Winnipeg is a city with a rich celebrated past filled with stories of the first settlements and the fur trade. Ethnic diversity is one of the hallmarks of Winnipeg, with Britons, Germans, and Ukrainians heading the list of the many ethnic groups.
Winnipeg is a city with a rich celebrated past filled with stories of the first settlements and the fur trade. Ethnic diversity is one of the hallmarks of Winnipeg, with Britons, Germans, and Ukrainians heading the list of the many ethnic groups. Today, it is a city renowned as a thriving arts, culture and business centre: A cultural melting pot, more than 100 languages are spoken in Winnipeg.
My recent visit to this city has given me a different perspective of the North American cities, all of which we tend to look from the same angle. Capital of Manitoba State, Winnipeg has many interesting spots for the tourist. Here are some highlights which no visitor can afford to miss.
Saint-Boniface is home to a proud Franco-Manitoban community, with a pride in its Metis and European ancestry, and a sense of perseverance and determination and joie de vivre of the first settlers and explorers that is still carried on generations later.
St. Boniface Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in western Canada, founded in 1818. The building was considered Manitoba's best example of French Romanesque architecture, but it has been rebuilt on several occasions due to fire - though the modern cathedral incorporates the historic façade. Set in a pleasant park, the cemetery is Western Canada's oldest Catholic burial ground. It has many old gravestones of the first settlers and key figures from days long past, including the grave of Louis Riel.
The St. Boniface Museum, the oldest building in Winnipeg, was constructed in 1846 for the Grey Nuns and was the first convent, hospital, girls' school, and orphanage in the Canadian West. After restoration in 1967, it became a museum documenting the history of Manitoba's French minority.
Winnipeg's oldest park, Assiniboine encompasses 445 hectares of grassy lawns, mature trees, cultural facilities, and an English garden. The Assiniboine Park Zoo is located within its grounds and is home to a wide variety of animals, flora, and fauna. Special emphasis is given to creatures of the northern latitudes (many of which are indigenous to Canada), though there are also some exotic species such as the Siberian tiger and red kangaroo. Other attractions in the park include the 4-8-2 steam train and the world famous Leo Mol sculpture garden.
Built of local Tyndall stone and Italian marble, the magnificent neoclassical Legislative Building in Winnipeg was completed in 1919. It contains the provincial legislative chambers, the Premier's office, and some government departments. The lavish grounds feature statues, monuments, and manicured gardens. Surmounting the 72-meter dome is a statue known as the Golden Boy, a four-meter-high bronze weighing five tons and plated with 23.5 carat gold. A torch in his right hand and sheaf of wheat on his left arm symbolize Manitoba's enduring agricultural prosperity.
The North West Company built Fort Gibraltar at the forks of the Red and Assiniboine rivers in the year 1810. For over 6,000 years, The Forks was a meeting place for many different First Nations; A strategic location at the heart of the prairies. The fort was able to tap into already existing trade networks for provisions such as pemmican, fish and locally grown produce. Food traded here was used to supply brigades of voyageurs destined for the rich fur country in the north –west.
Boasting lollipops, bubble gum, licorice, and soda pop, the Sugar Mountain Express is a candy lover’s dream. Located in two restored 1920's rail cars, which are as unique as the candies inside them, this is one train you don't want to miss. Sugar Mountain Express offers hundreds of unique sweets from all over the planet including local favourites made right in Winnipeg. From nostalgic treats, to the latest candy craze to the downright bizarre, Sugar Mountain has it all.