A Weekend in Winnipeg
Shop The Exchange District
The Exchange District is an architecturally-distinct area which is a designated National Historic Site and is the original centre of commerce and the arts in Winnipeg. It is known for its 30-block collection of turn-ofthe- last-century architecture, reputed to be unrivalled in North America. It is used in movies such as Shall We Dance? with Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford with Brad Pitt. Check exchangedistrict.org for tours.
The Exchange District is becoming a vibrant emerging area. After lunch, go antiquing, explore hip shops and discover numerous art galleries. Check out katch-22 (new boutique - 217 McDermot); Cake Clothing (imported and house-designed feminine fashion - A-225 McDermot); Candie & Dolls (businesswear & flirty fashion - 101-52 Albert St); Hoopers Bazaar (retro décor - 70 Albert St); and Hilary Druxman (chic jewellery - 1-258 McDermot St). There are also many art galleries in the Exchange. Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art (286 McDermot Ave; plugin.org) represented Canada at the renowned Venice Bienniale in 2001, and won the Special Prize, a first and only for Canada. The Urban Shaman Gallery (203-290 McDermot Ave) has been getting some attention lately due to its focus on promoting contemporary indigenous art (urbanshaman.org).
Make your way to the Manitoba Museum, also located in the east Exchange District, to experience many interpretive galleries, including the Parklands/Mixed Woods Gallery. Stand on the deck of the Nonsuch, a life-sized 17th century ship which had the gallery built around it.
Winnipeg’s Da Vinci Code
Visit the Winnipeg Art Gallery, which houses the world’s largest collection of contemporary Inuit art. From there, go to the wonderful Beaux-Arts Manitoba Legislative building, littered with Masonic architectural references.
In August, taste traditional ethnic meals and see spectacular performances in 44 pavilions located throughout the city during the largest multicultural event of its kind in the world - Folklorama.
Unwind at Ten Spa (tenspa.ca) at The Fort Garry for a signature Turkish hamam experience or at Inn at the Forks’ Riverstone Spa (riverstonespa.ca), enjoy an indigenous massage with aboriginal traditions. Explore The Forks, a National Historic Site of Canada. Learn about the native aboriginal tribes that frequented this area over 6,000 years ago, take a self-guided heritage tour, visit the Explore Manitoba Centre, where guided one-hour history tours begin. At Oodena Celebration Circle, stand where Aboriginal people did 3,000 years ago. The Forks has many nifty shops and eateries. Sydney’s at The Forks (2nd Floor, The Forks Market, 204-942-6075), is rated one of Canada’s ‘Top Ten New Restaurants’ by Where Magazine. Great cinnamon buns at Tall Grass Bakery. The Current at Inn at the Forks often has pickerel on the menu.