Exploring Winnipeg A Guide to the City's Landmarks

Exploring Winnipeg: A Guide to the City’s Landmarks

Going on a journey through Winnipeg’s historical tapestry is like strolling through the chapters of my city’s vibrant past.

From the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers at The Forks to the majestic St. Boniface Cathedral Basilica, each landmark echoes the resilience and growth that define Winnipeg.

This guide is more than a collection of historical facts; it’s a personal invitation to experience the heart of Winnipeg, where every landmark narrates a unique story of our shared heritage.

1. The Forks National Historic Site

Websitehttps://www.theforks.com/
LocationAddress: Forks Market Rd, Winnipeg, MB R3C 4S8, Canada

Google Maps: The Forks National Historic Site

Contact DetailsPhone: +1 204-927-7874

Email: [email protected]

Operating HoursSunday 10 AM–9 PM

Monday 10 AM–9 PM

Tuesday 10 AM–9 PM

Wednesday 10 AM–9 PM

Thursday 10 AM–9 PM

Friday 11 AM–10 PM

Saturday 11 AM–10 PM

AdmissionFree

At the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, The Forks in Winnipeg is a living testament to the city’s historical significance as a meeting place for Indigenous peoples and fur traders. 

The site’s history dates back over 6,000 years, making it one of the oldest continuous trading sites in North America. What began as a gathering place for early Indigenous peoples evolved into a bustling hub for the fur trade during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Today, The Forks has transformed into a vibrant cultural and recreational center. Its fame lies in its historical roots and its seamless integration of the old and the new. 

The site features a harmonious blend of preserved historic buildings and modern architecture, creating a dynamic atmosphere that attracts locals and tourists alike.

The Forks offers a multitude of facilities, amenities, and attractions. Visitors can explore the historic rail bridge, enjoy the scenic Riverwalk, and participate in events at Festival Park. 

The Forks Market is a popular destination, housing diverse shops, boutiques, and eateries. The Johnston Terminal, once a cold storage railway warehouse, has been repurposed into a unique shopping and dining complex. 

The Forks continues to be a cultural crossroads where the echoes of the past resonate with the vibrancy of the present.

Pro Tip: 

The Forks can get busy, especially on weekends. Consider using public transportation or arriving early to secure a good parking spot.

2. Assiniboine Park

Websitehttps://www.assiniboinepark.ca/
LocationAddress: 55 Pavilion Crescent, Winnipeg, MB R3P 2N6, Canada

Google Maps: Assiniboine Park

Contact DetailsPhone: +1 204-927-6000

Email: [email protected]

Operating HoursSunday 9 AM–9 PM

Monday 9 AM–9 PM

Tuesday 9 AM–9 PM

Wednesday 9 AM–9 PM

Thursday 9 AM–9 PM

Friday 9 AM–9 PM

Saturday 9 AM–9 PM

AdmissionFree

A green oasis within the city, Assiniboine Park stands as a testament to Winnipeg’s dedication to preserving its natural beauty for generations. 

Established in 1904, the park has become a cherished cultural and recreational space, offering a lush retreat within the urban landscape. 

Its crown jewel, the historic Pavilion, is a symbol of Winnipeg’s commitment to blending nature with architectural splendor.

Originally designed by renowned architect J. N. Semmens, the Pavilion has undergone renovations over the years, retaining its historic charm while accommodating contemporary needs. 

The park’s fame extends beyond its architectural gem, encompassing various attractions and activities. The Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, nestled within the park, showcases the renowned artist’s works amid beautifully landscaped surroundings.

Assiniboine Park Zoo is a significant draw within the park’s expanse. It features immersive exhibits that highlight conservation efforts and global biodiversity. 

The park also boasts walking trails, gardens, and the serene Riley Family Duck Pond, providing a tranquil escape for visitors of all ages.

Facilities and amenities abound, with picnic areas, playgrounds, and seasonal events enhancing the overall visitor experience. 

Assiniboine Park continues to be a haven where nature, culture, and recreation converge, embodying Winnipeg’s commitment to preserving its natural legacy.

Pro Tip: 

Assiniboine Park is vast, so wear comfortable shoes for exploring. If you plan to visit multiple attractions within the park, allocate enough time to fully enjoy the experience.

