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The Forks

Top 5 Art Finds

These Winnipeg boutiques are filled with art beyond the traditional paint brush and canvas. Take home one of these spectacular artful items, handmade with love.
A mash-up of 110 Canadian artisanal products fill the walls and display boxes at Tara Davis Studio Boutique. Find beautiful pieces from hand-embroidered maps from Sadie and June to Birch Street Studio’s laser cut jewellery.
• 246 McDermot Ave, 204‑504‑8272, taradavis.ca
On the fourth floor of an historic building, discover the dream studio of Mud and Stone. Watch the potters hand mould and paint one-of-a-kind decorative serving trays, flower pots and tableware.
• 290 McDermot Ave, mudandstonestudio.com
Find treasures crafted by First Peoples of North America at Teekca’s Aboriginal Boutique. Check out the stunning painted mural mug and coaster sets by Rabbit Studios (pictured).
• 1 Forks Market Rd, second floor, 204‑946‑0539
Shop WOW! Mabuhay outdoor and indoor home décor at the Johnston Terminal at The Forks. Unique products are imported from colourful wind chimes to stone sculptures.
• 25 Forks Market Rd, main floor, 204-947-9342
At Blue Hills Design, find paintings made by Canadian artists along with home décor. Check out the decorative painted wood boxes by British Columbia company Cedar Mountain Studios.
• 444 Academy Rd, 204‑487‑1151, bluehillsdesign.ca

Top 5 Arts & Food Pairings

Get dinner and a show by pairing a performance with a masterpiece meal at one of these local restaurants.

Housemade pastas at The Mitchell Block are the perfect prelude to curtain raising at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. Try tender agnolotti stuffed with sweet potato and sage bathed in brown butter.
• 173 McDermot Ave, 204-949-9032

The oldest continually running theatre company in Canada, Le Cercle Moliere delights with whimsical French language performances. Stop in at the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain before a show and dine on filling tourtiere covered in maple cream sauce at Stella’s bright, welcoming space.
• 340 Provencher Blvd, 204-447-8393

Make a pitstop at the Saddlery on Market, steps from the Centennial Concert Hall, before watching one of Winnipeg’s most venerated arts institutions perform. Roasted beet and goat cheese salad (pictured) will have feet tapping even before the Royal Winnipeg Ballet takes stage.
• 114 Market Ave, 204-615-1898

Magical adventures unfold on the Manitoba Theatre for Young People stage. Take advantage of the theatre’s location at The Forks and slurp up a plate of spaghetti bolognese at the Old Spaghetti Factory inside the Johnston Terminal.
• 25 Forks Market Rd, 204-957-1391

At the Winnipeg Art Gallery, glimpses of Wanda Koop’s work grace the walls. After touring the exhibits, head to the museum’s penthouse level, where Table restaurant serves scrumptious exhibit-inspired lunches.
• 300 Memorial Blvd, 204-948-0085

Top 5 shops for the whole family

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These local shops are family favourites offering products for parents and kids alike!

    At McNally Robinson Booksellers, guests get lost in so much more than books. Kids climb a spiral staircase to explore fun toys and picture books while parents tap into nostalgia and rifle through the large selection of music on vinyl (pictured). Everyone can agree on superb treats in the pâtisserie case  at attached restaurant Prairie Ink. 1120 Grant Ave, 204-475-0483

   #1 Forks Trading Co A mash-up of Canadiana fills the shelves at The Forks Trading Company. Check out the upcycled blown glass sets (pictured) and adorable childrens’ accessories by Hello Darling, from bow ties to flower crowns. 1 Forks Market Rd, 2nd floor, 204‑949‑1785

    Test out the games on display in Kite and Kaboodle‘s inviting and playful space. Walls are lined with crafts such as build your own LEGO fidget spinners and board games perfect for the next family night. Johnston Terminal at The Forks, 2nd floor, 204‑942‑2800; St. Vital Centre, 1225 St. Mary’s Rd, 204‑257‑4595

