Sunday, July 14, 2013

Trans Canada Trail, Winnipeg-Part 6-Assiniboine Park to the Forks

Distance: 9.8kms

Assiniboine Park to Wellington Crescent

Wellington Crescent to The Forks
This was a good walk and we did it in less time than we thought we would take. We did our usual thing of meeting at the end point which was The Forks and riding back with one car to the start point of the Pavilion at Assiniboine Park. We Walked East from the Pavilion building and exited at Park Blvd. N to Wellington Crescent. This is a truly lovely walk with grand old trees lining the entire Wellington Crescent.
The entire section from the park gates to Academy is closed to vehicular traffic on Sundays from 8:00 am to dusk so it was quite easy to feel like I was walking in a park rather than a city street. And from the size of some of the houses, you could easily believe that you are walking on Millionaire's Row. They should rename the street exactly that because I am almost sure that every home is worth at least a million dollars. If you know Winnipeg real estate, you'd know that house prices are one of the lowest in the country so a house worth one million in Winnipeg would probably be worth in excess of five or six million in Toronto or Vancouver.
The street is very wide and is actually divided by an extremely wide boulevard - so wide that it has its own walkway surrounded by greenery. The street is magnificent and to think this is the first time I am walking down here. I've driven the street and gawked at the houses but walking is an entirely different experience. The houses on the river side of the street had fabulous looking front yards so I can only imagine what the back yard must be like. We walked to the Maryland bridge and crossed over to the Misericordia Hospital where we did a quick bathroom break and had a sip of water. We then exited on the North side of the hospital and connected to Wolseley Avenue and continued east to Furby Street.
It's interesting how much difference a bridge can make. Crossing over the Maryland Bridge was like crossing over to Poor Man's Row. It really is like day and night with the size of the houses, the care of some yards and the sheer tiny size of the property compared to those on Wellington Crescent. Well if the truth be told, the houses on West and East Gate on the same North side of the river across from the hospital is like going into an exclusive gated community. The houses are mansion-like in there too. And only a stone's throw - literally - are rooming houses and residences for those with very little. It's a stark contrast.
Okay, on we went North on Furby Street, East on Westminister Avenue, North on Young Street, and East on Balmoral Street to Osborne Street. We wanted to walk on the Riverwalk that runs from the Manitoba Legislative Building but the mud and silt on the walkway is still quite significant so we walked along Assiniboine Avenue to the Forks.
This was a beautiful walk along some old and very different neighbourhoods. I wanted to mention about the Hermetic Code Tour that is offered at the Legislative Building. I went on the tour a few years ago and it was most interesting. If you've read the Da Vinci Code, you'll find this tour very intriguing. There is a short video on the link I provided above which explains very briefly what the tour is about. It's funny how you can pass a building so many times without noticing its details. If you have a chance to go, do it. Well worth the money.
And I should mention the Tall Grass Prairie Bakery at the Forks as well. This bakery had an interesting genesis and it is now a thriving store which started out on its first day baking 30 loaves of bread and now bake over 700 loaves per day! I tasted the pressed sunflower seed oil and it was delish! If you love the taste of fine quality extra virgin olive oil, then you'll love freshly pressed sunflower see oil - pressed by the bakery. Of course I bought some stoneground whole-wheat bread to take home. They even grind their wheat right at the Forks location.
The Forks is a great meeting place in Winnipeg. It is at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine River. According to the website, it was an Aboriginal meeting place for over 6,000 years! There's always, and I mean always, something interesting going on there whether in the summer or winter. There are many one-of-a-kind stores in the Forks Market and Johnston Terminal. And of course there are a number of restaurants to have a quick bite or a full meal - overlooking the river if you wish.
The brand new, yet to be opened Canadian Museum for Human Rights is world class museum which will be dedicated stories and issues of human rights. I would love to work in a place like this. Just think of all the ways in which people's voices can be heard and for those who are not able to speak for themselves, their stories can be told by others.
 Did I say this was a good walk? Let me say it again. If you have not yet, please click on the links above to learn about what a beautiful city Winnipeg is.