Home to half the population of Manitoba, Winnipeg is a Canadian city of 633,000 that’s famous for its music and performing arts festivals. Known as the Gateway to the West, the multicultural city rises out of the central Canadian prairies at the meeting point of the Red and Assiniboine rivers.
Winnipeg’s Forks district was a gathering place for Aboriginal peoples for millennia and later became an important spot for fur trappers and buffalo hunters, riverboat workers and railway pioneers. A National Historic Site of Canada, today The Forks attracts 4 million visitors a year who come for its cafes, shops and cultural hubs like the Manitoba Museum and (soon-to-be-opened) Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The lively Exchange District is known for its early 20th-century architecture, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery, one of the oldest in Canada, is home to the world’s largest collection of Inuit art.
Also worth visiting is the French Quarter’s St Boniface Museum, which is dedicated to the group of nuns who canoed to Winnipeg from Montreal in 1844. Named the Cultural Capital of Canada by the Department of Canadian Heritage, “The Peg” also has a distinct culinary cuisine and is famous for its hot-smoked fish and homegrown desserts—schmoo torte and wafer pie.