Travel Guide North America Canada Manitoba Winnipeg

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Introduction

Winnipeg is Manitoba's capital and largest city, and stands midway on the Trans-Canada Highway and railway. With 700,000 inhabitants, The Peg dominates the Canadian Prairies and is as diverse as the whole of Canada. Winnipeg is a "gateway to the West", and can be visited for its architecture, museums, and its broad retail market. Among major attractions are the Canadian Royal Mint, St Boniface Cathedral, and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

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Neighbourhoods

  • Corydon Avenue (Little Italy) -Corydon Avenue and its surrounding neighbourhood are one of the city’s hot spots for shopping, dining or an afternoon of people-watching at one of the many sidewalk cafes and restaurants dotting the avenue. Corydon Avenue comes alive during warm summer evenings as crowds of people gather to meet, greet and to have some of the best food, gelati and sushi in the city.
  • Downtown - Downtown Winnipeg is centred around Portage & Main. Portage Ave is the city's busiest thoroughfare. Winnipeg Square, Bell MTS Place, Portage Place and the flagship store of The Bay are on the downtown section of this street. On Main St are Winnipeg's City Hall, Union Station, the Manitoba Museum, the Planetarium, the Centennial Concert Hall and the Winnipeg Railway Museum.
  • Exchange District - The Exchange District is a National Historic Site in the downtown area of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Exchange District today thrives as one of Winnipeg's commercial and cultural centers. Winnipeg's theatre district is also in the Exchange District, home to the Manitoba Theatre Centre and Centennial Concert Hall. Old Market Square is also in the Exchange which hosts the Jazz Winnipeg Festival and the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival.
  • The Forks - The Forks is a historic site and meeting place in downtown Winnipeg at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, and has played an important role in the city's development. The Forks Market contains many specialty food shops, fresh fruit and vegetables, and many ethnic shops and restaurants. There are often buskers in and around the Forks. Attractions include the Manitoba Theatre for Young People, the International Children's Festival, one of the largest skateparks in Canada, the world's longest skating rink (winter only), a well-maintained expanse of riverside park, and the recently opened Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
  • Osborne Village - Osborne Village has evolved into a neighborhood filled with character. It is Winnipeg's most densely populated neighbourhood and is home to one of Winnipeg's most vibrant collection of stores and restaurants with over 175 businesses calling Osborne Village home.
  • St. Boniface - Covering the southeast part of the city, it is home to the Franco-Manitoban community. It features such landmarks as the Cathédrale de Saint Boniface (St. Boniface Cathedral), boul Provencher, the Provencher Bridge, Esplanade Riel, St. Boniface Hospital and the Université de Saint-Boniface. Every February Le Festival du Voyageur takes place outdoors at Parc Whittier Park and Fort Gibraltar.
  • West End - A mostly residential area west of Downtown comprised of many small and unique neighbourhoods. The area is very ethnically diverse as is evidenced by the Portuguese, Greek, Vietnamese, Chinese, East Indian and Thai restaurants that line both Ellice Ave and Sargent Ave, making it is one of the best areas for real ethnic food. The West End Cultural Centre is a major music venue that is worth a visit. The West End varies widely in wealth, and contains some of the most affluent neighbourhoods, and some of the poorest in the city. Major revitalisation and urban beautification projects have happened in recent decades.

