The Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 – Road Trip! {Letter “W”}

A to Z Challenge

I am very excited to be taking part in the Blogging A to Z Challenge 2013.  This is actually my third challenge; the first year I featured a recipe for each letter and last year I drew on  my nursing background and used “the human body” as my inspiration!

This year I have decided to change things up a bit.  I live in Canada and believe it is one of the most beautiful countries on the planet; so I have decided to feature a different Canadian “place”, for each letter of the challenge.

I am very much looking forward to seeing how everyone interprets the Challenge and I would love to have you join me, as I crisscross this vast country on my Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 – Road Trip!

So, without further ado, W is for Winnipeg, Manitoba.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit the vibrant and culture rich city of Winnipeg.  The people were so kind and friendly and I will always treasure my great memories of this wonderful city!

A to Z ChallengeBrief History and Geography:   Winnipeg is is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada.  It is located near the longitudinal centre of North America, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. The city is found on the eastern edge of the Canadian Prairies. The name “Winnipeg” comes from the Cree for “muddy waters”.

The Winnipeg area was a trading centre for Aboriginal peoples prior to the arrival of Europeans. The first fort was built there in 1738 by French traders.  A settlement was later founded by the Selkirk settlers in 1812, the nucleus of which was incorporated as the City of Winnipeg in 1873 with a population of 1,869.

Winnipeg is the seventh-largest municipality in Canada, and is the primary municipality of the Winnipeg Capital Region with more than half of Manitoba’s population.

A to Z Challenge

 Curling on the Red River at the Forks {Photo attribution:  Wpg guy (CC)}

Population:  City 663,617 / Metro 730,018 {2011 Census}

Climate:  Winnipeg’s location in the Canadian Prairies, gives it a humid continental climate with a Plant Hardiness Zone 2b,  in that there are great differences between summer and winter temperatures.

The openness of the prairies leaves Winnipeg exposed to numerous weather systems including blizzards and cold Arctic high pressure systems, known as the Polar high.

Winnipeg has four distinct seasons, with short transitional periods between winter and summer. Summers are hot with plenty of thunderstorms, winters are cold and dry, and spring and autumn are pleasant. Snow sometimes lasts 6 months of the year.  There is 318 days per year with measurable sunshine, with summer being the sunniest.

  • Record high temperature:  40.6C (105.1F)
  • Record low temperature:  −45C (−49F) and the windchill temperature that day was -57.1F (-70.8F)…yikes, that is chilly!

A to Z Challenge

Downtown Winnipeg & the Exchange District {Photo attribution:  Wpg guy (CC)}

Cityscape:  According to the City of Winnipeg’s Census data, there are 236 neighbourhoods in Winnipeg.  Downtown Winnipeg, the city’s financial heart and economic core, is centred on the intersection of Portage Avenue and Main Street (reputed to be one of the windiest in Canada)

Downtown Winnipeg covers an area of about one square mile (2.5 km2) and is the fastest growing high-income neighbourhood in the city.  More than 72,000 people work downtown, and over 40,000 students attend classes at its universities and colleges.

A to Z Challenge

Osborne Village {Photo attribution:  Wpg guy (CC)}

Downtown Winnipeg’s Exchange District is named after the area’s original grain exchange from 1880 to 1913.  The 30-block district received National Historic Site of Canada status in 1997; it includes North America’s most extensive collection of early 20th-century terracotta and cut stone architecture.  Other major downtown areas include The Forks, Central Park, Broadway-Assiniboine, Stephen Juba Park ,Old Market Square and Chinatown.

Economy:  Winnipeg is an economic base and regional centre. It has a diversified economy, covering finance, manufacturing, transportation, food and beverage production, industry, culture, government, retail, and tourism. In 2011, The CIBC Metropolitan Economic Activity Index has rated Winnipeg’s economy as third place in a national survey of 25 city economies, behind only Toronto and Kitchener, Ont.

A to Z Challenge

 The Esplanade Riel, a pedestrian only, side-spar cable-stayed bridge, is home to the Winnipeg-based restaurant Chez Sophie.  Photo attribution: Public domain, original uploader was Cayla at en.wikipedi (CC)}

Arts, culture and tourism:  The Forks (a National Historic Site of Canada) attracts four million visitors a year.  Winnipeg has a large independent film community. It has also hosted a number of Hollywood productions.

Winnipeg has four major museums –

  • The Manitoba Museum is the largest museum in the city, and depicts the history of the city and province.
  • The Winnipeg Art Gallery is Western Canada’s oldest public art gallery, founded in 1912. It is the sixth-largest in the country and includes the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art.
  • The Western Canada Aviation Museum, located in a hangar at Winnipeg’s James Richardson International Airport.
  • The Canadian Museum for Human Rights will be the second Canadian national museum for human rights.

A to Z Challenge

The Beaux-Arts architecture style Manitoba Legislature, constructed between 1913 and 1919.  {Photo attribution:  Wpg guy (CC)}

Sports:  Winnipeg is home to several professional sports teams including –

  • The Winnipeg Jets, NHL team
  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers, CFL team
  • Winnipeg Goldeyes, American Association

Winnipeg notables:  This is a very extensive list, I will mention just a few but you can see the complete list here.

  • Terry Fox, cancer activist and national hero
  • Irvine Robbins, founder of Baskin-Robbins
  • Anna Paquin, actress
  • Burton Cummings, musician, (The Guess Who)
  • Cindy Klassen, six-time Canadian Olympic medalist
  • Fred Penner, children’s entertainer, musician
  • Neil Young, musician
  • Brett Hull, professional hockey player.
  • Fred Turner, musician, Bachman–Turner Overdrive (BTO)
  • Randy Bachman, musician, The Guess Who & Bachman–Turner Overdrive (BTO)

Relatively speaking, we didn’t have to travel too far to get to Winnipeg and I am happy we had a lot of time to explore this fun city.  My feet are tired but we had a great day exploring Winnipeg  I am heading to bed now and I’ll see you in the morning to continue the “road trip”.

Past visits on the A to Z Challenge 2013 – Road Trip:

Complete listing of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013 participants.

CREDITS – Map source – File:Canada_Manitoba_location_map.svg by NordNordWest  Photo attribution:  Hanhil (CC) (altered to include place name) Information contained in this post was obtained from Wikipedia, Winipeg.ca, Wikipedia List  and Winnipeg Tourism.

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Comments

  1. Beautiful city, with lots to do. I’ve never been visiting there, but might some day. The middle two photographs remind me a little of our own Saint John. Great information and post for ‘W’.
    Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

  2. I don’t think I’d be happy with a climate like Winnipeg’s!!! Speaking of Terry Fox, when you were in Victoria did you see his statue in Beacon Hill Park?

    • Awhh…no I did not :( I was there for 10 days, but was at a conference and had little opportunity to get around the city except on planned outings. JoJo, is the park downtown?

  3. Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice says

    Like Kathy, I thought of Saint John when looking at a couple of the pictures. I am surprised that the downtown core is only 1 square mile.

    Wonder what the food at Chez Sophie is like??? Let’s go and check it out??!!

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