I moved my family to Winnipeg in the dead of winter. There were many reasons for this decision, but coming from a luscious New Zealand summer, I felt I had made a grave mistake.

This year, it was noted by many news outlets that Winnipeg was colder than the North Pole–colder even than Mars. I presume this is not true most of the time, but on a few select days, this was the case.

Search for Winnipeg on the internet, and you will find it claims the less than savory titles “murder capital of Canada,” as well as “slurpee capital of the world.”

Winnipeg-grown indie rock group, the Weakerthans, is known for their song “One Great City,” which affectionately proclaims “I hate Winnipeg.”

On a more positive note, Winnipeg was the hometown of the famous bear that inspired A.A. Milne to write Winnie-the-Pooh, and from which he also received his name.

The city is full of beautiful parks.

Here you will find Mennonites, musicians, murals, and Metis. You will find Francophones, Filipinos, and football. Above all, you will find a celebration of hockey and a passion for the hometown team, the Jets.

It truly is a magical place–quintessential Canadiana. As I commute across town swerving to avoid potholes and terrible drivers, I ask myself why I like this place. I don’t always understand why, but I do. Despite its reputation, this is a deeply friendly town. Like most anywhere in Canada, the people are nice.

Best of all, in Winnipeg, you can indulge in that great Philippine invention, the halo halo. I discovered this treat in Manila a few years ago. Vanilla ice cream, bean curd, and cubes of jello. It’s a dessert made in heaven, and you can even eat it in style at Jollibee, which serves Phillipino noodles, spaghetti with spicy sauce and spam, hamburgers, and fried chicken. Sitting in Jollibee, you can escape for a moment and imagine you have entered the heart of metro Manila.

So come to Winterpeg. It’s really not as bad as it sounds. And when the snow thaws for those brief summer months, you may just find yourself enchanted with the place.

5 thoughts on “Winnipeg

  1. Thanks for not completely hating my hometowm☺ We’re in Calgary now, but I grew up in Winnipeg. You’ve probably discovered Tall Grass Prairie Bakery’s cinnamon buns, Little Saigon, Grand Beach and beer vendors open til late! Hope you continue to find great places. By the way I thought I read that Edmonton is the murder capital…maybe that’s just Calgary’s news.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You may be right about Edmonton… I imagine the list changes from year to year. Thanks for the recommendations. Tall Grass Prairie is great, and I seriously love everything about The Forks. I have yet to visit Little Saigon, but lots of awesome Vietnamese food here. It’s still a bit chilly out, so will probably wait a while longer before hitting up the beach!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve been to Winnipeg many times, though not recently. Mostly I was just stopping over while driving to Alberta or passing through on the train. I always liked the abrupt transition from Ontario forest to Manitoba prairie that takes place just east of Winnipeg. Try it some day, you’ll like it! And I also loved the drive between Winnipeg and Brandon in the late summer, with the endless wheat fields waving in the warm breezes. I’m afraid it’s just not a welcoming destination in the winter, as you’ve discovered!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was going to make a similar comment about leaving the Shield, and arriving on the Prairies, with an additional note. Winnipeg must occupy the flattest place in the world, sitting as it does, on the former bottom of a long gone glacial lake. At any rate, it looked pretty flat to me when I first saw it. And, if you are looking for murders these days, come and spend some time in good old T.O.

    Liked by 1 person

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