine Park Zoo Mascot in Winnipeg, Canada

Kids love going to the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg. Often after passing through the turnstile they are greeted by Winston, the zoo’s lovable mascot. What better way to start your day than with a photo op while getting a polar bear hug. He was introduced during the summer of 2014 when the new Journey to Churchill section was opened.

Assiniboine Park Zoo, 2595 Roblin Blvd, Winnipeg, MB R3R 2N7, Canada
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13 Sea Ice Passage at Zoo in Winnipeg, Canada

The Journey to Churchill opened at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in 2014. It is a tribute to Churchill in northern Manitoba along Hudson Bay. The town is called the “Polar Bear Capital of the World.” The highlight of the exhibit is this 70 foot long tunnel named Sea Ice Passage where polar bears swim and play all around you. The zoo also has an International Polar Bear Conservation Centre.

Assiniboine Park Zoo, 2595 Roblin Blvd, Winnipeg, MB R3R 2N7, Canada
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14 Polar Bear on Back at Zoo in Winnipeg, Canada

The Assiniboine Park Zoo is justifiably proud of their seven star residents: polar bears. It is thrilling to watch them from the Gateway to the Artic viewing deck or from the glass tunnel while they swim overhead. My favorite was the Churchill Coast section were the enormous Artic bears stroll along their native tundra. This is Storm who was scratching an itch. He was born in the wild in 2010 and could reach a weight of 1,500 pound and be over nine feet tall.

Assiniboine Park Zoo, 2595 Roblin Blvd, Winnipeg, MB R3R 2N7, Canada
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15 Boreal Woodland Caribou at Zoo in Winnipeg, Canada

The Boreal Woodland Caribou is the largest of the caribou species found in all Canadian provinces plus Alaska. The shoulder height of males can reach four feet with a weight up to 450 pounds. Although both genders can grow antlers, the males are much broader. The profile of this magnificent animal has been on the back of the Canadian quarter since 1937.

Assiniboine Park Zoo, 2595 Roblin Blvd, Winnipeg, MB R3R 2N7, Canada
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16 Indian Blue Peacock at Zoo in Winnipeg, Canada

In many zoos around the world, peafowl are allowed to roam the grounds while delighting visitors with their iridescent colors and showy displays of tail feathers. Its upper wing makes it easy to see they are a relative to pheasants. The male Indian Blue Peafowl is well named: it has a blue crown and metallic blue and green feathers that sparkle in the sun. These birds, originally from India and Sri Lanka, can weigh up to 13 pounds.

Assiniboine Park Zoo, 2595 Roblin Blvd, Winnipeg, MB R3R 2N7, Canada
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17 Muskox Resting at Zoo in Winnipeg, Canada

This muskox at the Assiniboine Park Zoo does not look very motivated but it can reach a speed of 37 miles an hour which is surprising for an animal that can exceed 800 pounds. Both genders have curved horns. They are native to the Artic regions of Canada and Greenland. After becoming extinct in Alaska they were reintroduced in 1935.

Assiniboine Park Zoo, 2595 Roblin Blvd, Winnipeg, MB R3R 2N7, Canada
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18 Muskox Calf at Zoo in Winnipeg, Canada

This baby male muskox was born at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg on May 15, 2015. The gestation period for muskox is eight months. After two months of nursing, a calf begins to eat only vegetation. In the wild, a calf is expected to keep up with the heard within a few hours of birth. Their life expectancy is 12 to 20 years.

Assiniboine Park Zoo, 2595 Roblin Blvd, Winnipeg, MB R3R 2N7, Canada
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19 Three Pronghorns at Zoo in Winnipeg, Canada

These three pronghorns appear to be juveniles. On the left is a female. The two males on the right have a hint of black below their chins and are showing emerging horns. At maturity, they will weigh 85 to 140 pounds. They are the fastest animal native to northwestern United States and southern Manitoba. They can reach a top speed of 53 m.p.h. and a sustained pace of 43 m.p.h.

