Ah…Winnipeg! The Gate Way to the West, the birthplace of Winnie-the-Pooh and longtime railway hub is located at the geographical center of North America. The city is known for its sports teams, festival scene and early 20th century architecture. This is one place where dressing appropriately matters… not because it is a sartorial hub but because it has serious extreme weather. It is beyond cold in the winter, hot and humid in the summer. Don’t be discouraged. It is also sunny 318 days of the year. The downtown core has receive a 1.2 billion dollar investment in the last 20 years and it shows.
QR Code Tour: Nothing worse than a bad tour with a meh guide and stops at things you don’t care about…Problem solved… whip out your phone, scan the QR code and learn about the building you are standing next to, when you want to for as long as you want. The write up tells about the history, the architect, the significant elements and why the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation thinks it is noteworthy. http://www.winnipegarchitecture.ca/tours/qr/
Patent 5 Distillery: It’s 5 o’clock somewhere; time for a cocktail… and this is the place to do it… the Distillery’s Bar serves creative twists on the classics using their own spirits and unusual, often local ingredients… Pornstar Martini or Tainted Treasure? Drink them in the bar in the former Dominion Exchange Co building decorated with stained glass and wood paneling reclaimed from the Old St Regis hotel or take them to go! https://www.patent5.ca/
Warming Huts: An open Art & Architecture competition on Ice that combines design and Winnipeg winters. A blind jury selects the most envelope pushing design. The winner comes and builds in January. The huts are places on the frozen River Trail and the public spends the rest of the season skating by. Art, exercise and culture combined. What a way to spend an afternoon. You can rent skates at The Forks if you don’t have your own. https://www.warminghuts.com
Bridge Drive-In: No, not a movie theatre…but an iconic ice cream stand. Called BDI by the locals it is THE place for soft ice cream and magical confections. Think Nutella-lined waffle cone, filled with vanilla soft serve dipped in chocolate, drizzled with sea-salted caramel topped with whipped cream! Divine. It’s been a Winnipeg institution for more that 60 years. https://bridgedrivein.com/
The Forks: Where the Assiniboine and Red Rivers join, for more than 6000 years this has been a meeting place. Way back when for First Nations peoples, later for traders and railroad companies, now, it is the heart of the city where you can experience farmers markets, buskers, live music, restaurants and chic boutiques. Touristy? Yes. Go anyway. https://www.theforks.com/
Deer + Almond: Mandel Hitzer has created the restaurant of his dreams…and yours too. Chill and relaxed they serve tapas style dishes with lots of creativity yet still things you can’t wait to eat. His inspiration comes from all over and the menu changes frequently. Amongst the temptations at press time were bone marrow croquettes with porcini aioli and deer tataki with rainbow chard, leeks and ginger. Yum! http://www.deerandalmond.com/