Winnipeg's Most Unique Architecture Buildings

Winnipeg’s Most Unique Architecture Buildings

Growing up in Winnipeg, I’ve always been surrounded by its diverse architecture — a blend of heritage and contemporary design. In this article, we’ll explore the city’s standout structures.

These buildings aren’t just landmarks; they’re woven into the fabric of Winnipeg’s identity. From the historic Exchange District to modern marvels, each one tells a story of our city’s past, present, and innovative spirit. 

So, join me on a tour of these iconic establishments that shape our skyline and capture the essence of Winnipeg’s architectural heritage.

1. The Forks Market

Websitehttps://www.theforks.com/attractions/the-forks-market
LocationAddress: 1 Forks Market Rd, Winnipeg, MB R3C 4L8, Canada

Google Maps: The Forks Market

Contact DetailsPhone: +1 204-291-9197

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

The Forks Market, positioned at the convergence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, is a mixed-use space that marries historical elements with contemporary design.

Originally a horse stable, this building now houses a bustling marketplace with an array of shops and dining options. It hosts an eclectic mix of artisans, vendors, and local produce, offering a diverse array of food, crafts, and entertainment.

Architecturally, it’s a fusion of timber beams from its past life and modern glass additions.

The structure retains its rustic feel while incorporating sleek, transparent elements that create a vibrant atmosphere inside. This blend of old and new reflects Winnipeg’s journey through time.

Having transformed from its origins in the fur trade era, The Forks Market stands out for its adaptive reuse.

Unlike many other structures that adhere strictly to a specific architectural style, this building embodies a balance between historical preservation and modern functionality, setting it apart as a unique architectural gem in Winnipeg.

Pro Tip: 

Parking around The Forks Market can fill up quickly. Opt for nearby public parking or consider arriving during off-peak hours for easier access to this unique architectural gem.

2. 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 legislative heart of Manitoba stands as a testament to Neoclassical design. 

Its iconic domed roof, adorned with bronze bison sculptures, echoes the province’s heritage. Inside, the Grand Rotunda showcases intricate stonework and the Golden Boy, a symbol of progress.

The Manitoba Legislative Building serves as the seat of government for the province. Visitors can explore the ornate interiors featuring majestic halls and chambers. 

Ancient Greek and Roman styles inspired the architecture. It boasts columns, pediments, and symmetrical designs, exemplifying grandeur and classical elegance.

Constructed in the early 20th century, this building symbolizes Manitoba’s emergence as a province. Its architecture and embellishments celebrate local history and progress. 

What sets it apart is its deliberate incorporation of classical elements, creating a distinctive landmark that contrasts with the city’s more modern structures. 

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.

3. 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 is a majestic example of Beaux-Arts architecture, captivating visitors with its imposing columns and intricate details. Once a bustling railway terminal connecting the city, it now thrives as a vibrant cultural hub.

This historic structure, adorned with classical elements typical of the Beaux-Arts style, has evolved into a space for cultural events and community gatherings. 

The symmetrical façade, embellished with ornate sculptures and grand entrances, showcases the luxury of its era.

Built in the early 20th century, Union Station served as a vital transportation link. What distinguishes it from other buildings is its adaptive transition into a cultural venue while preserving its architectural splendor. 

Pro Tip: 

Union Station is a transportation hub. Consider using public transit to reach the station, and take a leisurely stroll around the exterior to capture the grandeur of this railway landmark.

4. 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

This national historic site is not a single building but a preserved area in Winnipeg, a treasure trove of diverse architectural styles. 

The Exchange District houses Victorian, Edwardian, and Chicago School buildings standing in harmony, showcasing intricate facades, ornamental details, and vibrant terracotta designs that narrate the city’s prosperous past.

The district is a collection of preserved buildings hosting a range of businesses, including boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and offices. 

You can expect a captivating stroll through cobblestone streets lined with buildings that reflect Winnipeg’s economic boom from the late 19th century to the early 20th century.

