The first thing you need to do...
The first thing you need to do in Winnipeg is visit the Forks. Within a relatively short time, The Forks has become the major meeting place in Winnipeg, and that was the intention of the people who created it. The Forks is a redevelopment project set on 56 acres of riverside property behind the Via Rail Station, on Main Street and Broadway. The Forks is named for the forks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers which merge at this point, and it is a park and recreation area with stores, markets, restaurants, bars and special sports and leisure, and cultural and historical events. The Forks is centred on various late 19th and early 20th Century warehouses, stables and factories that have been carefully restored. There is a boat dock, with various boat tours and river buses leaving from here. After traveling to Winnipeg many times I've grown to love and appreciate the city. The city can surprise you many times. No one expects a metropolis in the middle of the Canadian praries and no one expects the dozens of different culture groups from French to Ukranian to Vietnamese.
Winnipeg is a cultural mosaic. There are people here from every part of the world. For the first two weeks of August each year, there is a two week long festival (called Folklorama) where 40 different nationalities present their cultures.
The two weeks are different because the pavilions change. In the first week, 20 different communities have pavilions, and in the second week, the other 20. Some of the communities represented include Belgian, Chiliean, Cuban, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indian, Irish, Israeli, Italian, Ukrainian, etc. etc. (It changes each year as the various Winnipeg communities decide whether to join in this year or not)
On the north side of town are numerous Ukrainian Churches, mostly Orthodox but one Catholic. At the Catholic Church is a shrine to a priest who they are lobbying the Vatican to canonize. I stopped in on a lark and got a very interesting and pleasant tour of a memorial to him.
Lower Fort Garry
Lower Fort Garry (about 3/4 hour north of Winnipeg) is worth spending a day at during tourist season (mid May til Labour Day). Its is a historic site run by Parcs Canada. Lower Fort Garry has been refurbished back to the late 1800's, complete with Governor Simpson, his fur-traders, the blacksmith, even the First Nations people outside the fort. You may even get a little food from the governor's kitchen, or get to discuss canoeing/portaging techniques with the Voyaguers
Lower Fort Garry web site: http://parkscanada.pch.gc.ca/parks/manitoba/multi_e.htm
Small little cafe with great food
At work we would go there for the ocassional breakfast. On night our family stopped there for supper. We have been there many times since. The food is just simple everyday food. The staff is friendly. The cafe is small. But the food is very good. Any of the burgers are satisfying and my wife loves the salisbury steak.