The Forks Top Ten
1. Esplanade Riel Bridge
Stroll over this pedestrian bridge that retraces the original Broadway Bridge of 1882. Constructed in 2003, the Esplanade is a symbol of the connection between downtown Winnipeg and the French Quarter of St. Boniface.
2. Lookout to St. Boniface and the French Quarter
See the impressive façade of the 1908 cathedral, the fifth built in this location. Through the rose window opening you can also glimpse the sixth cathedral designed by architect Etienne Gaboury. To the left (north) is the final resting place of famous Métis leader Louis Riel.
3. Variety Heritage Adventure Park
Parks Canada and Variety, the Children’s Charity of Manitoba, are pleased to showcase the distinct chapters of The Forks’ history in this one-of-a-kind Adventure Park for children 2-12 years of age and their caregivers.
4. Manitoba Children’s Museum
Don’t miss the oldest building at The Forks! Constructed in 1889, it was known as the Boilers and Brakes (B&B) Building and had a roundhouse for engine repairs and a blacksmith shop.
Try to spot some constellations! Oodena, pronounced Ooh-DEN-ah (Ojibway for “Centre of the City”), features sculptures, a “naked-eye” observatory, and a sundial (where you are the centre arm).
6. Junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers
View the junction of these two famous prairie rivers, first named “La Fourche” by La Vérendrye in 1737. The Red was named a Canadian Heritage River in 2007 and is one of only a few rivers in North America to flow north.
7. Prairie Garden
Explore this colourful Tall Grass Prairie, a tribute to Winnipeg’s roots, containing over 150 native plant species.
8. Flood markers
Walk under the canopy near The Forks Market and look for coloured bands on the posts. These markers show the water levels during the major floods. The bottom marker represents the 1950 flood, the middle marker the 1852 and 1997 floods, and the top the devastating flood of 1826.
9. The Forks Market & Johnston Terminal
Dine and shop! Originally two historic stable buildings now joined by a glass atrium, The Forks Market is home to one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants, and live music. Ride the elevator to the top of the Tower and snap some pictures of the Assiniboine River.
Originally a warehouse during the early days of the railway in Manitoba, the Johnston Terminal houses specialty shops, an antique mall, and restaurants, as well as the Explore Manitoba Centre.
10. Union/VIA Rail Train Station
Stop and read the plaque in the rotunda (domed hall) to learn about this national architectural site, built from 1907-11. It was designed by Warren and Whetmore, the same architects who designed Grand Central Station in New York City. Don’t miss the historical photos of the railway’s presence in Winnipeg, located near the ticket counter.