With so much history, almost every street tells its own unique story of Winnipeg, Manitoba. You can see what the area was like in the 1700s or look to the future at the many science centres and observatories. Take in the natural sites of the city’s parks and green spaces, or enjoy Manitoba’s exciting nightlife. Whether you’re seeking a fun, family getaway, a romantic retreat or just some time away, Winnipeg has just what you need.
History of Winnipeg, Manitoba
From the Cree word meaning “muddy waters”, the area now known as Winnipeg is located at a crossroads of canoe routes (The Assiniboine and Red Rivers) known as The Forks. The area was a main trade route, but even before the arrival of the Europeans, it was used by the native people as a place to camp, hunt, make tools and fish.
The first Europeans didn’t arrive here until 1738 when French officer Sieur de la Verendrye built the first fur trading post called Fort Rouge. Eventually, Lord Selkirk built the first settlement here (Red River Colony) followed by the North-West Company’s Fort Gibraltar and the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Fort Douglas. As you can imagine, the competition was fierce for many years.
Over time, Fort Gibraltar was renamed Fort Gary. It would be destroyed by floods and suffer greatly during the Red River Rebellion before the railroad arrived bringing with it American and Canadian settlers. Today, the city is Manitoba’s largest with a population of more than 600K people.
As you drive through the city, you’ll find that much of the city’s history is still shared with visitors today including that of the Metis people, the fur trade and the impact of world events such as the Panama Canal and World War I. Each of these stories changed the Canadian way of life forever and made it into what it is today.
Interesting Facts About Winnipeg
- Winnipeg consumes more Slurpees per capita than any other Canadian city.
- The opening of the Panama Canal might have been half a world away, but it had devastating effects on the Canadian landscape. What was once transported by train and red river cart could now go through Vancouver. It almost destroyed the trade and transportation industry in Winnipeg and the routes that led into it.
- Sparked by an influx of soldiers returning home, poor labour conditions and workers unions, the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 forced the RCMP to read the Riot Act. However, it also led to the formation of the New Democratic Party.
- The City of Winnipeg Act combined Winnipeg with eleven other cities including Transcona, St. Boniface, St. Vital, Kildonan, Tuxedo, Fort Garry, Charleswood and St. James.
- Winnipeg is home to 26 National Historic Sites of Canada
Photo Credit : nSeika
Arts & Culture
- The Manitoba Museum
- Royal Winnipeg Ballet
- Winnipeg Art Gallery
- Manitoba Theatre Centre
- Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
- Celebrations Dinner Theatre
- Festival du Voyageur
- Winnipeg Folk Festival
- Winter Wonderland
- Aboriginal Day Live & Festival
- Festival of Fools
- Lower Fort Gary Historic Site
- The Forks National Historic Site
- Manitoba Legislative Building
- Fort Gibraltar
- Sir Hugh John Macdonald House Dalnavert
- Basilique-Cathedrale de Saint Boniface
- Fort Whyte Alive
- Assiniboine park
- Kildonan Park
- Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre
- Western Canada Aviation Museum
- Royal Canadian Mint
- Adrenaline Adventures
- Rail Travel Tours
Restaurants & Bars
- Orlando’s Seafood Grill
- Stella’s Cafe and Bakery
- Amici Restaurant and Bombolini Wine Bar
- Muddy Waters Smokehouse BBQ and Blues
- And our top three places to eat in Winnipeg.