Much To See On A Short Stop In Winnipeg Manitoba
We enjoyed a short stop in Winnipeg, Manitoba. After our fast day spent chasing waterfalls in Ontario, we planned a two night stay in Winnipeg Manitoba.
On our trip through Ontario, we had rain and grey skies. As we crossed the border into in the province of Manitoba, the clouds disappeared and the sun came out. It was hot and sunny as we explored Winnipeg.
A Detour For The Seven Sisters Falls
We found so many great waterfalls on our drive through Northern Ontario. So when we crossed into Manitoba, we took the scenic route along Highway 44 and searched for the Seven Sisters Falls in Whitemouth Falls Provincial Park.
Highway 44 was a bypass route into Winnipeg. We were surprised when the first long stretch of road was narrow and rutted. The highway speed signs were 90km/hour …. if you dared! We were happy when the road widened and smoothed out.
The first road sign for the Seven Sisters Falls was not the route suggested by the GPS. When we looked down the road, we saw another rough road and decided to stay with the GPS route. We figured that route took us through the park. It might have actually taken us to the Seven Sisters Falls.
Instead we followed the GPS and ended on a dirt road that was recently re-gravelled. We moved along the road in a cloud of dust. Our new SUV quickly lost the last of its new car lustre.
Views Of The Dam At The Seven Sisters Falls
The GPS ultimately got us to the large hydroelectric dam at the Seven Sisters Falls. We walked out on the dam and got a great view of the spillway for the dam. But the walkway across the dam was blocked off so we could not get to the other side for a view of the waterfalls.
We meandered along the shore and found a viewpoint from below the dam. But could not find a paved road that took us to the actual waterfalls at the Seven Sisters Falls. We knew there was a 3 km hiking loop but we never found the parking lot.
If we plan a visit to the Seven Sisters Falls on our return trip from Western Canada, we will need more research to find the best spot for waterfall views.
A Stop At The Longitudinal Centre Of Canada
After our stop at the dam, we navigated our way back down to the Trans-Canada Highway. While there were shorter routes to Winnipeg, we had one more stop before we reached the city.
Shortly after we got on the highway we found the big red signs for the “Centre of Canada” and stopped for a picture. This spot marked the longitudinal centre of Canada – the mid-point east to west. At one end was St. John’s in Newfoundland where we visited on our recent road trip to Atlantic Canada. And at the other end was Vancouver Island, the most westerly stop on this road trip to Western Canada. We were amazed at the fields and fields of sunflowers we saw in this part of Manitoba.
The Centre of Canada was just one of the tourist stops in Manitoba. We saw many signs along the highway that marked the points of interest. But we did not stop at them all!
Settling Into Winnipeg
We followed the GPS into downtown Winnipeg and the Delta Winnipeg. It was a great suite upgrade with a view over the outdoor pool with our loyalty status. We loved when we got a suite with two rooms and spread out. A welcome snack was greatly appreciated after our long driving day.
We saw the changing pandemic requirements as we moved from province to province. In Manitoba, masks were required indoors as they were at home in Ontario. When we checked in our vaccination status was checked. This allowed us access to indoor amenities like the gym and pool. Although we did not have the QR code app used in Manitoba, our Ontario proof of vaccination was enough.
Breakfast was one of our status perks. But the hotel restaurant was not open for indoor seating. So breakfast was provided though room service. While we were a bit concerned, it turned out that the breakfast choice and food delivered was great. And staying in our room let us relax before we started wandering on our short stop in Winnipeg.
Heading To The Manitoba Legislature
The hotel was located within walking distance of all downtown sights. Although it did not feel so close after we walked well over 10,000 steps on our short stop in Winnipeg.
We started with a patio lunch at Stella’s Cafe. The cafe was located on the ground level of the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art and had a large patio. A perfectly healthy salad fuelled us for the walking day.
From Stella’s we wandered down Memorial Boulevard and paused in front of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Native art was on display.
Down the street we got our first glimpse of the Manitoba Legislature Building with a series of memorials in front. We slowly walked around and caught views of the building with the dome on top of it. As we approached the river side, we enjoyed the views with flowers in bloom and the fountain. The building was not open for inside tours when we visited.
The statue of Luis Riel stood overlooking the Assiniboine River with his back to the Manitoba Legislature Building. Riel was the founder of the province of Manitoba and a leader of the Metis people. We saw many monuments to him around Winnipeg.