The architecture here is a testament to the city’s evolution, with buildings designed by renowned architects of their time. Each structure tells a story, preserving the essence of Winnipeg’s commercial and industrial past.

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.

5. Winnipeg Art Gallery

Websitehttps://www.wag.ca/
LocationAddress: 300 Memorial Blvd, Winnipeg, MB R3C 1R5, Canada

Google Maps: Winnipeg Art Gallery

Contact DetailsPhone: +1 204-786-6630

Email: [email protected]

Operating HoursSunday 11 AM–5 PM

Monday Closed

Tuesday 11 AM–5 PM

Wednesday 11 AM–5 PM

Thursday 11 AM–5 PM

Friday 11 AM–9 PM

Saturday 11 AM–5 PM

AdmissionAdult (18 to 64) : $18.00

Senior (65+) : $15.00

Note: Youth (17 and below), members, and indigenous people are free of charge

The Winnipeg Art Gallery is a stunning hub for diverse art forms, housing over 24,000 works from Canadian, Indigenous Canadian, and international artists. It’s a treasure trove where creativity thrives. 

The gallery’s standout feature is the Inuit art center, Canada’s largest, with a contemporary touch seen in its glass façade that beautifully reflects the northern lights.

Architecturally, the gallery boasts a modern, sleek design harmonizing with its surroundings. The Inuit art center’s glass exterior celebrates the cultural significance of its content, symbolizing transparency and inclusivity.

Established in 1912, the Winnipeg Art Gallery has evolved into a cultural cornerstone. Its distinction lies in its vast collection and housing the world’s most extensive assortment of Inuit art. 

This feature sets it apart, offering a unique focus on Indigenous artistry and cultural heritage, which stands out prominently among the city’s architectural landmarks.

Pro Tip: 

Consider arriving early or on weekdays to appreciate the building’s unique design elements without the crowds.

6. 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

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, a beacon of inclusivity, is designed to champion human rights. Its structure, resembling outstretched wings or hands, embodies this pursuit. 

The glass alabaster spire invites contemplation and reflection, emphasizing its mission to explore and promote understanding of human rights, with a special focus on Canada.

This museum, designed by Antoine Predock, encapsulates the architect’s vision for a space that symbolizes hope and human rights advocacy. 

The building’s architecture, a blend of glass and stone, allows natural light to permeate, creating an uplifting atmosphere within.

Built in 2008, this museum is distinct for its exclusive dedication to human rights issues. 

Its architectural design, coupled with its mission, sets it apart, making it a landmark that showcases innovative design and serves as a catalyst for societal reflection and progress.

Pro Tip: 

The museum’s architecture is breathtaking, especially during sunset. Plan your visit in the late afternoon to witness the play of light on the building’s distinctive structure.

7. 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, a blend of French Romanesque and Gothic Revival styles, pays homage to Winnipeg’s Francophone heritage through its twin spires and intricate stained glass. 

Sadly, in 1968, a fire ravaged the structure, but through restoration, it stands today as a resilient symbol of cultural and religious significance.

Architecturally, the basilica’s fusion of twin spires and detailed stained glass showcases a unique harmony between two distinct styles. Inside, the ornate details create a serene and respectful atmosphere for worshippers.

This basilica’s narrative of destruction and rebirth distinguishes it, portraying a story of endurance and revival. 

Its architectural blend and historical journey make it a poignant landmark, representing cultural heritage and perseverance within Winnipeg’s architectural tapestry.

Pro Tip: 

Parking near the cathedral can be limited. Consider nearby public parking or arrive early to secure a spot and take your time exploring this architectural gem.