 RS41190_6109079-hpr   Shop
Ten Thousand Villages for one of a kind products that support artisans in developing countries. Moms will love cozy Alpaca throws made by artisans in Peru (pictured) while young ones discover new instruments such as bamboo flutes. 134 Plaza Dr, 204‑261‑6381; 963 Henderson Hwy, 204‑661‑5545

    Young and old will be inspired by educational games, home décor, Fair Trade fashion items, and more at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights Boutique. Unique games teach sign language or the braille alphabet during play. Fair Trade tea and chocolate makes for a feel good treat. 85 Israel Asper Way, 204‑289‑2005

5 Restaurants for Wine Lovers

Courtesy of Fusion Grill

Courtesy of Fusion Grill

Calling all oenophiles: these restaurants are must-visits for wine lovers of all stripes.

At DeLuca’s Cooking School, sip specially paired wines provided by attached DeLuca Fine Wines while chef Anna Paganelli demonstrates how to prepare elaborate Italian dishes. Call for class schedule and to register. 950 Portage Ave, 204‑774‑7617, delucas.ca

529 Wellington, Winnipeg’s most lofty steakhouse, maintains its elevated reputation with an award winning wine list so thick it could have been written by Proust. More than 800 selections pair with anything from porterhouse to prawns. 529 Wellington Cres, 204‑487‑8325, 529wellington.ca

Mona Lisa Restaurant is a top pick for comforting red sauce Italian fare in a sleek yet casual atmosphere. The adjacent cantina is perfect for variety-loving imbibers, with 20 featured wines offered by the glass. 1697 Corydon Ave, 204‑488‑3684, monalisarestaurant.ca

Fusion Grill stokes Canadian pride with its sophisticated use of regional ingredients, and local love doesn’t stop there. Owner Scot McTaggart (pictured) built an extensive wine list that is exclusively Canadian, and sure to win over even old-world enthusiasts to the Canuck terroir. 550 Academy Rd, 204‑489‑6963, fusiongrill.mb.ca

Forget hot cocoa—cap off a day of outdoor activities with a glass of vino at The Common at The Forks. Pours by the glass or in tasting flights are perfect to sip while relaxing in the food hall or even browsing the market’s upper level shops. The Forks Market, 204‑942‑6216, theforks.com

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Hot Dining: Now Open

Photo courtesy of Khao House

Photo courtesy of Khao House

New charming West Broadway spot Khao House is making waves with crave-able Laotian comfort foods, like steamed buns, fried chicken and naem khao (pictured). 126 Sherbrook St, 204‑783‑3642, khaohouse.com.

Gourmet burger joint Nuburger, a local favourite for creative toppings and healthy ingredients, is joining the ranks of stellar dining options at The Forks Market, with a shortened menu of signatures. The Forks Market, 1 Forks Market Rd, theforks.ca

Newly renovated and revamped, Carne Italian Chophouse delivers impressive eats in a slick downtown atmosphere. Chef Michael Dacquisto’s menu incorporates classic Italian dishes from grilled octopus to veal marsala, along with a collection of creative sides. 295 York Ave, 204‑896‑7275, 295york.ca

Hot Dining: Now Open

Photo courtesy The Forks

Photo courtesy The Forks

The eagerly awaited renovations to the Forks Market Food Hall have transformed the space into a sleek and modern dining hall complete with communal tables, attention-grabbing light fixtures, and black accents. Anchoring the room is The Common, a craft beer and wine station offering local pours in flights presented on a board shaped like our province. Other new venues include Fusian Sushi and Argentinean spot Simon’s Cuisine, as well as a new rotating food stall, NEXT, which acts as a permanent pop-up, showcasing a different local chef or restaurant every month. A few remaining expectant stalls guarantee that more good eats are in the works. 1 Forks Market Rd, theforks.com

City Secrets

Courtesy King + Bannatyne

Courtesy King + Bannatyne

Uncover a new side of Winnipeg at these historically significant spots that have been reborn as tourist destinations, foodie favourites, hip shopping locales, and learning centres.

