Located in the heart of Winnipeg, the Exchange District National Historic Site boasts a spectacular collection of terra cotta and cut-stone architecture. Established at the turn of the 20th century, the Exchange District is the original centre of commerce and culture in Winnipeg. Today’s Exchange District is teeming with incredible shopping and cultural opportunities. Visit unique retailers, galleries, eateries and much more. Uncover the wealth of experiences this neighbourhood has to offer while taking a trip through the District’s storied history on a guided walking tour.
Location: The approximate boundaries are Adelaide St, Ross Ave, Norte Dame Ave and Main St for the west Exchange. The east Exchange area is located between the Disraeli Bridge, Waterfront Dr, William Stephenson Way and Main St. Located downtown, 7.4 km from the airport.
How to get there: From the airport, turn onto Wellington Ave. Turn right onto King Edward St (Rte 90). Take the first left onto Ellice Ave. Turn right onto Maryland St. Turn left at Portage Ave and continue to Main St. Turn left at Main St and you are located between the east and west Exchange.
Bus routes: 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, 35, 39, 42, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 56, 58, 65, 67
Top Places to Eat
- Fine dining destination Bailey’s Restaurant and Bar serves up specialties such as prime rib and rack of lamb in an elegant dining room decorated in rich woods. 185 Lombard Ave, 944-1180 http://www.baileysprimedining.com
- Savour perfectly prepared steaks or snack on tapas, like empanadas, at Hermanos Restaurant & Wine Bar. This lively eatery celebrates the spirit of South America in its atmosphere, flavours and wine selection. 179 Bannatyne Ave, 947-5434, http://www.hermanos.ca
- Whether playing a game of darts, sipping an imported beer or taking in live music upstairs, there are plenty of entertainment options at King’s Head Pub and Eatery. Indian cuisine, classic pub grub, a wide selection of single malt scotch and 26 types of beer on tap are offered at this two-storey British pub. 120 King St, 957-7710. http://www.kingshead.ca/
- Mondragon Bookstore and Coffeehouse features vegan fare from samosas to roti using organic ingredients when available. Organic groceries and a selection of political books are also sold. 91 Albert St, 946-5241. http://mondragon.ca
- Classic French Canadian poutine is given a shake-up at retro take-out joint Smoke’s Poutinerie. More than 20 toppings—think bacon, mustard and guacamole—can be added to your fries, gravy and authentic Quebec cheese curds. 131 Albert St, 253-2873. http://smokespoutinerie.com
- Tre Visi Restaurant’s fine Italian cuisine keeps diners returning to this trendy bistro. Indulge in dishes like tender veal in white wine butter sauce and pillowy soft gnocchi in creamy pesto. 173 McDermot Ave, 949-9032. http://www.trevisirestaurant.com
- Walk down a flight of stairs on Arthur St to The Underground Café, where a buzzing atmosphere and vibrant painted mural greet guests with a warm welcome. Freshly made sandwiches are the specialty and the sun burger—a sesame and sunflower veggie patty topped with lime-dill sauce—is legendary. 70 Arthur St, 956-1925, http://theundergroundcafe.ca/
- The Winnipeg Free Press News Cafe is a one-of-a-kind eatery that doubles as a social hub and space for working WFP journalists. Breakfast classics, house-made soups, salads and hearty sandwiches flavour the menu. 237 McDermot Ave, 943-0682. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/cafe/
Top Places to Shop
- Adorable boutique bakery Cake-ology creates picture-perfect cupcakes, cookies and cakes that taste as good as they look. 85 Arthur St, 612-9866. http://www.cake-ology.ca/
- From dapper hats, bows and buckles to silky scarves and fashion-forward fascinators, The Haberdashery Guys & Girls has a great selection of accessories to complete an outfit. 84 Albert St, 256-3758. http://www.haberdashery.ca
- Prestige dealers at Mayberry Fine Art specialize in Canadian fine art from the Canadian Group of Seven, post-war and contemporary artists from across the country. 212 McDermot Ave, 255-5690. http://www.mayberryfineart.com
- Dig through the incredible treasure trove of books, miniatures, games, magic and toys sourced from around the world at Toad Hall Toys, established in 1977. 54 Arthur St, 956-2195. http://toadhalltoys1.web.officelive.com
- Specializing in luggage, business cases and handbags, UN Luggage offers customers durable, stylish pieces to suit all travel needs. 175 McDermot Ave, 943-1068. http://www.unluggage.mb.ca/
- There are thousands of prints, posters and art cards to browse through at Warehouse Artworks. Local works from Manitoba artists like Roman Swiderek and Julie Harris are also carried. 222 McDermot Ave, 943-1681.
Top Things to See and Do
- The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Bee Gees, Tragically Hip and Gene Simmons are just some of the big name acts that have appeared in the 2,305-seat Centennial Concert Hall, making it one of the city’s top entertainment venues. 555 Main St, 956-1360. http://centennialconcerthall.com
- Movie buffs head to Cinematheque run by the Winnipeg Film Group. This intimate theatre screens top art house film titles in Canadian and world cinema. 304-100 Arthur St, 925-3546. http://www.winnipegfilmgroup.com
- In summer months, tour an exceptional collection of turn-of-the-20th-century buildings led by knowledgeable and dynamic guides hosting the Exchange District Historic Walking Tours. 942-6716 for details. http://www.exchangedistrict.org/biz/exchange-district-biz/guided-walking-tours/
- Explore nine permanent galleries and an ever-changing variety of specialty exhibits that explore the human and natural history of the province at The Manitoba Museum. Climb aboard the 17th century merchant ship the Nonsuch, watch an animated underwater adventure that takes you back 450 million years and view treasures from around the world. A planetarium and hands-on science gallery are also on-site. 190 Rupert Ave, 956-2830. http://www.manitobamuseum.ca
- Catch live scheduled entertainment in the ornate theatre at Pantages Playhouse. This Exchange District landmark has played a vibrant role in Winnipeg’s arts community since it first opened in 1914. 180 Market Ave E, 989-2889. http://www.pantagesplayhouse.com
- Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre—Canada’s first regional English-speaking theatre—presents more than 250 performances annually. Whether catching a play at the main stage or warehouse venues, taking in the Fringe Festival or checking out the Master Playwright Festival, there are plenty of options to delight theatre lovers. 174 Market Ave, 956-1340. http://www.mtc.mb.ca