The Forks, Winnipeg
It is located in the heart of Winnipeg not far from city center where the mighty river of Assiniboine and Red meets.It is a National Historical Site of Canada and one among the famous in Manitoba because of its historical significance which dated back 6000 years ago, from the fur trade, the railroad development in the prairies, the immigration etc.
The park has open green spaces with tree lines river walkway, enlightening interpretive displays, sculptures, stone pictographs etc that represents early settlement there.
What I also like about the place is the shallow amphitheatre known as the Oodena Celebration Circle. It features ethereal sculptures, a sundial, interpretive signage, a naked eye observatory and a ceremonial fire pit, making it a place for Aboriginal and cultural celebrations .
One can also explore the Manitoba Centre, festival park, children's museum, and The forks market etc.
There are lots of events and festivities at the forks just check their website for schedules.
This park was a little too "commercial" for me. I mean you can't even park for free! We didn't stay there for long, we preferred the Assiniboine Park which is further away from the heart of downtown and is therefore much more relaxing.
What can I say - the city renovated the Forks - the downtown riverbank area about 15 years ago, and now it is the city's top draw. It IS a great place to walk about, watch people or the river floating by, shop for tourist junk, eat food, ice skate in winter, take a river taxi in summer, visit the Children's Museum; you can even walk along the river to the Legislative Buildings. You can't go wrong visiting the Forks.
Everytime I visit I am amazed at the additions. A new hotel is now built, and the grounds are being improved. The nearby Provencher bridge has a fancy footpath (called Esplanade Riel) across the Red River with a restaurant (Salsbury House) in the middle of the bridge. A big Holocoust museum is also planned for the site.
Often there are special events there as well. In January and February one can ice-skate along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. There is a maintained trail and warming huts. Each June is the Children's festival.
As an aside, you can tour the Legislative Buildings (they are about a 1/2 mile walk from the Forks along a river path), but besides the cool fossils in the building stone, it is just another government building.
Rent a canoe and enjoy a ride down either the Red or Assiniboine Rivers.
Tip: Always start your trip upstream into the current. That way when you tire and turn around, you'll head back with the current.
Of course, there's the indoor market to enjoy (and the Sri Lankan food which is my particular favourite) and the crafts. But this winter I had fun on the skating trail and going to the winter park, where people are taboganning, playing hockey, and snowboarding.
In the summer, there's the river walk, and one little known activity - dancing under the market plaza's glitter ball. There are also strange things that occassionally go on around the Oodena Sharing Circle, sometimes to do with vampires and witches.
It's Winnipeg's major tourist draw, but this kind of thing has been done in countless cities who embark on 'waterfront re-development' so if you've seen one, you've seen them all. Buskers, shops selling overpriced goods, restaurants and a bit of history envelopped by a sickly bluish-green that looked fabulous in the late 80's during development (compare with downtown's Portage Place).
All in all, still a nice place to stroll and people watch.
The area right at the Red River from where the Assiniboine River meets the Red north for 1/4 mile is Forks National Historic Site of Canada -- A site run and paid for by the federal government. This area is much quieter than the rest of the Forks. You can pause and remember what it could have been like when the area was used as a meeting spot by various native groups hundreds of year ago.
Such a wonderful place for the soul .. To walk along the river walk in the summer or to skate along the river in the winter...Serene beautiful setting pluked where the Assiniboine and Red Rivers meet.
The Oodena Circle is a circular shallow bowl measuring 60 metres across and 2.5 metres deep. This stone circle is geometrically aligned to the sunrise and sunset of the fall and spring equinox, and summer and winter solstices. Surrounding the circle are limestone monoliths depicting the solar system, Earth, wind, fire and water. The base of the circle is the site of a 3,000 year old campsite.
During annual and and special outdoor events the Oodena Circle is used as a stage for various performances.
The Forks Market Tower is six storeys tall and made of glass. The exterior viewing platform has a great view of both rivers and city skyline. You can take the elevator up or take the stairs and read about winnipeg's culture and heritage from large panels dotted along the staircase.
This historic site is home to two former rail storage facilities which offer an eclectic mix of shops, services and restaurants on two levels. Many locally-owned stores and specialty kiosks carry clothing, accessories and imported wares, specialty foods and toys.
We were also treated to the occasional busker inside as well as outside the Forks Market. Buskers, from what I was told, are street performers. We encountered many musican and magician buskers.
Hours are 9:30AM - 6:30PM daily and on Fridays from 9:30AM - 9:00PM. Restaurant hours vary.
The Forks National Historic Site, not to be confused with the Forks Market, lies along the Red River. The site includes a 9-acre park and scenic river walkway. The grounds are open year-round so you can enjoy the solitude any time...not unless there is an event going on.
Aboriginal peoples came here to trade. They were followed by rival, edgy fur traders who established Fort Rouge, Fort Gibraltar and two Forts Garry. Later came the missionaries; skilled Metis buffalo hunters; determined Scottish settlers, riverboat workers, railway promoters and tens of thousands of immigrants.
You start at Explore Manitoba Centre, located in the Johnston Terminal at The Forks Market . After that you can explore Orientation Circle, it has the unique "The Path of Time Sculpture". Nearby is the Heritage Adventure playground, ampitheater, riverwalk and boat dock.
The Forks in Winnipeg is a must see for anyone who travels to Winnipeg. It is where the Assiniboine and Red Rivers meet and become the Red River. There is plenty do here in the summer and winter. There is a farmers market and small resturants in the main building on the lower floor. Upstairs there are many small shops and craft stores for everyone in the family to find something. Outside there is a Riverwalk which takes you from the Forks to the Legislature buiding. It is a very beautiful walk along the rivers edge. There are many people who use this walkway all year long. There is the Johnsons terminal which is filled with all sorts of shops also. There are many different resturants around the area also.
The Forks is the original sight where the city of Winnipeg started out. Because of it's location where the Red River & the Assiniboine River join, it was the spot of choice for the natives and the settlers to trade there goods.
The Forks is a park on the Red & Assinniboine Rivers, where you can shop, have lunch, listen to music, or just hang out. It's usually pretty busy in the summer. In the winter, the place offers tobogganing and a long skating trail.