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Winnipeg Shopping Guide: The 5 Top Shopping Districts in Winnipeg

Winnipeg Shopping

Top Winnipeg shopping can be found here, in the Exchange District (Photo: Travel Manitoba)

Exploring Winnipeg’s shopping scene is a fantastic way to experience the diversity of the city. Locally owned and operated boutiques are as unique as the neighbourhoods they call home, from trendy Osborne Village to upscale Academy Road. Below, our local experts take you on a Winnipeg shopping tour, hitting the top five Winnipeg shopping districts and suggesting stores that will let you get the most out your excursion.

See the top five Winnipeg shopping districts »

(more…)

Hot Dining: Editor’s Pick: Top 5 Scenes to Savour

Hu's Asian Bistro. Photo by Ian McCausland.

Some of the city’s most popular attractions are also home to popular eats. Enjoy these local food favourites while being entertained or taking in the jaw-dropping scenery:

Buffalo Stone Cafe at FortWhyte Alive serves dishes made with fresh, local fare. After hiking the trails, admiring the buffalo and exploring the interpretive centre, sit down for a hearty bison sandwich and fresh salad made with ingredients grown on-site at Fort Whyte Farms. 1961 McCreary Rd, 989-8370.

With a bird’s eye view of Shaw Park, home of the Goldeyes baseball team, catch gameday action with pan-asian cuisine at Hu’s Asian Bistro (pictured). Crispy battered chicken coated in sticky honey soy sauce and tossed with veggies is a must try. 1 Portage Ave East, 982-7426.

Sink your teeth into a nip, a local burger legend, at Salisbury House on the Esplanade Riel pedestrian bridge overlooking the rushing Red River. Inside this bustling diner chain, take in the spectacular scenery  of St. Boniface, downtown and The Forks, while tucking into fries, breakfast platters or a thick slab of red velvet cake. 237-8305.

Located next to the rooftop sculpture garden at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Storm Restaurant features an incredible view of bronze sculptures created by Canadian and international artists. Wraps, sandwiches, soups and pizzas with creative ingredients are prepared fresh in this inspired space. 300 Memorial Blvd, 948-0085.

As the horses thunder around the race track at Assiniboia Downs, opt for one of the best seats in the house at The Terrace Dining Room, a tiered eatery overlooking all the excitement. An impressive international buffet, including an Angus prime rib carving station, features a plethora of classics. 3975 Portage Ave, 885-3330.

Cover Feature: Romancing Winnipeg

Along with love, romance conjures up thrilling feelings of mystery, excitement and remoteness from everyday life. Discover Winnipeg’s memorable escapes that engage all five senses in simple, yet extraordinary ways.

Historical beauty

A stunning fixture in the city’s riverside skyline and an important piece of local history, St. Boniface Cathedral takes your breath away when lit up at night. Four spotlights brighten the cathedral’s beautiful French Romanesque façade and walls, which remain from the previous basilica ravaged by fire in 1968. Since 1832, four cathedrals have stood on this site in the heart of Winnipeg’s Francophone community. Whether taking a postcard-worthy photo or leaning in for a midnight kiss, this St. Boniface attraction is magical when the sun goes down.

St. Boniface Basilica. Photo courtesy of Travel Manitoba.

Dream Homes

The city’s historical character shines in the tucked away residential area of Armstrong’s Point, home to some of the city’s most stately real estate. The neighbourhood is located east of the Maryland Bridge off Cornish Avenue. Enter this secluded area by one of three streets: Westgate, Middlegate and Eastgate. It was developed as a retreat for wealthy families in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Strap on your best walking shoes and bring a camera to capture the eye candy. Imagine the grandeur lifestyle of yesteryear as striking wrap-around porches, half-circle driveways, stately columns and turrets are featured on these mega palaces. It’s a walk designed to inspire a picture of your own future dream home.

