Town Update: Winnipeg

Winnipeg feels like a big town with less money in it than in the past. The town felt entirely empty – we spent over an hour searching for a decent looking restaurant. In fairness, everyone was out of town the day we were there at the Winnipeg Folk Festival – where we probably should have been but the 60$ per day tickets scared us away. We eventually did find a nice Greek restaurant, but I never got in touch with the person we meant to stay with that night, so at eleven we took off and pointed the car towards Saskatoon.

The thing that struck me most about Winnipeg was the kind of raw beauty of the place, many more of the old buildings have not been torn down compared to say, Vancouver. There is an area of town which seems to be trying to be like Gastown, but in terms of retailers and money it looks quite unsuccesful. Someone has built “luxury condos” down by the river, but where the speciality food shops should be there are fake storefronts for speciality food and clothing shops – encouraging retailers to move in. Unfortunately for the condo owners, I think tenants will have to move in first.

That would be all I have to say about Winnipeg, except that Winnipeg has another another town right next to it. Cross a modernist pedestrian bridge and all of a sudden you’re in the French Quarter, which didn’t feel run down, just classic. We immediately came across nice restaurants and coffee houses, and live jazz music. And, from across the river, you can enjoy the beauty of the Winnipeg skyline without being encircled by its ominous towers.

So, on the whole, a modest thums- up for Winnipeg!


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