The Manitoba Legislature building was a great first stop as we wandered on our short stop in Winnipeg.
Walking On The River Walk Along The Assiniboine River
We went down the stairs and headed along the River Walk on the Assiniboine River. The River Walk was a well used path by pedestrians and bikes. The sides of the river were sand and at one point we even saw a small beach along the river.
As we walked along we went under the Midtown Bridge and the Bridge Of The Forts. We saw a tour boat head past slowly. We were sure this was a great way to learn more about the sights along the Assiniboine River.
Walking along the River Walk in Winnipeg was a relaxing way to enjoy a sunny day.
Exploring The Forks On A Short Stop In Winnipeg
At the bend in the Assiniboine River, we found the large Forks area. The Forks was designated as a National Historic Site. It celebrated over 6,000 years of human inhabitation.
Paths wound along the water and through the park area. There was a large food market and outdoor seating area. We found the Neon Cone Co. ice cream shop and were happy when we ordered a flight with tastings of 4 different ice creams.
We got a table outside and even there our vaccination status was checked to allow us to sit and eat. After our ice cream, we headed through the Prairie Garden and saw the interesting statues. The Oodena Celebration Circle sculpture was adorned with sculptures related to the Aboriginal people. The sculptures arms showed celestial positioning with the sun and the stars. We saw the monument to honour the “Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls”.
Along the river we found the Path of Time sculpture in a circle of stones. This monument detailed historic events that took place at The Forks throughout its 6,000-year history. The sculpture was created with two bronze shells and a carved limestone centrepiece.
We found lots to see when we explored the Forks on our short stop in Winnipeg.
Views Around The Canadian Museum Of Human Rights
As we rounded the bend in the river, we caught our first view of the interesting architecture of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. The museum poked up above the modern art piece created by Ai Weiwei with bicycles (“Forever Bicycles”) and the Winnipeg sign.
We wandered around the building and took in the building from multiple viewpoints. This museum was the first museum solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. The building was designed such that visitors enter in the Great Hall. A series of rooms and ramps then led up to the “Tower of Hope” spire at the top.
Beside the museum we saw the Esplanade Riel pedestrian bridge beside the Provencher vehicle bridge. It was interesting to see the restaurant in the middle of the bridge.
As we walked back towards our hotel, we caught the last glimpses of the museum framed with the statue of Gandhi.
By this time we had walked for hours. So we really had no energy left to explore the museum. A great thing for our return visit.
Wandering Around On A Short Stop In Winnipeg
We cut though the VIA Rail Train Station and admired the ceiling. There was also a train museum to visit. But we did not stop.
Wandering along Broadway Street, we went past the Fort Garry Hotel. This looked much like other classic Canadian hotels we visited on our travels.
We passed many other sights on our short visit to Winnipeg. We were surprised there was so much to see and do.
Much To See At The Assiniboine Park
It was early when we left for our drive to Regina. But we had one more stop before we departed Winnipeg. The Assiniboine Park was a vast outdoor area of 1,100 acres. The park included several different garden areas, a small zoo, playgrounds and even a statue garden.
Our early start meant that much of the Assiniboine Park was not open yet. But we still drove through and admired the grounds. We figured it would take a day or more to see it all.
We loved to explore outdoor statue gardens on our travels. On our visit to Oslo in Norway we saw the fascinating Vigeland Sculpture Park. In New Orleans we explored the interesting NOMA Outdoor Sculpture Garden. And we even found a local outdoor sculpture garden on our travels in Prince Edward County. So when we saw the sign for the Leo Mol sculpture garden, which was not open, we parked.
Through the closed fence, we got just a tease of the interesting statues. We wondered what variety we would find inside the gates.
A visit to the Assiniboine Park required far more time than we had on this short stop in Winnipeg.
A Good Short Stop In Winnipeg in Manitoba
On our drive out of Winnipeg we stopped when we saw a couple of colourful murals. Always a fun way to remember a new city.
We were happy we planned a two night short stop in Winnipeg on our drive from Toronto to Vancouver. With long driving days to and from Winnipeg, we really only had only one day to explore the city. But with a sunny day, we enjoyed a great walk and saw the sights. There was much left to see on a stop on our return road trip from Vancouver.
The weather was a little more grey when we left Winnipeg. After one short stop in Brandon, Manitoba for coffee, we were on the road again headed for a stay in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Have you done a short stop in Winnipeg? What other sights should we plan for our trip home?
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