Sweet Scenery

On a hot summer day nothing beats the heat quite as sweetly as a luscious hot fudge sundae rolling over the tongue. The best spot in the city to devour one is the Bridge Drive-In, or as locals call it, BDI. Families with wee ones in tow, couples on dates and groups of hungry teens eagerly line up at this nostalgic ice cream stand that has been serving up creamy delights sprinkled with nuts, sticky sauces, fresh fruit and more since 1957. As you dive into your treat of choice, stroll across the Elm Park walking bridge crossing the banks of the Red River and take in the serenity of this quiet residential neighbourhood with the sounds of the river rushing and the wind rustling leaves on trees.

Bridge Drive-In. Photo by Chronic Creative.

Serenity Spas

Surrender your senses to luxurious pampering at the city’s top spas. Using the traditional Turkish hot air bathing ritual, Ten Spa’s hamam treatment is the ultimate for washing away daily stresses. Before stepping in, take advantage of the lounge where you can curl up on private leather seating, draw the sheer curtain and relax in your own secluded spot of bliss. After savouring fragrant mint tea and a cube of sweet Turkish delight, guests are whisked into a dim, tiled room with a twinkling ceiling and ambient music. Lay back on a heated slab of marble and prepare for a sensory explosion as attendants alternate between gently splashing warm and cool water in this heated bathing room.

Feet are one of the most sensitive areas of the body. There is no better way to pamper and prep your tootsies for sandal season with the “deserving thyme foot therapy treatment” at the newly renovated Riverstone Spa located at Inn at The Forks. Enjoy a sea salt soak and kick back with your feet up in a zero gravity chair. As you relax with a warm eye pillow and aromatherapy, estheticians polish, file and apply creamy moisturizers to bust the toughest calluses. Soak in the heat from hot towels and a peppermint foot and leg massage at the endguaranteed to put a spring in your step.

Hamam treatment at Ten Spa.

In Bloom

Whether enjoying the fragrance of lavender, the silkiness of a rose petal, or the vibrancy of a tulip, a leisurely stroll through the indoor and outdoor gardens at Assiniboine Park is a feast for all senses. Visit the Conservatory year-round, where floral displays constantly change, featuring fragrant lilies and hydrangeas in May and June, along with other plant life. In these warmer months, browse the English gardens abloom with the first flowers of the season: tulips, daffodils, peonies, lilacs, snapdragons, poppies, lavender, pansies, viola and even early roses in late June if weather cooperates. Tulips and topiary decorate the enchanting new children’s garden opening mid-May.

Top Views

Spectacular 360-degree views of the city are found at the top of the six-storey glass observation tower at The Forks Market—it’s hard to know where to look first. Gazing west, downtown’s glass and steel landscape reflects the brilliant sunlight of Manitoba’s clear blue skies. The future home of the Canadian Museum For Human Rights sits north as construction crews work like busy bees on this anticipated landmark. Long strands of train cars go clickety clack on the winding rails surrounding The Forks and adjacent Union Station. Make your way down to the trails hand in hand with a loved one and feel the crunch of red gravel with each step. Take the pedestrian bridge over the rushing Red River and head to the opposite river bank for a unique perspective of the bustling Forks Market.

Winnipeg Dance Cooperative presents Friday Night Dance Hall. Photo courtesy of Enigma Dance Factory.

Move and Groove

As the pulsating rhythms of Latin music blare from the speakers, the mood is set for an upbeat eve of dancing. Winnipeg’s varied dance scene reflects current dance trends. Swing and sway your hips at several drop-in salsa dancing sessions around the city—no partner required. At the grand ballroom of Ted Motyka Dance Studio (460 Main St, 989-0704, $8 per lesson offered Tuesday and Wednesday), beginners learn the passionate steps of salsa and other Latin dances in this majestic space. Dancers in the know flock to Friday Night Dance Hall presented by the Winnipeg Dance Cooperative. Slink into the tango, shimmy to swing and kick your heels up to country among a wide range of different dance styles in a fun, sociable group setting (Nafro Dance Studio, 109 Pulford St, winnipegdancecoop.org for schedule, $7 cover). Two one-hour lessons precede an open practice to show off your new moves and twirl into the night.