Two Canadian cities made TIME magazine’s list of World’s Greatest Places for 2021. Jasper, Alberta is hailed as “Canada’s cabin capital”. The second choice is not Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal, as one might expect, but WINNIPEG, MANITOBA! TIME chose Winnipeg for its museum which is home to the world’s largest display of Inuit art, over 14,000 pieces. They cite the fact that the museum has an Indigenous Advisory Circle, which offers guidance on exhibitions and programming.
The highlight of my recent visit to this winning city was a day at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. It is the only museum in the world that is solely dedicated to human rights. The building is 7 storeys high, constructed in a way that guests walk from dark to light as they make their way through the exhibits and interactive displays, pausing to reflect in the “garden of contemplation” halfway through. The history of Canada’s residential schools stands beside the stories from other countries all over the world.
The museum is 5 minutes walk from The Forks Market, a great place to find gourmet hot dogs at Wienerpeg, a chick pea burger from Winnipeg’s own burger chain, NuBurger and a few bakery treats plus a take home turkey stew from Forever Prairie.
My second day was spent at the zoo. A polar bear habitat features a tunnel where, with a little luck, you can see bears swimming overhead. The two bears I saw were sleeping, as were most of the animals. Those cold snowy days can make anyone want to curl up for a long winter’s nap.
Many tourist stops were closed due to Covid but I did get to visit Pooh corner, a tribute to the world’s greatest bear with a Winnipeg connection. The A.A. Milne stories of Winnie the Pooh were based on a real life bear from White River, Ontario. The bear was named Winnie after the hometown of the Canadian soldier and vet who took care of him.
Much like that bear, there is something endearing about a city that generated so many quizzical looks from outsiders and shrieks of glee from residents when I announced that it would be my first travel destination since 2019. And according to TIME magazine, I was on to something.
Want to learn more about my trip to Winnipeg or previous trips to Costa Rica or the Galapagos Islands? Contact me for details.