I finally crossed the vintage Canadian city of Winnipeg off of my travel list. I go to university in a city that’s not too far from the Canadian border and Winnipeg had always been a city on my list of places to see, considering that it was so close. It had been ten years since I’ve visited Canada and so when I recently took a weekend trip up to Winnipeg, I remembered why I loved visiting Canada so much. When you cross that border, you don’t really see much of a difference landscape wise between the United States and Canada, other than the occasional Canadian flags hanging around instead of American flags.
Winnipeg is a big city, hence why it’s the capital of the province of Manitoba. Despite all of the big skyscrapers and big buildings in the downtown part of the city, there were a lot of buildings that were very old style and colonial style. Even some of the streets in some parts had cobblestone streets. It was interesting to see such a modern yet colonial feel to a big city like Winnipeg. I loved the historic feel that I got from the city because there are so many vintage buildings and statues all around.
Another big difference that I saw was that almost every sign that was in public, whether it be a stop sign or a billboard, had a French translation beneath the English words. I knew that some parts of Canada speak French exclusively, like in Quebec, but I didn’t think Winnipeg did. But it was apparent to me that French is basically another major language to a lot of Canadians, not just ones from Montreal. I went to a French bakery and the people that were serving us were speaking in French and then they could easily switch to their Canadian English, which was mind-blowing to me because speaking a second language in the United States isn’t really enforced on us.
Overall, Winnipeg was an interesting city. It is one of the smaller major cities in Canada as compared to other ones in other larger provinces. But for its size, I got a lot out of Winnipeg. The hotel that I stayed at was right in the heart of downtown, so I walked everywhere. One thing that is nice about Winnipeg is that it is very walk-able, even if it’s chilly outside. It is flat and not as mountainous as other cities in Canada, but there is a lot to do and see in the cute town of Winnipeg.