Assiniboine Park Zoo, 2595 Roblin Blvd, Winnipeg, MB R3R 2N7, Canada
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20 Pavilion Gallery Museum in Winnipeg, Canada

When the Pavilion opened in 1908, a year before the surrounding Assiniboine Park, it featured a dance hall and banquet facilities as well as a 16,000 gallon water tower. It was destroyed by fire in 1929, rebuilt the following year and then totally renovated in 1998. Today, it features an art museum including a permanent exhibit on Winnie-the-Pooh. A highlight is an oil painting of Winnie holding a honey pot by Ernest Shepard, the illustrator for A.A. Milne’s famous children’s books. Admission is free so bring the kids.

55 Pavilion Cres, Charleswood, MB R3P 2N6, Canada
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21 Red River Ox Cart Sculpture in Winnipeg, Canada

For fifty years starting in 1820, the Red River Trails were a muddy network of “roads” stretching from today’s Winnipeg to the Mississippi River at my home town of St. Paul, Minnesota. Fur traders navigated these treacherous paths using the Red River ox cart. The wooden frames were held together by buffalo hides and could carry up to 1,200 pounds. This sculpture was erected in 1974 at Assiniboine Park as part of Winnipeg’s centennial celebration.

Conservatory Dr & Corydon Ave, MB R3P 2N6, Canada
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22 Foot Bridge at Kildonan Park in Winnipeg, Canada

Kildonan Park in the northern part of Winnipeg was created in 1909 to provide 96 acres of green space for the local community. In features picnic areas and shelters, an outdoor theater, a pavilion, a swimming pool, sports fields, toboggan slides and a skating rink in the winter, a walking path along the Red River and plenty of gardens. This red footbridge is located in the South Garden.

Kildonan Park, 2015 Main St, Winnipeg, MB R2V 2B9, Canada
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23 Rainbow Stage at Kildonan Park in Winnipeg, Canada

Since the Rainbow Stage at Kildonan Park opened in 1952, it has become the oldest open-air theater in Canada. Each summer season the non-profit organization presents several shows including classic musicals performed by Manitoba artists. The theater is very reasonably priced so they often fill up their 2,400 seats.

Kildonan Park, 2015 Main St, Winnipeg, MB R2V 2B9, Canada
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24 Venetian Theater Mask Mural at Kildonan Park in Winnipeg, Canada

This colorful mural of a woman in a Venetian theater mask graces the entrance to the Rainbow Stage outdoor theater in Kildonan Park. It was painted on 8,000 square feet of concrete in 2011 by Mandy Van Leeuwen and Michel Saint Hilaire.

Kildonan Park, 2015 Main St, Winnipeg, MB R2V 2B9, Canada
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25 Witch’s Hut at Kildonan Park in Winnipeg, Canada

As part of Manitoba’s centennial celebration, the local German community donated funds to build the Fairy Tale Cottage in 1970 at Kildonan Park. Better known as the Witch’s Hut, its round stone structure is topped by wooden shakes. As you walk through the red door you will see panels portraying the Hänsel and Gretel fairytale by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. It was first published in 1812. Then climb the circular staircase to view a scene of all three characters from this Brothers Grimm classic children’s story. Admission is free.

Kildonan Park, 2015 Main St, Winnipeg, MB R2V 2B9, Canada
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26 Saint Boniface Landmarks in Winnipeg, Canada

Two of the prominent landmarks in the Saint Boniface community are the dome on the Université de Saint-Boniface main building and the Saint Boniface Cathedral. They dominate the shoreline of the Red River as seen from The Forks, a major park at the east end of Winnipeg. Saint Boniface is often called the Old French Quarter because it has historically been the residence for Franco-Manitobans, a name given to French Canadians and others who speak French. About 150,000 French-speaking people live in Winnipeg.

