Winnipeg –– Wow!

Who goes to Winnipeg?  We had wondered just that, out loud to our hotel shuttle driver.  He was enthusiastic about his hometown, as well he should be, and after a couple days, we were impressed too, with this bustling city and commerce hub they call “Chicago of the North”.  More Chicago-y than Chicago, perhaps.

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Every day saw multiple double-decker freight trains travel past Union Station.

Of course we were there in October: the sun was shining, the air crisp. Mitten weather, but pleasant.  I don’t think I could handle their winter, even if you do get to ice-skate on the frozen Red River.

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Bridge at The Forks, where the Assiniboine and the Red Rivers meet.

I don’t know for sure what I expected, maybe a trading post out in the middle of a prairie––but one thing I know: Winnipeg exceeded our expectations.

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This remnant of the original Fort Garry is very close to our hotel.

We stayed at the historic Fort Garry hotel, close to Union Station and also an easy walk to shops and restaurants and community events at The Forks.

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The Fort Garry: one of the grand chateau hotels built along the rail lines.

Our only complaint is that we were there when the heat was on and the air conditioning off––too hot for the heavy down comforter covering the bed.  (Why does every hotel provide heavy down comforters, even in tropical areas like Fiji?)

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Lobby of the beautifully restored Fort Garry.

Union Station itself is a wonderful center of activity.  Photos in the hall explain some of the history and act as a mini museum.

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The architecture of Gare Union is reassuringly beautiful and efficient, like a train station should be.

Walking back through Union Station on our last afternoon in the city, Irv and I happened upon people streaming out of double doors on one side of the main rotunda.

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Picture taking by the happy new citizens of Canada.

Everyone was smiling and waving little Canadian flags, making more personal histories right there in Union Station.  So neat to see.

The city has a nice outdoor community park in the area of The Forks, with great walking paths and, we were told, concerts and celebrations in the summer.  We also visited another great hiking area within the city, a wilderness preservation area called Fort Whyte.

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You can borrow a sled at Fort Whyte, when this toboggan slide is covered in snow.
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Canadian geese at Fort Whyte, getting ready to fly south.

But the best part, for us, were the museums––we visited two.  Both well worth seeing.

 

 

The Manitoba Museum, a huge natural history museum, contains nice specimens and a wealth of information about the prairie and the Hudson Bay Company.

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This is the largest intact trilobite ever found. The limestone used in the museum building contains a lot of fossils too.
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Hudson Bay and the Hudson Bay Company played a big role in Manitoba’s history.
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Huge diorama display.  We saw a herd of live bison at Fort Whyte.
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Look at the root structure of this prairie grass!

The new Canadian Museum of Human Rights is beautiful and thought-provoking.

 

 

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We especially enjoyed the Mandela exhibit, after visiting South Africa a few years ago.

A theater in the round honors the peoples of the First Nations.

 

 

 

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The museum doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects like boarding schools for native children and internment of Japanese-Canadians during WWII.
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View of city center from the Museum for Human Rights.  The Fort Garry hotel is behind the green rotunda of Union Station.

Wow!   Winnipeg surprised us. We’d like to go back.IMG_4264

 

Date of travel:  October, 2018

Hotel: Fort Garry, Winnipeg

Tour:  Natural Habitat tour with city tour of Winnipeg

 

 

7 thoughts on “Winnipeg –– Wow!

  1. Evelyn, you’re really good at sharing your travel experiences with words and pictures. It truly does tempt a person to visit the places you and Irv have visited. I hope you keep doing this until you’re too feeble to travel…but I can almost imagine you traveling anyway…with two canes and a wheelchair.

    Like

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