3. Manitoba Legislative Building

Websitehttps://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/hrb/prov/p040.html
LocationAddress: 450 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8, Canada

Google Maps: Manitoba Legislative Building

Contact DetailsPhone: +1 204-945-5813

Email: [email protected]

Operating HoursSunday 9 AM–4 PM

Monday 9 AM–4 PM

Tuesday 9 AM–4 PM

Wednesday 9 AM–4 PM

Thursday 9 AM–4 PM

Friday 9 AM–4 PM

Saturday 9 AM–4 PM

AdmissionFree

Note: Manitoba Legislative Building offers guided tours only. Please contact them to make a reservation.

The Manitoba Legislative Building, the legislative seat of the province, stands proudly in Winnipeg. It showcases striking architecture and symbolic elements that embody Manitoba’s political heritage and democratic values. 

Designed by architect Frank Worthington Simon and completed in 1920, the building is a masterpiece of the Beaux-Arts architectural style, adorned with intricate detailing and grand statuary.

The Legislative Building’s history is steeped in political significance as it witnessed the evolution of Manitoba as a province. Its iconic Golden Boy statue, perched atop the dome, symbolizes the province’s resilience and progress. 

The building’s interior is equally impressive. It features beautiful murals, ornate woodwork, and a grand staircase, making it a historical and cultural landmark.

Famous for its architectural grandeur, the Legislative Building is open to the public. The landmark offers guided tours that delve into the province’s political history and the building’s design intricacies. 

Even visitors can explore the legislative chambers, the rotunda, and the Queen’s Lantern, which crowns the dome with a spectacular view of the city. 

The beautifully landscaped grounds, including the Manitoba Gold Star Memorial, add to the site’s allure. This creates a space that honors the past while embracing the democratic ideals shaping the province’s future.

Pro Tip: 

Guided tours are the only way to explore the Manitoba Legislative Building. To ensure your spot, contact them in advance to schedule your tour.

4. Royal Canadian Mint

Websitehttps://www.mint.ca/en/visit-the-mint/winnipeg-mint
LocationAddress: 520 Lagimodiere Blvd, Winnipeg, MB R2J 3E7, Canada

Google Maps: Royal Canadian Mint

Contact DetailsPhone: +1 204-984-1144, +1 877-974-6468

Email: [email protected]

Operating HoursSunday Closed

Monday Closed

Tuesday 9 AM–5 PM

Wednesday 9 AM–5 PM

Thursday 9 AM–5 PM

Friday 9 AM–5 PM

Saturday 9 AM–5 PM

AdmissionAdults (18 to 64) : $12.00

Children ( 5 to 17) : $8.00

Seniors (65+) : $10.00

Infants (ages 4 and under) : Free

Family (2 adults, 2 children) : $30.00

Responsible for producing Canada’s coinage, the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg stands as a captivating blend of craftsmanship and technology. 

Established in 1976, this minting facility has played a crucial role in shaping the nation’s currency, crafting coins with precision and artistry. 

Guided tours offer visitors a fascinating glimpse into the intricate process of coin production, from the initial design stages to the minting and distribution of currency.

The Royal Canadian Mint’s history is closely intertwined with Canada’s economic and monetary evolution. It was established to decentralize coin production, and the Winnipeg branch quickly became a key player in this national endeavor. 

The facility’s reputation for quality craftsmanship and innovative technology has made it a symbol of Canadian excellence.

Famous for its role in producing Canada’s currency, the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg welcomes visitors to explore its state-of-the-art facility. 

The guided tours provide a behind-the-scenes look at the coin-making process and showcase the Mint’s impressive collection of rare and historic coins. 

The Mint’s boutique also offers unique and commemorative coins for collectors, making it a must-visit destination for those interested in the art and history of currency production.

Pro Tip: 

Secure your spot by booking tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to get a close-up look at the coin-making action.

5. Upper Fort Garry 

Websitehttps://www.upperfortgarry.com/
LocationAddress: 130 Main St, Winnipeg, MB R3C 1A4, Canada

Google Maps: Upper Fort Garry

Contact DetailsPhone: +1 204-947-9344

Email: [email protected]

Operating HoursOpen 24 hours
AdmissionFree

Situated in the heart of Winnipeg, Upper Fort Garry is a tangible link to the city’s lively history, particularly its pivotal role as a hub for the fur trade in the 19th century. 