8. Manitoba Hydro Place

Websitehttps://www.hydro.mb.ca/
LocationAddress: Manitoba Hydro Place, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0G8, Canada

Google Maps: Manitoba Hydro Place

Contact DetailsPhone: +1 204-480-5900, +1888-624-9376
Operating HoursSunday Closed

Monday 7:30 AM–6 PM

Tuesday 7:30 AM–6 PM

Wednesday 7:30 AM–6 PM

Thursday 7:30 AM–6 PM

Friday 7:30 AM–6 PM

Saturday 8 AM–4 PM

This LEED Platinum-certified building, Manitoba Hydro Place, displays sustainable architecture with its innovative features. A striking glass atrium and a distinctive solar chimney showcase the building’s energy efficiency and contemporary design.

Designed by KPMB Architects and Smith Carter Architects, this building was completed in 2009 as the headquarters of Manitoba Hydro. 

Its architecture is a blend of functionality and sustainability, incorporating advanced technologies to minimize energy consumption.

Manitoba Hydro Place is unique for its commitment to sustainability, evident in its design elements like the solar chimney that aids natural ventilation. It houses offices, promoting an eco-conscious workspace.

Pro Tip: 

The innovative design of Manitoba Hydro Place shines during daylight hours. Visit during weekdays to observe the building’s sustainable features and unique architecture up close.

9. The Fort Garry Hotel

Websitehttps://www.fortgarryhotel.com/
LocationAddress: 222 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0R3, Canada

Google Maps: The Fort Garry Hotel

Contact DetailsPhone: +1 204-942-8251

Email: [email protected]

Operating HoursOpen 24 hours

The Fort Garry Hotel showcases Châteauesque architecture, known for its turrets, steep roofs, and Gothic elements, reflecting Winnipeg’s opulent past.

Designed by architects Ross and Macfarlane, this hotel opened its doors in 1913, becoming a luxurious retreat for railway travelers. Its architectural charm lies in the intricate details, including limestone carvings and ornate interiors.

Today, The Fort Garry Hotel is a prominent hospitality venue, offering guests a blend of historic elegance and modern amenities. It features upscale accommodations, fine dining, and event spaces, inviting visitors to relish its historical ambiance.

Distinguished by its opulent design, this hotel sets itself apart as a symbol of luxury from Winnipeg’s past, preserving its historic allure while catering to contemporary tastes. 

Pro Tip: 

The historic charm of The Fort Garry Hotel is best experienced with a leisurely stroll in the surrounding area. Park nearby and take your time admiring this architectural masterpiece.

10. Esplanade Riel

LocationAddress: Esplanade Riel, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Google Maps: Esplanade Riel

Operating HoursOpen 24 hours
AdmissionFree

The Esplanade Riel is a pedestrian bridge with a single inclined tower and modern design, offering panoramic views of Winnipeg and the Red River.

The bridge opened in 2003, connecting downtown Winnipeg to St. Boniface. Its unique architectural feature, the inclined pylon, contributes to its distinct skyline presence.

Esplanade Riel serves as a vital pedestrian and cyclist link, offering a scenic path across the river.

It once housed the iconic Salisbury House restaurant, a beloved Winnipeg establishment, and one of the oldest restaurants in the city.

Different from other structures, this bridge serves both as a functional pathway and a cultural hotspot, making it a standout architectural and functional asset in Winnipeg’s landscape.

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.

11. 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

The Royal Canadian Mint is an iconic building that seamlessly blends functionality with architectural finesse. Its modernist design prioritizes security and precision, mirroring the intricate process of minting Canada’s currency.

Designed by architect Étienne Gaboury and opened in 1976, the mint serves as the production hub for all Canadian circulation coins and supplies coins to over 80 countries worldwide.

Beyond its architectural charm, the mint stands out for its vital role in producing coins both for Canada and globally. 

Its design emphasizes security measures and embodies a blend of functionality and precision, setting it apart as a significant contributor to Canada’s economy and global coinage supply. 

Pro Tip: 

The Royal Canadian Mint’s building stands out for its modern design. Schedule your visit during daytime hours to capture the architectural details and unique features of this facility.