Living it up Downtown
A San Francisco Chronicle travel writer described Winnipeg’s cultural attractions as "... an extraordinarily rich and gratifying, inexpensive selection of museums, galleries, and live performances, in what has been called the cultural cradle of Canada." (Jan. 2003). Hundreds of thousands of Winnipeggers and tourists who visit the heart of the city every year agree.
Winnipeg's downtown cultural treasures include the world-renowned Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Manitoba Opera and several theatrical companies. The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Manitoba Museum, Manitoba Theatre for Young People, Manitoba Children's Museum, Dalnavert House and The Forks continue to be downtown's most visited destinations.
Downtown hosts major events, festivals and celebrations year-round including the Winnipeg International Children's Festival, Canada Day Celebrations at The Forks, Fringe Theatre Festival, the Jazz Festival and Dragon Boat Festival. Two of Winnipeg’s pro sports franchises are headquartered in the heart of the city. The AA baseball team – the Winnipeg Goldeyes – makes its home at CanWest Global Park while the AHL Manitoba Moose play home games at MTS Centre, one of North America’s newest generation of sports and entertainment centres.
New restaurants, retailers and professional services continue to set up shop alongside an already impressive array of shopping, dining and entertainment options. You’ll find three shopping malls – City Place, The Shops of Winnipeg Square and Portage Place – offering 260 retail shops and 190 restaurants and eateries. Shopping and dining at The Forks Market and Johnston Terminal are other favoured options. Major retail developments in recent years include Mountain Equipment Co-op and Staples on Portage Avenue, as well as a Giant Tiger store just to its north.
Strolling through the Exchange District, people discover funky shops, fashion and art. Among the area's new niche retailers are Cake Clothing, Mayberry Fine Art, Into the Music, Candie & Dolls and African/Southern Accents. These new arrivals complement long-time Exchange area retailers such as Toad Hall Toys, Antiques & Funk and Warehouse Artworks.
With two new hotels to welcome guests, there are now over 3,000 hotel rooms available downtown. Getting aound is also easy – the core of the city is connected by an indoor, two-kilometre-long walkway system, and other public transit options include the free Downtown Spirit shuttle bus and River Spirit Water Taxi.