Since its establishment in 1835, Upper Fort Garry has been a focal point for economic and cultural exchanges, serving as the administrative and trade center for the Hudson’s Bay Company.

This site’s authentic representation of Winnipeg’s early days makes it famous. The remaining resilient gatehouse serves as a portal to an era when fur traders, Indigenous communities, and settlers converged at this strategic location.

Guests at the Upper Fort Garry can explore the reconstructed gatehouse, immersing themselves in exhibits that vividly tell the fort’s multifaceted history. 

The park, adorned with green spaces and art installations, provides a peaceful setting to reflect on the profound cultural and economic impact this site had on Winnipeg’s development. 

Engaging programs and guided tours further enrich the experience, allowing visitors to connect with the city’s heritage in a straightforward and meaningful way.

Pro Tip: 

Parking around Upper Fort Garry can be limited. Use nearby public parking lots and be prepared for a short walk to the site.

6. Esplanade Riel

LocationAddress: Esplanade Riel, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Google Maps: Esplanade Riel

Operating HoursOpen 24 hours
AdmissionFree

Spanning the Red River, Esplanade Riel serves as both a functional bridge and an architectural gem, connecting St. Boniface and downtown Winnipeg. 

Built in 2003, this cable-stayed bridge has become a standout landmark. It is appreciated for its unique design and panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.

Esplanade Riel’s fame lies in its practicality and aesthetic appeal. The bridge facilitates pedestrian and cyclist movement and provides an elevated vantage point for those looking to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Red River and the cityscape. 

And what adds to its allure is its distinctive design. It has featured several restaurants suspended from its structure. 

The iconic Salisbury House, which is one of the oldest restaurants in Winnipeg, was its first restaurant. It provided a dining experience with a backdrop of Winnipeg’s skyline.

Pro Tip: 

The Esplanade Riel offers stunning views of the city. Consider visiting during sunset for a picturesque experience, and be aware that it can get windy on the bridge.

7. Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Websitehttps://www.humanrights.ca/
LocationAddress: 85 Israel Asper Way, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0L5, Canada

Google Maps: Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Contact DetailsPhone: +1 877-877-6037

Email: [email protected]

Operating HoursSunday 10 AM–5 PM

Monday Closed

Tuesday 10 AM–5 PM

Wednesday 10 AM–5 PM

Thursday 10 AM–5 PM

Friday 10 AM–9 PM

Saturday 10 AM–5 PM

AdmissionAdult (18 to 64) : $18.00

Senior (65+) : $14.00

Youth (7 to 17) : $8.00

Note: Child (0 to 6), members, and indigenous people are free of charge

A beacon for human rights education, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg is a testament to the city’s commitment to fostering awareness and understanding. 

Opened in 2014, the museum’s striking architecture, designed by Antoine Predock, reflects the significance of the narratives it presents within its walls.

The museum is famous for promoting a greater global understanding of human rights issues. It features a range of exhibits covering various aspects of human rights, from historical events to contemporary challenges. 

The Israel Asper Tower of Hope is a prominent feature of the museum. It offers panoramic views of Winnipeg and symbolizes hope for a better future.

The museum’s facilities include theaters for multimedia presentations, educational programs, and guided tours. 

The exhibits cover a broad spectrum of human rights topics, making it an informative and impactful experience for visitors of all ages. 

Plus, the Garden of Contemplation outside the museum provides a peaceful space for reflection. Overall, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights stands as a vital institution, encouraging dialogue and understanding on crucial global issues.

Pro Tip: 

The museum can be emotionally intense. Allocate enough time to absorb the exhibits and take breaks as needed. 

Consider booking tickets online to skip the lines.

