What to do in Winnipeg?
April 3, 2006 12:27 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in a few weeks, and am looking for some ideas of things to do...

I'm there on business, so I'll only be free to take in the sites in the evenings. I'm staying downtown, but won't have access to a vehicle, so things that are walking distance from the downtown core would be best. I've never been to the city before, and the most I can find online is that I should visit "The Forks".
posted by gwenzel to Travel & Transportation around Winnipeg, MB (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
play texas hold'em at the casino... pretty loose game. should be easy to beat if you play tight.
posted by dawdle at 12:38 PM on April 3, 2006

There's a number of interesting filmmakers based in Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, John Paizs, Noam Gonick, I'm sure there's others). You might see if anything interesting is being played locally that you can't see anywhere else.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:55 PM on April 3, 2006

I have lots of fond memories of this place. The Indian food was awesome, and the beer and atmosphere were great. It was a while ago, though.
posted by Ohdemah at 1:01 PM on April 3, 2006

Prepare for cold ... I've experienced highs in the 40F's even at the end of May.

The state capitol building is built from local limestone and besides being somewhat interesting architecturally, you can spot lots of fossils on the walls. But I suspect it is open only during the days.
posted by Araucaria at 1:04 PM on April 3, 2006

provincial legislature, not state capitol

posted by raedyn at 1:26 PM on April 3, 2006

When the date of your trip gets a little closer, check out Uptown Magazine.
posted by meerkatty at 1:28 PM on April 3, 2006

The Forks is worth checking out. It's a nice walk from there to the remains of St. Boniface Cathedral and Louis Riel's grave.

What kind of food do you like? My favourite vegetarian places are Mondragon and Affinity Vegetarian Garden (Chinese). For Indian food, try Ivory. (All downtown.) For authentic "Winnipeg" food, you'll want Kelekis's or Alycia's. (Not downtown.)

My sister said the "Supernovas" exhibition on at the Winnipeg Art Gallery right now is quite good. Ace Art and the Plugin Gallery in the exchange district usually have something interesting. Cinematheque is the local arthouse theatre.

Things are pretty much brown and chilly and deserted around here right now, but should be a little nicer in a few weeks.
posted by teg at 1:30 PM on April 3, 2006

Also, there's no casino within walking distance of downtown. And it probably won't be very cold here in a few weeks, unless there's some freak blizzard.
posted by teg at 1:35 PM on April 3, 2006

The Forks is pretty much your best bet. It's alright, not much to do though other than browse the shops or walk along the river (actually the river walk is probably already flooded).

I was there last week and it was almost underwater, the spring melt is not kind to the river walk.

You can visit the Salisbury House restaurant and lounge on a pedistrian bridge over the Assinaboine river. It's right at the Forks as well.

Maybe there's a concert or hockey game on while you're here, the new arena is right downtown:

Visit the art gallery.

And last and definitely not least, go get a slurpee for crying out loud. Winnipeg is the slurpee capital of the world for years now. And don't cheap out at Mac's or some other rip off, hit a 7-11. There aren't any downtown, but I'm sure your cabby on the way to/from dinner can hook you up. I've often got my cabby to stop at Sev on the way home from the airport, usually just pick him up a small one and he's happy.
posted by gfroese at 1:44 PM on April 3, 2006

Oh, and if you like pizza, you have to go to Loona Rosa's. It's a bit of a dive and you'd have to take a cab to get there from downtown, but it's worth it.

