Exploring the Peg

I am fully aware that I have never wintered in Manitoba and therefore my opinion may not count, but I think Winnipeg is one of Canada’s best cities.  I loved it when I drove through four years ago, and I love it all over again now.  Winnipeg is a surprising city, exhibiting a strong multicultural presence, and full of great food and gorgeous streets.

Winnipeg boomed as western Canada’s largest metropolitan centre in the early 1900’s, when Canada was expanding westward.  This resulted in a collection of early skyscrapers, most of which still exist today, and a warehouse district that is now home to the trendy and chic ‘Exchange District’, where we spent a lot of our feasting time.  The city’s architecture exhibits a pleasing mix of old and new—it’s absolutely picturesque.

We enjoyed a few beers brewed up by Half Pints, a Winnipeg micro-brew institution. The brewmaster, David Rudge, is actually formerly of Bushwakker Brew Pub in Regina.

There seems to be character hidden around every corner in Winnipeg.  We had the pleasure of eating authentic French food at North America’s only restaurant located on a bridge, Chez Sophie sur le Pont. 

Also featured at the end of the bridge was the construction site for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, another impressive architectural feature of the Winnipeg landscape, set to open in 2014; it’s sure to be an important venue for learning about some of our history’s darker aspects.  

We also went to visit the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s (WAG) ‘100 Masters: Only in Canada’ exhibit.  The exhibit was curated to commemorate the WAG’s 100th year, and celebrate the gallery’s and Canada’s diverse art holdings. 

The exhibit featured 100 works from 28 different museums across Canada (and 2 from the states), displaying 50 art pieces from Canada and 50 from the US and Europe from the last 500 years.  It beautifully contrasted and compared the art that was being made in our country with the art that was being made elsewhere during the same time periods.  

This was one of my favourite pieces, called “Native Fires” by Wanda Koop.  It’s a wall-sized piece meant to be a commentary on the contrasting historical uses of the rivers running through Winnipeg.  The orange fire represent the First Nations’ way of life, and the parliament buildings in the background represent the more contemporary uses of the land.

We enjoyed biking through the diverse neighbourhoods, eating some really good food, and taking in the eclectic and picturesque sights of this lively prairie city.  We hope you enjoy discovering Winnipeg with us in the next few posts.  

We’re big fans.