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Winnipeg Holidays Guide

The junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers is the location of Winnipeg, the capital and largest city in Manitoba. With a climate that sees  extremes of hot and cold, the summers are often humid and warm while winters are long, windy and cold with snow usually from November to March.

Like many Canadian cities and towns, Winnipeg was first established as a fur trading post. It was to become the site of the Red River Rebellion in 1859, an uprising of local Indian inhabitants against the government of Canada.

With the building of the CP railway in the early 20th century, the city soon developed as a major transportation centre with extensive rail and air links. It is today home to more than 700,000 people of mainly English and European descent.


This cosmopolitan city has a stable economy of finance, agriculture, manufacturing and export industries and proudly boasts a host of amazing, historical architecture. There is plenty to see in the markets, museums and galleries located in and around the city. The Winnipeg Transit System provides visitors with an efficient means of reaching all the city highlights.

Entertainment is available in the form of orchestral, dance and live theatre productions and a variety of festivals are held throughout the year. Winnipeg has numerous parks, the largest being Assiniboine Park with its nearly 400 acres of gardens, sculptures, zoo, cycling and walking trails. Visitors accommodation needs are well catered for with a good mix of hotels and assorted accommodation.

There are two major universities located in Winnipeg, a number of special educational facilities and ethnic organisations promoting cultural understanding. In addition. there is an enormous variety of local and ethnic food on offer in restaurants, cafes, pubs and food outlets.

Winnipeg Highlights

Winnipeg Art Gallery: Located in the heart of the city, there are more than 20,000 items on display including tapestries, Inuit art, photographs. A variety of exhibitions are held throughout the year and tours, lectures, family and adult programmes are available.

The Royal Canadian Mint: The Winnipeg Branch of the Royal Canadian Mint was officially opened in 1976 and produces the entire supply of circulation coins. The state of the art glass building is located 520 Lagimodiere Boulevard and fascinating guided tours on the science of coin-making are conducted throughout the year.

The Aboriginal Centre: Stately columns and ornate art work adorn this fully restored historical site. Located in the CP Rail Station, visitors can enjoy traditional Aboriginal cuisine in the restaurant and experience Aboriginal culture with an interesting guided tour.

The Exchange District National Historic Site: Situated in the heart of downtown, it is a great place to explore with its cosmopolitan atmosphere, amazing dining and retail experiences on offer, architecture, art galleries, music and cultural establishments and festivals.

Manitoba Legislative Building: Completed in 1920, it is famous for the gold covered bronze statue perched on top of the copper dome. Other aspects of interest are the Grand Staircase, the Rotunda, Corinthian columns, statues and busts.

Esplanade Riel:  A popular tourist attraction especially with photographers, this pedestrian bridge spans the Red River. The restaurant on the bridge provides visitors with great views.

St. Boniface: Stroll over the Esplanade Riel to the French Quarter known as St Boniface. A wide variety of activities, festivals and exhibitions are always on offer. There are numerous shops and plenty of restaurants to tempt your palate.

St. Boniface Cathedral: Also located in the French Quarter, the facade of the original cathedral, which was destroyed by fire in 1968, has been incorporated into the design of the new church. Theatrical productions are sometimes performed in the cemetery which is located adjacent to the cathedral.

Osborne Village: This is Winnipeg's most densely populated and oldest neighbourhood oozing character and charm. Many of the buildings in the area still boast the original architectural details. There are venues for musical entertainment, dance studios, an exciting collection of boutiques stores, businesses, restaurants, nightclubs and many popular annual events are held here.

Manitoba Museum: Located in the heart of the historic Exchange District in downtown Winnipeg, the collections exhibited in this museum reflect the history and environment of the province of Manitoba. The museum has a virtual underwater observatory, a Science Gallery hall, publications and Planetarium shows.

Manitoba Children's Museum: Founded in 1983 and considered a "must see" attraction.  It has six permanent galleries and one seasonal gallery and programmes providing endless hours of entertainment and learning.

Fire Fighters Museum of Winnipeg: A delight for children with numerous vintage fire engines on display dating back to 1882, the iconic brass poles used to carry fire fighters to the main floor, a large selection of artifacts and a variety of equipment and apparel from various eras.

Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site of Canada: The fort is the oldest intact stone fort in North America. A recreation of life at the fort in the early 1850's is portrayed by costumed actors during part of the year. The site also offers many exhibits, a Christmas programme and other hands-on activities.

Le musée de Saint-Boniface: Originally a convent for the Grey Nuns, begun in 1846 and finished in 1851. The museum is the largest oak log structure in North America and has a large collection of Louis Riel artifacts. The exhibits offer details of the history and the way of life of Saint Boniface and the Cathedral as well as depicting the lives of the French and Metis people.

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