The Forks – St. Boniface Loop
For National Tourism Week, I wanted to share my favourite walkable (and cycling!) tourist loop in Winnipeg, The Forks – St. Boniface loop!
Start at the southwest corner of Taché and Provencher, at the base of the Esplanade Riel. Walk west, onto the magnificent Esplanade Riel and over the notorious Red River. Across the bridge, you will see the incredible Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), Canada’s only national museum outside of the National Capital region. A tour of the CMHR is an absolute must – you will be inspired by its thought-provoking galleries that depict international human rights victories and challenges.
After your tour of the CMRH, walk south towards The Forks National Historic Site. Have lunch at one of their many restaurants, both inside and outside. Take a stroll around the grounds and immerse yourself in the history of this historic meeting place at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers.
After lunch, if you have children, spend some time at the Manitoba Children’s Museum and the nearby play area. On a warm day, there’s also a splash pad!
Walk along The Forks’ South Pointe, soon-to-be site of Reconciliation Walk, which leads you to the Norwood Bridge. Cross the bridge toward St. Boniface Hospital, Western Canada’s first hospital and home to the world renowned Albrechtsen Research Centre.
(Note: if you have children with you or want a different view, you can take a water taxi from The Forks to the dock near St. Boniface Hospital!)
Take the path heading north along the river, behind the hospital, which will lead you toward the St. Boniface Museum, across the street (Taché).
St. Boniface Museum is the site where the Grey Nuns founded St. Boniface Hospital and is the oldest remaining structure in the city of Winnipeg and the largest oak log building in North America. Today, the Museum houses a number of important artefacts related to Western French-Canadian and Métis history, including items from Louis Riel.
From the Museum, keep heading north towards the St. Boniface Cathedral. On July 22, 1968, a major fire destroyed the basilica, leaving only its façade which remains standing today. A new structure was built behind it in 1971 and is still serves an active Roman Catholic community.
As your walk comes to an end, cross the street towards the river and the Promenade Taché Riverwalk. In the near future, this riverwalk will be completely transformed with illuminated pathways and a lookout towards Winnipeg’s downtown!
Why not end your day with a snack at one of the kiosks on the Esplanade or the many restaurants in the area?!