A Guide to English Garden in Winnipeg

Exploring a Paradise of Colors: A Guide to English Garden in Winnipeg

Spring is, perhaps, my favorite season in Winnipeg. This time of the year heralds a transformative awakening as the city emerges from the winter’s frosty embrace.

As temperatures begin to climb and the days lengthen, I get so excited about spending time outdoors when nature starts to come alive again.

From the vibrant hues of crocuses peeking through the thawing ground to the symphony of bird songs that fills the skies, every corner of Winnipeg comes alive with the promise of renewal and bursts of colors.

For this reason, the English Garden in Assiniboine Park has become one of my go-to’s in the city, either for a morning walk or an afternoon stroll. Come with me and take a closer look at one of the most beautiful spots in Winnipeg!

Quick Facts about English Garden

Website  https://www.assiniboinepark.ca/park/gardens/english-garden
Location460 Assiniboine Park Drive, Winnipeg, MB R3P 2N7, Canada
Contact Details+1 204-927-6000
Opening HoursMonday to Sunday: 9 AM to 6 PM
Admission FeeFree of charge

The English Garden was established in the late 1920s as part of the renovations and additions to Assiniboine Park, one of the city’s most iconic parks. It was designed by George Champion, the Superintendent of the Parks Board at the time.

The garden is modeled after traditional English gardens, characterized by its well-maintained lawns, intricate flowerbeds, and winding walkways on 3 acres of land.

What I like about this park is that there’s always something new every year. The park committee and gardeners keep it fresh for visitors by planting various annual flowers; I’m not sure if they follow a certain theme but I know that it’s different every time I visit.

Best Time to Travel to English Garden

— Media Credit: monika_thurn_und_taxis

The best time to visit the English Garden in Winnipeg is during the spring and summer months, from March to September.

This period lends the most comfortable weather with temperatures averaging around 7° to 18° C (44.6° to 64.4° F) in the spring and 20° to 27° C (68° to 80.6° F) in the summer.

I personally love going to English Garden in mid to late spring when the weather’s not too cold and not too hot. I like that cozy feeling when I can layer my clothes and still be able to enjoy the outdoors.

The new flowers for the year are already planted at this time, so there’s something to see this early on. That’s only my preference, of course, but anytime between early spring and September is a great time to explore the garden.

I’d honestly avoid this place in the winter because, obviously, there won’t be much to see if you’re expecting an explosion of colors. It is open all year round, though!

How to Get to English Garden

By Car

From the Forks area in downtown Winnipeg, travelers with a rental car or their own vehicle can drive westward on Broadway Avenue and then continue straight onto Portage Avenue. Follow the signs leading to Assiniboine Park.

Another route you can take if you’re driving from downtown is along Donald Street then Pembina Highway, turning onto Grant Avenue until you reach the park.

Both driving routes take 15 to 20 minutes depending on traffic conditions. If you are coming from elsewhere, just follow traffic directions to either Portage or Grant Avenues.

By Bus

Alternatively, if you prefer public transit from downtown, head to the Portage at Fort Rouge bus stop and board the 15 bus, which will take you directly to Assiniboine Park.

If you’re coming from the western part of the city, find any route 11 bus, which will take you to the Portage at Fort Rouge stop, and then take the 15 bus to the park.

Furthermore, you can have the Transit or Moovit app on your phone. You can easily navigate the city’s public transport system with these programs.

Things to See at English Garden

The Boy with the Boot Statue

— Media Credit: cheryl_robertson

Assiniboine Park is huge, but you’ll know you’ve reached the English Garden once you see the Boy with the Boot statue at the main entrance. It’s a statue of a little boy holding his leaking boot and “emptying” the water into the pond.

I never knew until recently that this statue isn’t actually unique to the English Garden. Apparently, there are numerous copies of this statue all over the world.

This particular statue was gifted to the city in 1897 to honor Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. It was from the Young People’s Christian Endeavour Society and the Trades and Labour Council.

The statue was displayed in front of the city hall until 1913 when it was transported to Assiniboine Park. It wasn’t until 1952 that it was placed in the English Garden when the entrance was redone.

I’ve heard from other Winnipegians that the statue was stolen several times in the past as a prank, and it would just reappear randomly!

The Lady in the Park Statue

— Media credit: michaelshaen

Also located near the gates to the garden is the Lady in the Park statue. It’s of a woman engrossed in a book while sitting on a park bench. It was created in the early 1990s by Prince Monyo Mihailescu-Nasturel, a Romanian-American artist.

I don’t think it’s really known who the woman is, but just by looking at her, I feel like she’s someone from the 1950s all dressed up prim and proper.

Engraved on the bench beside the lady is a quote from Marcus Tullius Cicero that reads “If you have a library and a garden you have everything you need.”

The bronze statue lived on Wellington Crescent for years, at the home of Canadian media magnates and husband and wife Izzy and Babs Asper. I’ve personally seen it in the neighborhood a few times, and it was renowned within the community.

The Asper family donated it to Assiniboine Park to honor the memory of the late couple. Babs Asper was said to be fond of the garden, and her children thought it was fitting to donate the statue to the park for other Winnipegians and visitors to enjoy.

The Central Fountain

— Media Credit: ecwlcoffee

One of my favorite spots in the garden is the fountain at the center. It’s designed with potted plants and surrounded by a roundabout walkway and park benches.

It’s the perfect spot to sit down for a while and fully take in the surroundings.

The magnificent fountain was also donated by Izzy and Babs Asper. The couple originally purchased the fountain from England and it sat in their homes for many years.

When they sold their home, they decided to gift the fountain to the park where it still stands today!

The Thatched-Roof English Cottage

— Media Credit: janderk750

Another favorite spot of mine in the garden, especially when it comes to taking photos, is the thatched-roof cottage.

It’s exactly what it is–a cute little cottage peppered with colorful plants, flowers, and plant boxes by the windows. However, I’m not quite sure what the interior is used for (probably storage!).

There used to be a park bench right outside, but there was one time when I didn’t see it so maybe it is a seasonal thing.

This cottage is truly a charming backdrop for photos, I’ve seen engagement photoshoots take place here before!

Queen Victoria Statue

— Media Credit: sallyito

Just like the Boy with the Boot statue, the Young People’s Christian Endeavour Society donated a statue of Queen Victoria to the city in 1897 to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The statue was relocated to the English Garden in 1967 during Canada’s centennial year.