Lace up and launch out on one of these walking tours around Winnipeg

Posted May 04, 2019 | Author Reba Lewis

Walking is one of those things most city dwellers just do and Winnipeg is one of those places where walking is such a forgone conclusion that we often do it without giving it a second thought. But Winnipeg has a few intriguing surprises up its sleeve and a walking tour is the perfect way make a few discoveries, while seeing the city in a whole new light. Here is a sampling of Winnipeg’s walking tours.

Historical walking tours

Historical tours are a fascinating way to learn about a city. How it was shaped, and what makes it the city it is today. If you’re all about history’s defining moments, these walking tours gets to the nitty gritty of it all.

6,000 Years in 60 Minutes

Duration: 1 hour

It’s hard to fathom a tour that covers 6,000 years of Manitoba’s fur trading history in 60 minutes, but this Parks Canada tour does just that without overwhelming its audience while giving enough details to keep you attentive. Objects, including furs are passed around adding to the experience. To take this tour, you'll need to make a reservation during the months of mid-May up till the September long weekend.

Boom & Bust of Winnipeg

Duration: 2 hours

During the late 19th Century and at the turn of the 20th, Winnipeg was well on its way to becoming Canada’s most affluent city, but the city’s fortunes changed. SquarePeg Tours’ Boom & Bust of Winnipeg addresses that shift and how it impacted the city, its inhabitants and the province at large, while looking at Winnipeg’s gradual comeback from the brink of ruin.

Art and architectural walking tours

It’s often hard to separate the themes of art, culture and architecture. While the three aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, there’s no denying the strong connection. Winnipeg is one of Canada’s most architecturally interesting and culturally rich cities. Many of its buildings have been designated heritage sites. The art scene is also hard to ignore with talent bursting through the city’s seams. Here are a few walking tours that pay homage to all three.

West End Mural Tours

West End Murals

Duration: 2 hours

If you’ve ever transited through the city’s west end, you would have likely noticed the murals that adorn the faces of many of its buildings. The significance of these murals though is lost on many and the artists who put their passion and sweat equity into creating them are known to few. West End Biz seeks to change that missed opportunity for conversation with its West End Mural Tours. Tickets for this tour can be purchased all summer long.

St. Boniface Walking Tour

Duration: 1.25 hours to 1.5 hours

For those passionate about Manitoba’s French culture, Tourisme Riel offers a walking tour in Saint-Boniface that explores the French Quarter. From the people to the buildings and the historical events that shaped this community, that spirit of joie de vivre will begin to make perfect sense. These daily tours run twice each day from mid-May to the September long weekend.

Art & Architecture

Duration: 1.5 hours

Among the city’s heritage sites is The Exchange District, which is home to a collection of near-pristine heritage buildings constructed during the 20th century. The Exchange District Biz along with the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation explores the evolution of architecture from modest brick-and-mortar warehouses and terracotta skyscrapers to the modernist structures, while learning about the district’s bustling art scene.

Hermetic Code

Duration: 1.5 hours

Created and guided by Dr. Frank Albo in conjunction with Heartland Travel and Tours, the Hermetic Code walking tour takes you on a journey through the Manitoba Legislative Building. While this edifice may seem like an unlikely place to go on a tour – and it sort of is – the discoveries you make will make you reconsider and perhaps even go back for seconds. Note: the tour is currently only taking names for a waitlist.

Gastronomic walking tours

Who doesn’t appreciate a good culinary crawl? With its eclectic food scene that can work up just about any appetite, Winnipeg is a many splendored wonder for foodies. Here are a few options to get you started.

Cocktail Crawl

Duration: 4.5 hours

This Downtown Winnipeg Tour is the perfect way to lift spirits in the company of a few good friends. Moving from one cocktail spot to another, you’ll have a fun time while discovering a few new mixes.

Bon Appétit Saint-Boniface

Duration: 3.5 hours

The flare that is often associated with French cuisine is what you’ll experience on the Bon Appétit walking tour that combines the richness of history and fine fare. For those looking to put their French skills to the test while feasting, these tours are bilingual and are offered during August and September.

Societal fringe walking tours

While many of the city’s tours indeed tell intriguing stories, some do so more colourfully than others. If you’re all for the no-holds-barred sort of experience, then we suggest the following.

Murder, Mystery & Mayhem

Duration: 1.5 hours

If you’re not too sensitive, don’t take yourself too seriously and don’t mind potentially being the object of a few jokes, then SquarePeg Tours’ Murder, Mystery & Mayhem may be for you. This tour is all about crime and punishment with tales of ghosts and other inappropriate topics.

Death and Debauchery

Duration: 1 hour

Who knew that Winnipeg had a wild side? Perhaps you may not know a whole lot about it, but The Exchange District Biz has a few details that it shares in its Death and Debauchery tour. While many tours play to the saints of the city, this one takes you down the path less travelled of its sinners, from a few drunk mayors to the angry mobs and prostitutes…on horseback.

Bonus tour: The Loop

Duration: 3.5 hours

The Loop is a self-guided tour that weaves its way through Winnipeg’s historic, cultural, architectural, and modern landmarks. If you’re the do-it-yourself kind who prefers to explore at your own leisure, without the aid of a guide, or the company of others for that matter, then this 9.5-kilometre circuit is a perfect way to immerse yourself.

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