Run by a Greek gentleman, the pizza is to die for, thick crust if it makes a difference. It's cheap too. I'd suggest picking it up, your hotel room is nicer. :)
posted by gfroese at 1:46 PM on April 3, 2006

You might want to head on over to Osborne Village before continuing on to Corydon Avenue (a little Italy, of sorts) for some amazing gelato (yes, even in April--or January--in the 'Peg) at Nucci's Gelati. And if you're hankering for a pretty amazing Indian buffet head to the East India Company.
posted by rumbles at 1:56 PM on April 3, 2006

Ha. And watch out for the hordes of urban Mennonites. Two of whom have already posted to this thread....
posted by rumbles at 2:04 PM on April 3, 2006

The Exchange District:

This is old skool downtown Winnipeg: old brick buildings and warehouses. Some of Capote was filmed here recently. The area is littered with small art galleries, used book stores, and some tasty restaurants. Start at Old Market Square, (the corner of King and Bannatyne). King's head pub (Ohdemah's recommendation) is close-by if you fancy a drink. Across from Old Market Square is the ArtSpace building which houses The Cinematheque, a indie / foreign movie house. Also close-by is Mondragon, a workers collective / vegan restaurant / left-wing-ish bookstore. This area is fun to explore and photograph.

The Forks (Off Main St where the Red and Assinaboine Rivers meet):

The Forks itself is a tourist trap, a bit of tasty food, but nothing much to see, (unless you're shopping). However, if you take a stroll past the Forks, and across the new pedestrian bridge, you will arrive in St. Boniface, the french quarter of town. Once in St. B, you will see a burnt-out old Cathedral and graveyard, to your right. A little ways past them, is the St. B. Museum; a small, yet interesting look at the history of St. Boniface and the Metis people.

The Leg:

I 2nd Araucaria's recommendation to check out our legislative building. One of my fav locations for snapshots, the Winnipeg legislative building was built at a time when our city's population growth was fast and furious. Walk in, sign-in with security, and explore. No need for the guided tour.

Food and shopping:

Osborne Village and Corydon street are usually my recommended streets for food, shopping, coffee, and/or drinks, but they don't truly "come alive" until after the big thaw. They connect at what we call Confusion corner.

I highly recommend Carlos and Murphy's for Mexican grub, and pints of draft. Carlos Nachos are a must! It's located on Osborne in the heart of the "village", on the block between River and Stradbrook.

The village is a fun stroll / window shopping experience. It basically starts at Osborne and River and continues up to confusion corner. But the interesting stuff is mainly between River and Wardlaw.

While in the village, stop by Music Trader and pick up a free Uptown Mag. It'll supply you with concert listings and night life info. Check the listings for The Pyramid Cabaret, as well as the Die Machine.

Check this map of the village.

Corydon St. is our "little Italy". It houses some fine Gellati shops, many coffee shops, bars, restaurants, shops, etc. Bar I is great for coffee or other beverages.

Some Links:

Music Scene: Winnipeg Poster Pole
General: Winnipedia

Some photos:

Sun Down in the Paris of the Prairie - Part 1 of 3
Sun Down in the Paris of the Prairie - Part 2 of 3
Sun Down in the Paris of the Prairie - Part 3 of 3
posted by stungeye at 2:20 PM on April 3, 2006 [2 favorites]

The pictures in stungeye's 'Sun Down in the Paris of the Prairie' links are great!
posted by driveler at 3:01 PM on April 3, 2006

While Araucaria is factually correct about the temperature, 40 F is not cold.

I would suggest that you see what's playing at the Park Theatre. If you're in town for the Gong Show, check that out.
posted by RobotHero at 3:38 PM on April 3, 2006

And I don't know where you are from and what the liquor licensing is like, there, but you can drink beer in the theatre at the Park, which I also approve of.
posted by RobotHero at 3:40 PM on April 3, 2006

Watch the Simpsons set in Winnipeg, then listen to some Manitoban Hip-Hop or punk rock. Lots of good music and lots of drinking and lots of mosquitoes! Winnipeg.
posted by anthill at 6:02 PM on April 3, 2006

OH, and how could I forget a great tune by The Weakerthans, a once-local band. One Great City (i hate winnipeg). (lyrics)
posted by anthill at 6:07 PM on April 3, 2006

I went to the Ichiban Japanese Steak House & Sushi Bar and had the Superior Combo Dinner and it was delicious. The teppanyaki chefs put on a really good show, probably the most entertaining that I've seen. The sushi was only okay.
posted by KathyK at 6:20 AM on April 4, 2006

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