Travel Winnipeg and Manitoba. Good times.
I’ll try focusing on different destinations for this travel blog since there are already a lot of websites dealing with mainstream attractions.
This was originally part of my Abandoned Manitoba travel blog, however it is a pretty special tourist sight. And with the addition of river tubing growing in popularity, I thought I would put it here.
The original Pinawa Dam was built in 1906 and was quite an impressive feat of engineering at the time.
It was eventually decommissioned in 1951 and declared The Pinawa Dam Provincial Heritage Park, featuring canoeing, fishing and a trail along the ruins of the dam.
Recently water activities have been popular including kayaking, SUP and river tubing.
The ruins are impressive even after all of these years and it makes a great day trip from Winnipeg.
Travel Manitoba Highlights
One of the coolest things to see when you travel Winnipeg and Manitoba is the Narcisse Snake Dens. In late April to early May, the largest concentration of red-sided garter snakes in the world gather during mating season.
There are only 2 remaining drive-in movie theatres in the province. The one pictured below in Morden is a wonderfully authentic way of experiencing a film in the summer.
Heading further west from Morden, Killarney was settled in the early 1900’s by Irish immigrants (obviously) and is famous for it’s lovely lake, green fire engines, green fire hydrants, annual VW festival and even a blarney stone. Although I have been advised that you should avoid kissing it.
WHATEVER YOU DO!
BEWARE OF THE PYGMY GOAT!
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!
As previously mentioned there are websites that focus on the mainstream attractions, but I should mention that Manitoba has over 100,000 lakes and an incredible amount of beautiful pristine beaches like this one in Steep Rock.
The provincial slogan is “Friendly Manitoba” which is evident by these two wonderful chaps cheerfully greeting passers-by near Lundar. For quite a few years they could be seen every weekend in the summer.
Winnipeg. One Great City!
I hate Winnipeg. Both prideful and critical, this hometown anthem by The Weakerthans sums up affection for the city better than I ever could.
A town that celebrates its eccentricities by socially distancing the length of a polar bear and (despite it’s long harsh winters) sells more 7-11 slurpees (ice slushies) than anywhere in the world.
There is a statue of Lt. Harry Colebourn and his bear Winnie in Assiniboine Park. The bear eventually made its way to the London Zoo and was noticed by A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin which provided the inspiration for his “Winnie the Pooh” stories.
Assiniboine Park also has quite a famous zoo if that’s your thing and an old school coal burning steam train – the only one of its kind in a park in Canada.
On a larger scale, the Prairie Dog Central Railway operates vintage steam train tours during the summer months.
Keeping true to my love for random giant statues…
The “Hi Neighbour Sam” statue greets all visitors to the Winnipeg suburb of Transcona.
Hungry? Then you have to check out the amazing burgers at Blondie’s which serves up a 9 LB burger if you are up to it.
Winnipeg – Downtown / The Leg / The Forks
A walk around the Manitoba Legislature and the surrounding area is a pretty decent way to spend an afternoon.
The Famous Five Monument is a tribute to the 5 suffragettes whose challenge in the Supreme Court of Canada in 1929 resulted in women being legally recognized as persons. The statue of Nellie McClung, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney and Emily Murphy was created by local artist Helen Granger-Young.
Purple city is best experienced in the winter months. Ask a local for directions.
A short walk away is the towering structure of The Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
It’s located in an area known as The Forks, which is probably on most “Winnipeg things to do” lists on the internet.
As is an obligatory visit to a Winnipeg Jets ice hockey game.
Winnipeg – St. Boniface / Louis Riel
Louis Riel was a traitor.
He led two rebellions against the government of Canada, was convicted of high treason and hanged in 1885.
And he is a Manitoban hero… it’s complicated…
He was quoted as saying immediately before his execution “I have nothing but my heart and I have given it long ago to my country.”
He fought and died for his beliefs and is now considered by many to be instrumental in the founding of the province.
A walk through the traditionally French speaking area of Winnipeg, you can see his gravesite, sculpture and coffin at the lovely Musée de Saint-Boniface.
His original family farm house is now a National Historic Site in the Winnipeg suburb of St. Vital.
The Centre of Canada, Steinbach and The Berlin Wall?
The (longitudinal) Centre of/du Canada is a few minutes east of Winnipeg on the way to Steinbach.
It’s a decent place to snap a few pics.
Steinbach’s main attraction is the Mennonite Heritage Village which focuses on early Mennonite immigrants who settled in Canada in the late 1800’s.
Surprisingly, a piece of the Berlin Wall sits randomly in the village. It was purchased in 1990 and was supposed to be donated to the University of Manitoba, however they bizarrely rejected it.
It eventually ended up here.
Need more Travel Winnipeg or Manitoba experiences?
Check out the following!
- Giants of the North – The Giant Statues of Manitoba
- Abandoned Manitoba Ghost Towns
- Abandoned Manitoba – A Journey Through the Crumbling History of Manitoba
- The Lemiez Statues – Manitoba’s Hidden Art Gallery
Stay classy Winnipeg. Never change.