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Old 08-01-2022, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
6,854 posts, read 5,170,624 times
Reputation: 9071

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So I recently took a short road trip to Winnipeg, MB; Canada from Minneapolis, MN; USA. It was my first time in Canada, first time outside the US in over 16 years and my hubby's first time outside the US, ever.

It was a fun trip, though the first night was kinda scary and stressful (long story, won't get into it here lol and has nothing to do with Canada but rather our lodging experience) we had a good time and fun experiences.

One thing we noticed along the roads, and this is probably more specific to Manitoba, but on a lot of the highways, the shoulders were all gravel as opposed to paved. Also most road signs were on wooden posts instead of metal. Obviously there were signs in both French and English which was cool to see. We noticed the "One Way" signs don't say "One Way" they're just a blank arrow, and other little things like that.

It also doesn't seem like there was a ton of suburban sprawl, which I liked. Winnipeg is mostly surrounded by farmland.

The city itself was nice. Parts of it reminded me of home. There were skyways in the downtown area, and the residential areas looked just like the ones in Minneapolis, except the vegetation was less lush, no sugar maples etc. While there was an overlap in tree species, I noticed there's a lot more aspen trees versus birch.

Speaking of trees, we entered Mantioba from the Warroad, MN area and I loved seeing all the tamarack trees there. However further west it was all prairie and very open. Definitely resembled more North Dakota.

Demographically it was less black and Latino, and more Asian and Native. The city had a pretty strong First Nations presence which was cool. And a lot of South Asians. In the area we stayed at, I noticed tons of signs especially on bus benches, were in Chinese.

I loved how there were so many stores and restaurants that were ethnic and mom and pop. There were still chains like McDonalds, KFC, Burger King etc. but plenty of local ethnic cuisine. Next time I am up there I am trying some of those restaurants.

Speaking of, went to Tim Hortons, loved it! It was so cheap but so good. I can see why its so popular. We also went to McDonald's out of curiosity to see what its like in another country. Expensive!!! However, nicer and cleaner than most in the US. Was amused by the fact that poutine was on the menu, though.

Also another observation I made, especially while visiting places like the Manitoba Museum and Assiniboine Zoo; I felt that Canadian parents seemed to be less stressed out than American parents and tend to treat their kids more maturely, if that makes sense? Like if I go to the Mall of America, which is FULL of children and their parents, I see a lot more parents in a bad mood, yelling at their kids or talking to their kids like they're babies. Didn't see anything like that on my visit, yet again I visited places that had a more educational undertone and less pure entertainment so idk.

We did also drive up to Lake Winnipeg. It was interesting to me that the town of Winnipeg Beach, is an hour from Winnipeg yet it has Winnipeg in the name lol. In the US, most towns like that (think of Miami Beach) would be pretty close if not right next door. Idk if Winnipeg Beach counts as suburb, but it wouldn't in the US because of how far away it is from the city with mostly just farmland in between.

The lake was awesome. Very large. Like one of the Great Lakes. Water was surprisingly VERY warm. Lot of bugs though.

Overall it was a nice experience. I would love to see Ontario and Quebec next. It was cool to be in a different country but one that was still familiar and not too far away.
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Old 08-01-2022, 11:32 AM
 
Location: ottawa, ontario, canada
1,725 posts, read 889,912 times
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i live in Ontario but have family in Winnipeg so have visited a few times, we once had a family reunion in Buffalo Point, MB right on the border with Warroad. We drove to Minneapolis just to catch a twins game, stayed overnight did the mall of America and drove back Fun trip Glad you liked Winnipeg, it does have a lot to offer
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Old 08-01-2022, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Canada
6,324 posts, read 4,176,623 times
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I’m glad you enjoyed your trip here, Pincho-toot. July and August are good months to come.

Winnipeg Beach is not considered a suburb. Its name derived from the fact that it is on the shores of Lake Winnipeg. Winnipeg itself has always had a more relaxed vibe than the larger Canadian cities I’ve lived in.

The population of Winnipeg is 0.8 million. The next largest city in Manitoba is Brandon, with a population of 0.05 million. That’s quite a difference!

I assume highway shoulders are gravel instead of paved because it is cheaper. Potholes are a big problem every spring because of our extreme winter weather. This spring was the worst I’ve ever seen them. Huge potholes appeared in early April when temperatures were still below freezing. Only temporary patches could be done at those temperatures and the temporary fixes usually had to be repeated more than once. In May, warmer temperatures allow for permanent patches.