180 Avenue de la Cathédrale, Winnipeg, MB R2H 0H7, Canada
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27 Backside View of Saint Boniface Cathedral in Winnipeg, Canada

This backside view of Saint Boniface Cathedral shows part of its architectural history. The first church was founded here in 1818 followed by a new cathedral in 1832. It was destroyed by fire in 1860 and rebuilt in two years. 45 years later it was replaced with a much larger structure with an ornate, imposing façade. When fire struck again in 1906, all that was left were the stone walls. It was not until 1972 that another, much smaller church was built within the former shell. Notice the protruding section on the left. That is the 1906 façade.

180 Avenue de la Cathédrale,Winnipeg, MB R2H 0H7, Canada
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28 Université de Saint-Boniface Dome in Winnipeg, Canada

This magnificent silver dome crowns the main campus building of the Université de Saint-Boniface. This French university was the first educational institution in Western Canada when it was founded in 1818 by Father Norbert Provencher. One of its graduates, Louis Riel, established the Manitoba province. Ironically, a law was passed in 1890 blocking French schools but the Catholic Franco-Manitobans continued to operate this as a private university.

200 Avenue de la Cathedrale, Winnipeg, MB R2H 0H7, Canada
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29 Origin of Wellington Crescent in Winnipeg, Canada

The most exclusive neighborhood in Winnipeg began in 1889 when John Henry Munson purchased a mansion along the Assiniboine River that he called Crescentwood. During the next twenty years more of the city’s rich built lavish homes along Wellington Crescent. It is well worth a slow drive but it is better to take a tour. Then you can learn the history of the first owners – most of Winnipeg’s elite families. Plus you’ll hear side stories such as neighbors’ fate on the Titanic in 1912: J. J. Borebank died, Mark Fortune and his son drowned but his wife and daughters survived, and John Suckling refused to go on that voyage despite his wife’s protests.

1301 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg, MB R3N 0A9, Canada
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30 Wellington Crescent Architecture in Winnipeg, Canada

If you love great residential architecture from the early 20th century, then you will appreciate the 500 plus homes along Wellington Crescent and the nearby streets of Kingsway, Ruskin Row, Harvard, Avonherst and Yale. You’ll see styles that include classical revival, Queen Anne, Tudor, half-timber, Dutch colonial, Elizabethan, colonial, Georgian, and Victorian. Most of these multi-million dollar mansions were designed by prominent architects of the time for Winnipeg’s social elite.

1015 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg, MB R3N 0A9, Canada
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31 English Garden in Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg, Canada

There are three lovely gardens within the 1,100 acre Assiniboine Park. The Leo Mol Sculpture Garden contains hundreds of bronze statues by Leonid Molodoshanin. He was a Ukrainian-born artist who lived in Winnipeg during the 20th century. The Formal Garden has rigid, geometrically-designed flower beds. The third and most popular is the English Garden. The walking paths make for a perfect and tranquil stroll around beautiful annuals.

English Garden, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
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32 Boy Holding Leaking Boot in Winnipeg, Canada

This little boy holding a leaking boot at the entrance to the English Garden was first designed by the J.L. Mott Irons Works company in 1875. Apparently countless copies of this “Unfortunate Boot” water fountain have been sold across the United States yet no one knows for sure who the little boy was. The Winnipeg Downtown Rotary Club donated the statue to the park.

English Garden, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
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33 Canada Coat of Arms in Winnipeg, Canada

The Canadian Coat of Arms has a very complex design. Beneath the crown is a crowned lion guardant. The shield contains several elements including a harp and three conjoined maple leaves. The supporters are a lion on the left and a unicorn on the right. This carving was over the entrance to Winnipeg’s main post office from 1935 until 1962. Since 1990 it has been displayed at the English Garden in Assiniboine Park.

Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, Assiniboine Park Dr, Winnipeg, MB R3P 2N7, Canada
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34 Taras Schevchenko Bust in Winnipeg, Canada

In 1964, sculptor Leo Mol created the Taras Shevchenko Memorial in Washington D.C. as a tribute to the 19th century writer and political activist who has been called the father of the Ukrainian language. This replica of the head is one of three hundred of the artist’s works in the three acre Leo Mol Sculpture Garden in Assiniboine Park.

Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, Assiniboine Park Dr, Winnipeg, MB R3P 2N7, Canada
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