Feel the holiday romance at these Hallmark locations in Manitoba
December 06, 2022
Manitoba’s charming small towns, wide open rural spaces and an enviable collection of historic buildings make it easy to imagine them as romantic movie sets.
And that’s exactly why the producers at Hallmark Channel continue to choose our pretty province as locations for their annual collection of holiday movies.
Manitoba has hosted dozens of Hallmark productions over the years, and locals eagerly await the year’s new release so they can play ‘spot the location’ or see their debuts as an extra. New movies premiere every Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights on the Hallmark Channel up until the end of the year. Check out the 2022 schedule here.
This year, look for Manitoba-made movies including Hannukah on Rye, A Christmas Cookie Catastrophe, We Wish You a Married Christmas, Romance in Style and Perfect Harmony. In between, watch favorites from years gone by - Project Christmas Wish (2020), A Winter Getaway (2021), Snowkissed (2021), Crashing Through the Snow (2021), A Kiss Before Christmas (2021), and Tis the Season to Be Merry (2021) - to spot these famous locations.
The Rustic Wedding Barn
With spaces charmingly called The Parlour, The Yard, The Gazebo, The Chapel, and The Barn, this wedding venue is perfect for the romance that lingers in the air during every Hallmark production. It was the set of Merry & Bright, where Cate, CEO of the Merry & Bright Candy Cane Company, meets Gabe during the busy Christmas season. A story of business and romance unfolds. Weathered wood, Edison lights, flowing white curtains, twinkling chandeliers and cobblestone floors let movie making shine bright here near Steinbach. And even if there’s no wedding in the plans, guests can enjoy The Prairie Rooms Bed & Breakfast onsite with three bedrooms, a fireplace and wraparound porch.
Without a doubt, Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District is the darling of Hallmark productions. With more than 150 beautiful original buildings constructed before 1920 in 20 square blocks, it has earned the nickname the “Chicago of the North”. It was the location for The Christmas Club, a story that has two strangers finding something they were both missing: true love. Today the neighbourhood is home to innovative restaurants (The Merchant Kitchen, Deer + Almond), Manitoba Museum, Centennial Concert Hall, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and boutique shopping (Hilary Druxman Design, Lennard Taylor), making it the perfectly picturesque location for a holiday stroll and shop.
The Fort Garry Hotel
This unmistakable landmark opened its doors in 1913 and was immediately dubbed ‘the new castle of opulence’ for the booming city of Winnipeg. Both its exterior and lavish lobby have remained nearly unchanged since then, thank goodness. Glide through the revolving doors and be welcomed to the Oval Room Brasserie with its intricate ceiling details, towering windows and sink-away furnishings. The hotel was home for On the 12th Date of Christmas, where two seemingly incompatible game designers team up to create a romantic, city-wide scavenger hunt themed after the 12 Days of Christmas.
A Maze in Corn
In autumn, it’s a massive corn maze, but once the snow arrives, this attraction becomes The Guinness Book of World Record's largest snow maze! Hallmark’s Amazing Winter Romance was shot here, where journalist Julia goes back home to find inspiration and discovers her childhood friend has built a giant snow maze. Starting in January, visitors can accept the challenge of the snow maze, check out the carvings, bravely try the giant luge run, then warm up by the bonfire with a cup of hot chocolate—and pretend they’re actually in a Hallmark movie!
On the edge of Birds Hill Provincial Park
Start your day with an exquisite brunch, stroll the boutiques and breathe in that fresh country air. That’s the Pineridge Hollow experience and it’s no surprise that the producers of Hallmark movies love this location. The combination restaurant/retail/outdoor attraction near Birds Hill Park was home to Snowkissed, where a travel-averse journalist chases her dream assignment and finds herself mentoring a handsome B&B owner who wants to be a tour guide. (You’ll see mountains in this movie too, and that’s because those scenes were shot in Banff, Alberta, Canada.) Pineridge has recently added The Village that includes stand-alone shops that help get all that holiday shopping done in high style.
It’s technically not a Christmas movie, but Pumpkin Everything definitely has all the feels of the holiday spirit. The plot follows Amy, an up-and-coming novelist who returns to her hometown to look after her stubborn grandfather Tom and his pumpkin-themed store while confronting an old flame from her past. Bella’s Castle, the gorgeous wedding venue and bed and breakfast, is the cornerstone of the movie. This charming town includes Pure Anada, a local success story featuring cosmetics crafted from organic botanicals and mineral pigments. Step into historic charm at Rendezvous Brewery & Taproom, once the town’s newspaper office and now the home of mouth-watering pretzels and pizza.
Winnipeg Free Press News Café
Exchange District, Winnipeg
Brand new for the 2022 holiday lineup, Hanukkah on Rye follows the story of a matchmaker who connects Molly and Jacob, but their new romance is put to the test when they realize that they are competing deli owners. The Winnipeg Free Press News Café was transformed into a bona fide Jewish deli in the Exchange District that has passersby thinking it was the real thing. Just around the corner is the nearly real thing. King & Bannatyne sells handcrafted sandwiches including their River City Brisket that gets brined for seven days and served on thick hand-cut rye with a bold smear of house-made yellow mustard.
Bonus: Lifetime movie in Stonewall!
Founded in the 1800s, Stonewall was the centre of a large limestone quarry, hence the name. While the desirable, fossil-filled rocks were being excavated, important buildings in town were being constructed. Today, the post office, town hall and library all boast beautiful limestone exteriors. Movie makers love using these heritage buildings as stand-ins for other locations, as in Lifetime's A Christmas in Tennessee. The Manitoba town becomes White Pines where a story of a bakery and romance unfolds. Stop in at the McLeod House Tea Room for scones and tiny sandwiches then browse the curated collection of home décor, fashion, and gifts.Take a walk through Stonewall Quarry Park where artifacts from the heyday of limestone production still stand