As far as restaurant food is concerned, if you plan to come again, check out the Winnipeg Reddit beforehand. At least once a week it seems someone starts a thread asking for recommendations for certain types of food.
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Old 09-08-2022, 11:25 AM
 
3,458 posts, read 4,014,036 times
Reputation: 5750
I want to thank Canada - more specifically the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island - for restoring my faith in humanity. I visited Canada for only the second time in my life, last week. Was there for 5 days. Wonderful weather aside, I experienced a deep sense of peace and tranquility the entire time. Nothing beats walking around without the need to carry a knife, blunt object, or constantly look over one's shoulder (I'm from Los Angeles).

My hosts were more than gracious as they toured me around. Best yet was the evening we received a last-minute invitation to someone's house for a casual backyard dinner. Despite not having ever met me, the hosts treated me like an old friend and made me feel at home. The jokes and conversation between us flowed like water.

If there was anything which saddened me a bit was the day we joined a couple for drinks and bites at a wine bar. The couple shared how they hadn't set foot in the US for 6 years. They explained how fearful they'd become of US society since Trump became president. They remain doubtful about vacationing in the US as they once did. To them I said, "you're better off staying in Victoria where life is wonderful all the time."

Thank you so much, Canada. I look forward to returning in the near future.

Cheers!
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Old 09-08-2022, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Gainesville, FL; formerly Weston, FL
2,343 posts, read 2,096,297 times
Reputation: 4159
Quote:
Originally Posted by chacho_keva View Post
I want to thank Canada - more specifically the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island - for restoring my faith in humanity. I visited Canada for only the second time in my life, last week. Was there for 5 days. Wonderful weather aside, I experienced a deep sense of peace and tranquility the entire time. Nothing beats walking around without the need to carry a knife, blunt object, or constantly look over one's shoulder (I'm from Los Angeles).

My hosts were more than gracious as they toured me around. Best yet was the evening we received a last-minute invitation to someone's house for a casual backyard dinner. Despite not having ever met me, the hosts treated me like an old friend and made me feel at home. The jokes and conversation between us flowed like water.

If there was anything which saddened me a bit was the day we joined a couple for drinks and bites at a wine bar. The couple shared how they hadn't set foot in the US for 6 years. They explained how fearful they'd become of US society since Trump became president. They remain doubtful about vacationing in the US as they once did. To them I said, "you're better off staying in Victoria where life is wonderful all the time."

Thank you so much, Canada. I look forward to returning in the near future.

Cheers!
Great reconnaissance report! Victoria on Vancouver Island is one of the places on my bucket list that I want to visit. It’s better than I imagined!
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Old 09-08-2022, 02:44 PM
 
542 posts, read 198,867 times
Reputation: 1729
Quote:
Originally Posted by chacho_keva View Post
I want to thank Canada - more specifically the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island - for restoring my faith in humanity. I visited Canada for only the second time in my life, last week. Was there for 5 days. Wonderful weather aside, I experienced a deep sense of peace and tranquility the entire time. Nothing beats walking around without the need to carry a knife, blunt object, or constantly look over one's shoulder (I'm from Los Angeles).

My hosts were more than gracious as they toured me around. Best yet was the evening we received a last-minute invitation to someone's house for a casual backyard dinner. Despite not having ever met me, the hosts treated me like an old friend and made me feel at home. The jokes and conversation between us flowed like water.

If there was anything which saddened me a bit was the day we joined a couple for drinks and bites at a wine bar. The couple shared how they hadn't set foot in the US for 6 years. They explained how fearful they'd become of US society since Trump became president. They remain doubtful about vacationing in the US as they once did. To them I said, "you're better off staying in Victoria where life is wonderful all the time."

Thank you so much, Canada. I look forward to returning in the near future.

Cheers!
Glad you enjoyed yourself, come back anytime

I find that a lot of "smaller" cities and towns have a more laid back vibe VS the big cities.

Though most of our big cities are still amazing, very metropolitan and diverse. We aren't a melting pot like the States. We tend to embrace different cultures and celebrate them.

And yeah, the orange man has changed the "outlook" of your country for the worse unfortunately. So please please please do your best to make sure there is no second coming of that anti-christ. TY
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Old Today, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Maine
21,339 posts, read 25,356,370 times
Reputation: 27498
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizrap View Post
Great reconnaissance report! Victoria on Vancouver Island is one of the places on my bucket list that I want to visit. It’s better than I imagined!
I have lived on both coasts in the USA, and Victoria is the most beautiful city in North America I have ever seen.
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