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Sights and Activities

  • Airforce Heritage Museum and Air Park, 186 Sharp Blvd (Along Air Force Way (Sharp Blvd), north of Ness Ave, to the south of Winnipeg airport (CYWG)), ☎ +1 204-833-2500 ext 4180. Air park uncontrolled, museum by appointment only. Enjoy the largest air park in Canada, where many historic aircraft are mounted throughout a grassy park, many dramatically in action poses. The nearby museum, inside nearby Canadian Forces buildings, contains many outstanding exhibits of national significance. Free.
  • Canadian Museum for Human Rights (Musée canadien pour les droits de la personne), 85 Israel Asper Way (At the Forks in Downtown Winnipeg), ☎ +1 204-289-2000, toll-free: +1-877-877-6037, e-mail: info@humanrights.ca. Hours vary by day and season - refer to website. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) is the first museum solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. Their aim is to engage Canadians and our international visitors in an immersive, interactive experience that offers the inspiration and tools to make a difference in the lives of others. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the first national museum to be built in nearly half a century, and the first outside the National Capital Region. Age: Under 7 - $0; 7 to 17 - $8; Adults $15; Seniors (65+) $12); Students $12; Family $42.
  • The Royal Canadian Mint, 520 Lagimodiere Blvd (at the junction of Highways 1 and 59), ☎ +1 204-983-6429, toll-free: +1-866-822-6724. The Royal Canadian Mint’s facility in Winnipeg, designed by local architect Etienne Gaboury, produces billions of coins each year. This is where all Canadian circulation coins are made, as well as those for 60+ governments all around the world. A fascinating guided tour includes the viewing of a 5-minute video in the theatre area followed by a 40-minute walking tour overlooking the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility where the precise art, craft, and science of coin-making is revealed. Open year-round, the on-site Boutique offers beautiful collector coins, an exclusive line of Royal Canadian Mint clothing, and an exciting collection of souvenirs and gift ideas. The adjacent interactive coin museum involves the visitor in unique learning activities including the ability to make your own souvenir coin and the opportunity to lift and hold a 99.99% pure gold bar worth over $200,000.
  • Manitoba Legislative Building, 450 Broadway, ☎ +1 204-945-5813. Visit Manitoba’s beloved Golden Boy, who is perched atop the Provincial Legislative building. The Golden Boy, a magnificently gilded 5.25 m (17.2 ft) figure sculpted by Charles Gardet of Paris and cast in 1918 at the Barbidienne foundry in France, is probably Manitoba's best-known symbol. Embodying the spirit of enterprise and eternal youth, he is poised atop the dome of the building. He faces the north, with its mineral resources, fish, forest, furs, hydroelectric power and seaport, where his province's future lies. The foundry was partially destroyed by bombs during the First World War, but the Golden Boy emerged unharmed. Go inside the building to see the exquisite grand staircase and rotunda. Guided tours available.

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Weather

Winnipeg has a humid continental climate with extremes of hot and cold. The longest day of the year lasts for over 16 hours, and the shortest day of the year lasts for 8 hours.

Winnipeg is ranked as Canada's second sunniest city year-round and second for clearest skies year-round. Summers are typically warm and often humid, particularly in July, with frequent nighttime thunderstorms. On average, Winnipeg has 45 days a year where the humidex (combined effect of heat and humidity) reaches above 30 °C. Winnipeg is also known for its high mosquito population, particularly during early summer. Dusk and dawn are the most active time for mosquitoes. Late August and September tend to provide the most pleasant environment for summer visitors.

Spring and fall tend to be rather contracted seasons, each averaging a little over six weeks. In general, the weather during these seasons is highly variable and rapidly changing. It is typical for the day to start off quite cold in the morning, but heat up considerably in the afternoon. It can be difficult to judge how to dress during this time, so layers are the best option.

Winnipeg has the coldest winter temperatures of any city in North America with a population of over 100,000. Winters in Winnipeg are usually dry, and can feel colder due to the often windy conditions. The winters are long and overnight minima average below -15 °C with rare extremes going down to near -40 °C, though there is still much to enjoy during these months. Be sure to pay attention to the windchill (combined effect of cold and wind) which can drop below -40 °C/F (exposed skin freezes in less than 10 minutes). Snow cover can be expected from mid-November to late March. The city turns on what is arguably Canada's best display of Christmas lights from late November until well into January.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max-12.7 °C-8.5 °C-1.1 °C10.3 °C19.2 °C23.3 °C25.8 °C25 °C18.6 °C10.8 °C-0.9 °C-9.7 °C
Avg Min-22.8 °C-18.7 °C-11 °C-2.4 °C4.8 °C10.7 °C13.3 °C11.9 °C6 °C-0.3 °C-9.6 °C-19.1 °C
Rainfall19.7 mm14.9 mm21.5 mm31.9 mm58.8 mm89.5 mm70.6 mm75.1 mm52.3 mm36 mm25 mm18.5 mm
Rain Days11.88.397.310.612.811.410.411.19.49.911.6

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Getting There

By Plane

Winnipeg International Airport (YWG) is where you will depart or arrive by plane to the city. There are quite a few airlines serving other Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver, for example with Air Canada and Air Transat. Destinations to the US include Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Las Vegas and Chicago. There are also flights to popular destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean like Mazatlan, Cancun, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Light aircraft serve a number of destinations throughout Manitoba and neighbouring provinces and mostly go to the tiny towns in the north. A popular flight within Manitoba is to Churchill.

