This year marks the 150th anniversary of Manitoba's entrance into confederation. The year is being recognized by celebrations and initiatives across the province, including the introduction of an epic contest that rewards you for visiting amazing places around Manitoba.
To get started, download the app to your phone. Inside, you'll find 150 locations for you to visit across the province. For every location you visit you get a certain number of entries to win prizes. The harder the destination it is to get to, the more entries you'll get. Those are marked in the green circle on each location. There are also challenges you can complete (click on the little trophy icon in the bottom right corner to see them) that will earn you badges. You could win monthly and grand prizes – including a trip to Churchill to see the polar bears.
Over the next twelve months, we'll be introducing you to some of the locations in the app. We started with the "Achieve the Impossible" challenge. Now we're exploring some of the older landmarks in Manitoba with the "Ruin'd Your Day" challenge. Don't let the play on words fool you, these locations are well worth the visit. Most are somewhat easily accessible and will earn you one or five entries but one of these ruins will get you a whole 25 entries, pushing you closer to those sweet prizes.
Trappist Monastery - 1 entry
St. Norbert, on the southern edge of Winnipeg, is home to the Trappist Monastery which has a rich history of endurance. The site was completed in 1905 and originally included milking barns, stables, a cheese house, a sawmill and a cannery. Many of the structures have since caught fire, but parts have been rebuilt and a large section of the monastery's ruins can still be explored today.
Gregory's Mill - 5 entries
This may be one of the most "ruined" places on this list. Gregory's Mill was established in 1882 as a flour mill and was last used around 1895. Today the site near Nesbitt in the Souris River basin, has mainly been taken over by nature. Feel like an archeologist as you explore the overgrown ruins and search for the stones that once made up the foundation of the building.
St. Boniface Cathedral - 1 entry
One of Winnipeg's architectural wonders, the St. Boniface Cathedral combines new and old to make a truly unique architectural landscape. The first large cathedral was built on the site in 1832 but was destroyed by a fire in 1860. By 1906 a new cathedral was built but it was also ravaged by fire in 1968. The fire left only the façade and parts of the walls of the building which still stand today. A new cathedral was built in 1972 behind the ruins of the previous cathedral. The two buildings are beautiful in their own ways and offer great photo opportunities.
Pilehenge - 5 entries
Pilehenge isn't the ruins of a building, but the ruins of a building that never happened. As you drive through the area of Rosser, northwest of Winnipeg, you'll see a cluster of cement piles rising from the ground. In the 1960s these were installed as the beginnings of a cement-manufacturing plant. Today you can walk among the 50-foot cement statues that locals call the "Cement Cemetery."
Manitoba Glass Company Site - 5 entries
There is not much that remains of Western Canada's first glass container factory. The Manitoba Glass Company opened in 1906 but closed not long after in 1914. The stone foundations of the once economic powerhouse are surrounded by glass shards, machinery mounts and furnace remnants. This site, in Beausejour, was designated a Provincial Heritage Site in 1989.
Pinawa Dam - 5 entries
Pinawa Dam was the first dam in Manitoba to produce electrical power year-round. Though no longer functional, the dam is over 100 years old and is a marvel of engineering that still stands today. Explore the hardly ruined dam and kayak, canoe or hike through the beautiful scenery that surrounds it in Pinawa Dam Provincial Heritage Park.
MV Ithaca - 25 entries
You'll get big points (and bragging rights) for visiting this northern shipwreck. The MV Ithaca sits in the shallows of the Hudson Bay, east of Churchill. The ship hit a patch of bad weather after its departure from Churchill in 1960 and was dragged to land. Once the tide went down, the crew was able to safely walk back to shore. You can still admire the shipwreck from afar and close up when the tide is low or the bay is frozen.