8. St. Boniface Cathedral Basilica

Websitehttps://www.cathedralestboniface.ca/
LocationAddress: 180 Av. de la Cathedrale, Winnipeg, MB R2H 0H7, Canada

Google Maps: St. Boniface Cathedral Basilica

Contact DetailsPhone: +1 204-233-7304

Email: [email protected]

Operating HoursSunday Closed

Monday 8:30 AM–12 PM, 1–4:30 PM

Tuesday 8:30 AM–12 PM, 1–4:30 PM

Wednesday 8:30 AM–12 PM, 1–4:30 PM

Thursday 8:30 AM–12 PM, 1–4:30 PM

Friday 8:30 AM–12 PM, 1–4:30 PM

Saturday Closed

AdmissionFree

The St. Boniface Cathedral Basilica is a symbol of French Canadian heritage in Winnipeg. Originally constructed in 1818, it served as a spiritual and cultural focal point for the Francophone community. 

The cathedral is famous for its historical significance, representing the enduring spirit of the French Canadian community in Winnipeg. Its striking architecture, combining elements of Romanesque and Gothic styles, makes it a notable landmark in the city.

Visitors of the St. Boniface Cathedral can explore the reconstructed church and its grounds. The cemetery surrounding the cathedral holds historical graves, adding to the site’s cultural importance. 

Plus, the adjacent St. Boniface Museum provides further insights into the area’s French heritage, featuring exhibits on early settlers and the cathedral’s history. 

The cathedral remains an active place of worship, and its peaceful surroundings make it a place for both spiritual reflection and appreciation of Winnipeg’s cultural tapestry.

Pro Tip: 

St. Boniface Cathedral Basilica is a peaceful site. Check for any scheduled events or services before planning your visit to ensure a quiet experience.

9. Exchange District

Websitehttps://www.exchangedistrict.org/
LocationAddress: 492 Main Street, Winnipeg, MB R3B 1B7, Canada

Google Maps: Exchange District

Contact DetailsPhone: +1 204-942-6716

Email: [email protected]

Operating HoursOpen 24 hours
AdmissionFree

Winnipeg’s Exchange District, designated as a National Historic Site, stands as a living testament to the city’s economic prosperity and cultural vitality during the early 20th century. 

Once the bustling financial hub of Western Canada, this district boasts an array of well-preserved red-brick buildings, cobblestone streets, and architectural gems narrating Winnipeg’s past story.

The Exchange District is famous for its historical significance, reflecting an era when Winnipeg was a crucial player in the country’s economic landscape. 

The enduring charm of its heritage buildings attracts locals and tourists alike, offering a glimpse into the city’s dynamic history.

Exploring the district, one can wander through streets lined with diverse businesses housed in these heritage structures, from boutique shops to trendy restaurants. 

The Manitoba Museum, centrally located, provides an immersive experience, delving into the province’s rich history. Additionally, the Exchange District hosts a variety of cultural events throughout the year, contributing to the area’s lively atmosphere. 

With its unique blend of historical allure and contemporary attractions, the Exchange District remains a captivating destination, inviting visitors to step back in time while enjoying the modern amenities it now offers.

Pro Tip: 

The Exchange District has limited parking, especially during events. Use public transportation or park in nearby lots, and explore the area on foot to fully appreciate the historic architecture.

10. Kildonan Park

Websitehttps://www.friendsofkildonanpark.ca
LocationAddress: 2015 Main St, Winnipeg, MB R2V 2B9, Canada

Google Maps: Kildonan Park

Contact DetailsPhone: +1 877-311-4974

Email: [email protected]

Operating HoursOpen 24 hours
AdmissionFree

Nestled along the banks of the Red River, Kildonan Park in Winnipeg stands out as both a recreational retreat and a place of historical resonance. 

Dating back to the early 20th century, the park’s appeal lies in its vast green spaces and walking trails and the cultural and architectural layers added by the Peguis Pavilion and the historic Kildonan Settlers Bridge.

The Peguis Pavilion, named after the Indigenous leader Peguis, serves as a focal point within the park, offering a community space and hosting various events. 

Nearby, the Kildonan Settlers Bridge, a historic truss bridge, provides a picturesque pathway and connects the park to the East Kildonan neighborhood, offering visitors a charming perspective of the Red River.

Exploring Kildonan Park reveals more than just natural beauty. The Historic Pavilion, aside from its scenic surroundings, houses art studios and a gallery, adding an artistic touch to the park’s recreational offerings. 

Families and individuals can enjoy a range of activities, from picnics in designated areas to cooling off in the Kildonan Park Pool during the summer months. 