Public transport is offered by Winnipeg Transit's Route 15 & Route 20 buses which run every 10 to 25 minutes between about 6AM to 1AM weekdays (Saturdays, Sundays and holidays have their own schedule) and will take you downtown in about 30 minutes.

By Train

The Canadian is operated by ViaRail and travels from Vancouver to Toronto stopping in Winnipeg en route.
The Hudson Bay train is also operated by ViaRail and travels north from Winnipeg all the way to Churchill.

By Car

Winnipeg is on the Trans-Canada Highway.

From the south, take U.S. Interstate 29, which then becomes Provincial Highway 75, and Pembina Hwy once inside Winnipeg's city limits. Winnipeg is 1 hour from the Canada–U.S. border and 2 hr 30 min from Grand Forks, North Dakota.
From the west, the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) leads directly to Winnipeg from Regina. Winnipeg is 3 hr 20 min from the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border.
From the east, Ontario Highway 17 becomes Highway 1 at the Manitoba border (at which time it becomes a 4-lane divided highway). The journey from the Ontario border to Winnipeg's outside "Perimeter Highway" is about 1 hr 30 min and about another 30–45 min to downtown, depending on traffic.

Approximate driving times from nearby cities to Winnipeg are about 8 hours from Saskatoon, 6 hours from Regina, 2.75 hours from Kenora, 8 hours from Thunder Bay, 3.5 hours from Fargo, 6 hours from Bismarck and 7 hours from Sioux Falls or Minneapolis. It is 14 hours from Edmonton, Calgary or Chicago.

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Getting Around

Winnipeg is a large, spread-out city and it can take a while to get around. Unlike most North American cities this size, there is no urban freeway network in the city. Public transportation service is adequate to good in the inner part of the city and on main suburban roads, but only fair to poor in outer suburban areas and some bus routes run only infrequently during the evening or on weekends. Traffic jams, particularly in the downtown area, are common during the rush hour periods which are generally from 7:30–9AM and 3:30–5:30PM Monday to Friday. Much of Winnipeg's downtown real estate is devoted to parking, with ubiquitous and cheap surface lots continuing for multi-block stretches. It is worth considering renting a car, especially if any excursions outside of the city are planned.

By Car

Some of the options to rent a car include the following companies:

By Foot

Winnipeg is generally not a walking-centric city. Because municipal law mandates that all new buildings must contain a lot of parking between the sidewalk and the building, pedestrians will be confronted with a morass of cars in all directions. Winnipeg's main arteries all have boulevards and are extremely wide by world standards, with Main St having ten lanes where it meets Portage Ave downtown. However, this pedestrian-unfriendliness is primarily perceived rather than real. Virtually all streets contain sidewalks on both sides running for the street's entire length and stoplight crossings are frequent even on highways.

Walking across Portage & Main is prohibited and physically impeded by concrete barricades. Pedestrians must cross this famous intersection through an underground concourse, which has a variety of entry points in or near the office towers on all four corners.

By Bike

Bicycles are allowed on all Winnipeg roads, though drivers encountered may feel differently. The City of Winnipeg provides a cycling map which is available online or at one of many bicycle shops. Some roads have bicycle lanes (shared with buses) and sharrows. Suggested cycling routes are marked by road signs, but may venture into residential areas with many stop signs. Riding on sidewalks is illegal, but this law is rarely enforced. The most problematic areas are typically bridges where no bicycle infrastructure exists, such as the Midtown Bridge and the Louise Bridge. Cyclists may be better off walking their bikes on the sidewalk on these bridges during rush hours. Bicycle theft is common throughout all areas of the city. Seats and wheels should be secured with a sturdy lock.

