Things to do while in Winnipeg
Winnipeg is the capital of the Province of Manitoba, in central Canada and is home to close to 800,000 people.
Things to do in Winnipeg (some ideas):
- Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the only Canadian national museum outside of the Ottawa region, has the aim to “explore the subject of human rights with a special but not exclusive reference to Canada, to enhance the public’s understanding of human rights, to promote respect for others and to encourage reflection and dialogue.”
- The Forks is located at the junction of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers. Has shops with a variety of touristy stuff, food and beverage vendors.
- The Winnipeg Art Gallery is home in particular to Qaumajuq.
- Old Saint Boniface, the main French-speaking area in Winnipeg. Saint Boniface is also home to the Université de Saint-Boniface, the oldest (1818) French-speaking university outside of Québec, as well as to an interesting cathedral, the grounds of which house the tomb of Louis Riel.
- The Exchange District is a National Historic Site of Canada comprising many historic buildings as well as Winnipeg’s theatre district.
- The Manitoba Museum, located within the Exchange District, is a human and natural history museum. It is home to the collection of the Hudson Bay Company and a replica of the Nonsuch.
- The recently opened The Leaf and the Assiniboine Park Zoo are both located within Assiniboine Park, a large urban park and forest.
- Look for murals: Winnipeg has hundreds of murals scattered throughout the city
Outside of Winnipeg, for those who would want to spend a bit more time in the area:
- Lake Winnipeg. Eleventh largest freshwater lake in the world, its southern end is about 50 kilometres north of Winnipeg. The part closest to Winnipeg usually thaws by mid-May.
- Whiteshell Provincial Park is a large park 120 kilometres east of Winnipeg, bordering the Province of Ontario. This is the area where the Canadian Prairies end and the Canadian Shield begins (in the southern part of Manitoba). Following the Trans-Canada Highway further into Ontario, one hits Kenora about 200 kilometres from Winnipeg, a pretty little town on Lake of the Woods.
- Narcisse snake den: peak activity pretty much coincides with the the conference (although this varies from year to year). None of the local organisers have ever visited; some past students and postdocs have and came back with mixed reviews. (The nature of the review probably depends on how they perceived that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark.) About 100 kilometres north of Winnipeg, in the Interlake Region bounded east by Lake Winnipeg and west by the “much smaller” Lakes Manitoba and Winnipegosis. If snakes are absent, there are a few interesting sites on the western shore of Lake Manitoba: Winnipeg Beach, Gimli and, further north, Hecla Island.
- For those with much more time on their hands, a Via Rail train ride from Winnipeg’s Union Station to Churchill, the so-called polar bear capital of the world, takes about 45 hours. This is not the best period to visit Churchill: nights are short so northern lights are hard to see, bears are out of town and Hudson’s Bay is still frozen so there are no belugas to be seen. However, this is supposed to be an interesting train ride.