Winnipeg was my first exposure to city life.
Growing up in a town of 20,000 people, I’d always fantasize about being sent to boarding school in Winnipeg. When my dad opened two dealerships in the city, and I begged and pleaded that the entire family relocate. I’ve since come to terms with my small town upbringing, but I’ll forever romanticize Winnipeg for being a cultural and architectural gem. While it may lack the nouveau riche shininess of other metropolises, Winnipeg’s varied industries make for a stable economy. The housing market is decidedly less expensive than the rest of Canada, the locals are approachable, and there are many fantastic neighbourhoods. Not to mention, the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the best and most powerful I’ve ever seen! (Do the tour, you’ll be moved).
Furthermore, Winnipeg is a nice mid-way point between Saskatchewan and Ontario (although it’s a 2.5 hour flight from Toronto and only a 4 hour drive from Yorkton, so not exactly equidistant). Regardless, I was able to join my parents and my older sister, Stephanie in Winnipeg this past weekend. We celebrated my dad’s 60th birthday and had a ball!
The Fort Garry: Whether you’re visiting Winnipeg for the first or the fourteenth time, I suggest booking a room at The Fort Garry Hotel. It’s in a great location and the service is second-to-none! The old railroad hotels are Canada’s crown jewels, and this one is more affordable than most. Oh, and apparently it’s haunted. I love staying here because the brunch is extravagant (think jazz quartets and fondu fountains) so I pretend I’m on Gossip Girl. (Notice the daydreaming patterns…)
Silver Lotus: A beautiful jewellery collection
Sew Dandee: A little shop filled with handmade goods, consignment clothing, and Winnipeg souvenirs for the non-tourist
Para Mix: vintage clothing, mostly from Japan and Hong Kong
Rhymes with Orange: Unique and worth a visit!
Tiny Feast: A gift store with the best cards, stationery, and other locally-made goods.
Hilary Druxman: Local jewellery
Edward Carriere: I’ve been getting my hair cut here since I was three (according to my mother) and I’ve yet to find anywhere as good in Toronto. Their retail space is constantly evolving and they carry hard-to-find products and clothing.
Aevi: Using Bumble & bumble and Kératese products, Aevi’s stylists are some of the best in the industry. The spacious, full-service salon is the ideal place to sit back and relax the latest hair care treatments.
Coffee and Food:
Thom Bargen: My dad’s favourite café, he loves the chemex.
Fools & Horses: The place to go for coffee in the CBD! The interior is beautiful and they serve fancy toast!
Café Postal: I have yet to go, but it’s right next to the oldest post office in Canada, cool!
Little Sister Coffee Maker: The mint colour scheme here is my favourite.
Parlour Coffee: Small yet stark with big sunny windows; this place makes a mean cappuccino!
The Handsome Daughter: Many congrats to my friend, Stefan Lytwyn who opened his own restaurant and bar on Sherbrooke, which is a vibrant part of Winnipeg.
Stella’s Café and Bakery: Wholesome and delicious, they have various locations around Winnipeg (even one at the airport!)
Deer + Almond: I personally can never decide on one dish, so this tapas place is definitely a hit in my books!
Boon Burger: A vegetarian burger restaurant
Dessert and Treats/
Bronuts: The softest, most delicious donuts in the Exchange District! Their branding is amazing as well.
Jenna Rae Cakes: My favourite macarons in all the land!
Canadian Museum for Human Rights: If you do nothing else in your life, visit this museum!
The Forks: The Forks is where the Red River meets the Assiniboine River. Once a gathering place for the aboriginals, European fur traders and other immigrants, today it features an indoor market, small local shops, the Manitoba Children’s Museum and the Manitoba Theatre for Young People. It’s also filled with yummy local eateries.
The Winnipeg Art Gallery (The WAG): There’s currently a Salvador Dalí exhibit on, if that’s not enough to convince you, I don’t know what will.
Go see a performance by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet: The oldest ballet company in North America, RWB was granted its royal title in 1953 by Queen Elizabeth II.
What am I missing? Let me know in the comments below!