Some dedicated active transportation paths exist. Many of these will follow along Winnipeg's rivers, making for a very scenic, but meandering, ride. Spring flooding may affect the conditions on routes near the rivers. The Forks makes an excellent starting/stopping point for scenic bike rides—many paths begin and end there, and there are many restaurants and patios to relax in before and after rides.

Many of the paths beside the river will also include "monkey trails"—unofficial trails that offer some challenge to mountain bikers. Due to frequent flooding and erosion, these may include muddy sections, fallen trees, and steep drop-offs into the river.

In the winter, snow and ice on roads can make cycling treacherous. Major routes, especially downtown, will be cleared quickly and will have sand applied, which will help with safety but also make for a messy ride. These conditions will generally last from December to March. Bike paths and lanes may take much longer to be cleared, if they are cleared at all. The right-hand lane is often the iciest, and frostbite is a reality for the poorly equipped rider.

In springtime (March and April), melting snow can create very large puddles and potholes and render off-road trails unusable.

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Eat

Winnipeg residents love food. There is an amazing array of restaurants catering to every taste and budget. Tipping is customary in Winnipeg and is not included in the price of the food. Some restaurants may automatically add a gratuity charge for large groups. Tips typically range from 10–20%.

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Drink

The sale of alcohol is regulated by the Government of Manitoba through the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission (MLCC, or the "LC"). All alcohol is sold through the MLCC's Liquor Marts. Beer and wine can be sold through beer vendors or wine markets. Any establishment selling alcohol must be licensed and follow MLCC rules, such as minimum drink prices and last call at 2AM.

The legal drinking age in Manitoba is 18. Alcohol can only be consumed in residences or licensed establishments, not in public. The legal blood alcohol contact (BAC) limit for driving is 0.05. Taxis are common at popular night spots. Buses run infrequently at night and stop running before 2AM.

Winnipeg is home to three local breweries:

  • Fort Garry Brewing. Manitoba's oldest microbrewery est. 1930. Tours available.
  • Half Pints Brewing. Free brewing tours on Saturdays.
  • Farmery Estate Brewery. Brewed in Ontario. All ingredients are locally grown, the only estate brewery in North America.

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Sleep

  • Backpackers Winnipeg Guest House International, 168 Maryland St (in Wolseley), ☎ +1 204-772-1272, toll-free: +1-800-743-4423, fax: +1 204-772-4117, e-mail: backpackerswpg@hotmail.com. A restored Victorian home, Guest House offers affordable, quality tourist accommodation with private and semi-private rooms, kitchen facilities, laundry, air conditioning, games room, TV, videos, BBQ, Internet Access, Free Wi-Fi, close to restaurants, grocery, pubs, and tourist information. $30+.
  • UWinnipeg Downtown Hostel, 370 Langside St, ☎ +1 204-786-9139, e-mail: hostel@uwinnipeg.ca. This hostel operates out of the McFeetors Hall Student Residence at the University of Winnipeg's Furby-Langside Campus. Availability depends on how many students are occupying the residence hall at any given time. The hall is generally almost entirely open to travellers during the summer season; availability during the regular school year can be fairly limited or nonexistent. $65+.
  • The Columns Bed & Breakfast, 5 East Gate (in Wolseley), ☎ +1 204-510-4803, toll-free: +1-877-772-1626, fax: +1 204-237-4309. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. The Columns is a heritage mansion, built in 1906 on treed river side property on East Gate. At the base of the garden, there is a bicycle/walking path that leads to the popular Forks area in downtown Winnipeg. The house has been renovated and restored by the current owners. $125+.
  • Norwood Hotel, 112 Marion St (in St. Boniface), ☎ +1 204-233-4475. The Norwood Hotel in Winnipeg has been providing guests with excellent hospitality since the late 1800s. Hospitality is a family tradition, and the Sparrow family has owned and operated the Norwood Hotel since 1937, the oldest family-operated hotel in Manitoba. $115+.
  • West Gate Manor Bed & Breakfast, 71 West Gate (in Wolseley), ☎ +1 204-772-9788. Enjoy the beauty of the country life in the heart of the city. $75+.
  • Hansen Inn, 150 Sherbrook Street, ☎ +1 204 960-6516, e-mail: 1017691797@qq.com. Five rooms, from a single bed plus child bed to a two-room suite, some with shared bath. Free wifi in all areas, and laundry available. $65-90.
  • Fort Garry Hotel, 222 Broadway Ave (downtown), ☎ +1 204-942-8251, toll-free: +1-800-665-8088, fax: +1 204-956-2351, e-mail: ftgarry@fortgarryhotel.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. A former Grand Trunk Pacific Railway hotel, the Fort Garry was completed in 1913, and bears similarities to New York's Plaza Hotel. Oozes character and charm. Downtown, near Union Station. 246 rooms. Also experience their famous Sunday brunch featuring a dessert bar with a chocolate fountain. $195+.
  • Inn at the Forks, 75 Forks Market Rd (at The Forks), toll-free: +1-877-377-4100. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Features modern style and commitment to service in a spectacular natural setting offering many amenities, including a convenient shuttle service to downtown. Guests may choose from 117 guest rooms and suite, each designed with contemporary lodging elegance. Rooms are smoke-free and furnished with the utmost attention to detail. $189+.
  • Mariaggi's Theme Suite Hotel, 231 McDermot Ave (in the Exchange District), ☎ +1 204-947-9447, e-mail: info@mariaggi.com. Luxury romantic suites for couples, featuring jacuzzi hut tubs, steam rooms, large screen TVs and more, with 8 different country-based themes. $185+.
  • Place Louis Riel Suite Hotel, 190 Smith St (downtown), ☎ +1 204-947-6961. Suites are available in studio, one or two bedroom layouts. Each has a complete kitchen and living space. Daily and extended stay rates are available. Centrally located. $165+.