With its blend of historical elements and recreational amenities, Kildonan Park is a multifaceted destination for both leisure and cultural exploration in Winnipeg.

Pro Tip: 

Kildonan Park is a great place for a leisurely stroll. Check for any scheduled events or festivals that might impact parking availability and plan accordingly.

11. Union Station

Websitehttps://www.viarail.ca/en/explore-our-destinations/stations/prairies-and-northern-manitoba/winnipeg#coordonnees
LocationAddress: 123 Main Street, #146 Winnipeg, MB, R3C 1A3, Canada

Google Maps: Union Station

Contact DetailsPhone: +1 (888) 842-7245
Operating HoursStation:

Sunday 6AM–12AM

Monday 6AM–10PM

Tuesday 6 AM–5 PM

Wednesday 6AM–12AM

Thursday 6AM–10PM

Friday 6 AM–5 PM

Saturday 6 AM–5 PM

Ticket Counter:

Sunday 10AM–1PM, 5–11:30 PM

Monday 5PM–9:30PM

Tuesday 10AM–1 PM

Wednesday 5PM–11:30PM

Thursday 5PM–9:30PM

Friday Closed

Saturday Closed

Union Station, a magnificent railway terminal in Winnipeg, is a testament to the city’s strategic role in Canada’s transportation history.

Since its opening in 1911, Union Station has served as a vital hub for passenger and freight trains, playing a crucial role in connecting Winnipeg to the broader Canadian rail network.

Famous for its architectural grandeur, the station’s Beaux-Arts design captures the essence of a bygone era, showcasing intricate details and stately columns.

Today, Union Station continues to captivate visitors as a functional passenger train terminal, ensuring its historical legacy lives on in the daily operations of the rail network.

Exploring Union Station allows visitors to immerse themselves in its historic ambiance. The Grand Hall, adorned with domes and murals, preserves the station’s timeless charm.

In addition to its architectural significance, Union Station remains a dynamic space, hosting various events and exhibitions.

The Winnipeg Railway Museum, housed within the station, provides an opportunity to delve into the city’s railway heritage through a collection of vintage locomotives and artifacts.

Whether catching a train or exploring its historical and cultural offerings, Union Station remains a vibrant and integral part of Winnipeg’s identity.

Pro Tip: 

Union Station is a transportation hub. Consider using public transit to reach the station, and explore the surrounding area, including The Forks, by foot.

12. Manitoba Museum

Websitehttps://www.manitobamuseum.ca/
LocationAddress: 190 Rupert Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3B 0N2, Canada

Google Maps: Manitoba Museum

Contact DetailsPhone: +1 204-956-2830

Email: [email protected]

Operating HoursSunday 10 AM–4 PM

Monday Closed

Tuesday 10 AM–4 PM

Wednesday 10 AM–4 PM

Thursday 10 AM–4 PM

Friday 10 AM–4 PM

Saturday 10 AM–4 PM

AdmissionAdult (18 to 64) : $23.00

Senior (65+) : $20.00

Youth (7 to 17) : $15.00

Note: Child (0 to 6), members, and indigenous people are free of charge

Within the Manitoba Museum’s expansive halls, visitors are immersed in a journey through the province’s natural and cultural history.

Established in 1970, this institution serves as a dynamic repository, offering exhibits that span the ages, from the prehistoric origins of the land to the innovative present. 

The museum’s significance lies in its dedication to providing a nuanced understanding of Manitoba’s evolution.

Famous for its diverse exhibits, the Manitoba Museum captures the imagination of visitors by delving into the geological formations, biodiversity, and cultural tapestry that define the province. 

Notable among its displays is the Nonsuch, a meticulously reconstructed 17th-century ship, and the Urban Gallery, which vividly illustrates the development of Winnipeg as an urban center.

Engaging beyond its exhibits, the museum provides a range of facilities and amenities to enhance the visitor experience. The Planetarium, nestled within the museum, offers celestial insights, while the Science Gallery invites hands-on exploration. 

Educational programs and guided tours further enrich the visit, making the Manitoba Museum a multifaceted destination for those eager to unravel the layers of Manitoba’s past and present.

Pro Tip: 

The Manitoba Museum has rotating exhibits. Check the museum’s schedule for special events or temporary exhibits to make the most of your visit.