View our map of accommodation in Winnipeg or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet usage is wide-spread in Canada. Wi-fi is available in many locations in larger cities, sometimes free and sometimes at a cost. You will find Wi-Fi in coffee stores, some restaurants and also hotels and motels more and more offer this service for free, but with a code usually. Internet cafes are common along major streets, and and in larger cities, charge between $3 and $4 for an hour, usually in 20-minute increments.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Canada is: 1. To make an international call from Canada, the code is: 011. Emergency services can be reached by dialling 911. This number will give you free access to Police, Fire and Ambulance services and can be used from landlines, phone booths and cell phones.

The populous areas of Canada along the border with the USA have excellent cellular and wired telecommunications, meaning that travellers are never fair from an international phone call home, a WIFI connection or an internet cafe. Depending on the mobile phone provider, coverage could be either CDMA and GSM coverage. Travellers wishing to purchase SIM cards for GSM phones should look for Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility, which all offer nationwide availability.

Post

Postal service is provided by Canada Post, a crown corporation owned by the government but run as an independent business. Most post offices keep hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm though in bigger places longer hourse might be available.

To format the envelope of a letter sent within Canada, put the destination address on the centre of its envelope, with a stamp, postal indicia, meter label, or frank mark on the top-right corner of the envelope to acknowledge payment of postage. A return address, although it is not required, can be put on the top-left corner of the envelope in smaller type than the destination address.

The lettermail service allows the mailing of a letter. The basic rate is currently set at $0.63 for one standard letter (30 grams or less). The rates for lettermail are based or weight and size and determine whether the article falls into the aforementioned standard format, or in the oversize one. The rate is the same for a postcard. Mail sent internationally is known as letterpost. It can only contain paper documents. The rate for a standard letter is of $1.10 if sent to the United States, and $1.85 if sent to any other destination. Oversize or overweight letters may be charged a higher fee. Larger parcels can be shipped via Canada post both domestically and internationally, the rate is dependent on the weight and destination. [1]

Federal Express, TNT, UPS or DHL also provide interntional shipping from Canada and are usually very quick and reliable though might cost a little more compared to Canada Post.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 49.895452
  • Longitude: -97.138273

Accommodation in Winnipeg

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Winnipeg searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Winnipeg and areas nearby.

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This is version 21. Last edited at 15:34 on Feb 4, 19 by Utrecht. 25 articles link to this page.

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