Winnipeg’s North End and Mosaic Market area is one of the oldest settlements in the city. The area’s cultural makeup is best exemplified in the many stores, bakeries and restaurants along Main Street. A visit to the North End isn’t complete without a few stops along the way. Be sure to check out the popular Kelekis diner, a family-run eatery, which first began as a mobile chip cart in 1931, and Gunn’s Bakery, an old country-style kosher bakery serving up goods since 1937. Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, adorned by an exquisite exterior mosaic, is a fine example of Ukrainian Baroque architecture. Located inside the cathedral is the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, which houses a unique collection of art, library and gift shop. Ross House Museum, which served as the first Post Office in Western Canada, is one of the last remaining examples of Red River frame architecture in Winnipeg.
Location: The approximate boundaries are CPR railway tracks to the south, McPhillips St to the west, Carruthers and Matheson Ave to the north and the Red River to the east. Located 1.6 km from downtown and 7.5 km from the airport.
How to get there: From the airport, turn onto Wellington Ave and turn left onto Century St (Route 90). Turn right onto Notre Dame Ave. Turn left onto Keewatin St. Turn right onto Logan Ave. Turn right on McPhillips St. Head north past the railway tracks into the North End.
Bus routes: 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 45, 71, 88, 97
Top Places to Eat
- Baraka Pita Bakery & Mediterranean Deli is a hidden gem on Main St, serving up authentic Lebanese dishes to eat in or take out. Some stand-outs include: hefty, bold-flavoured chicken shawarmas, juicy beef donairs, zesty spinach fatires and freshly baked pitas. 1783 Main St, 334-2004.
- Row upon row of baked cakes, bagels, cookies, breads and pastries beckon from the glass case at Gunn’s Bakery. One of the oldest family-run bakeries in Western Canada, Gunn’s is renowned for its kosher and ethnic baked goods. Of the 300 products offered, the most famous is the sweet, flaky applejack pastry. 247 Selkirk Ave, 582-2364. http://www.gunnsbakery.com
- A wall of signed celebrity patron photos is part of Kelekis’ diner charm. This retro North End institution is renowned for its addictive shoe-string fries, grilled burgers and hot dogs. 1100 Main St, 582-1786. http://www.kelekisrestaurant.com
- Set in an elegant dining room inside McPhillips Station Casino, Michele’s lays out glorious buffet and brunch spreads to please all tastes. Prime rib and seafood buffets are offered Friday and Saturday respectively. Diners must be 18 years of age and over to enter. 484 McPhillips St, 957-2500. http://www.mcphillipsstation.com/dining
- It’s easy to spot White Top Drive-In with its iconic red-and-white stripes. Flavourful “Fat Boy” chili burgers, poutine and creamy, sumptuous ice cream sundaes make White Top a beloved neighbourhood standby. 409 Manitoba Ave, 589-4419.
Top Places to Shop
- Coffee connoisseurs clamour for Black Pearl Coffee’s aromatic beans, micro-roasted on site daily. Pick up bags of premium, certified fair-trade and organic coffee sourced from around the world. 460 Dufferin Ave, 586-3989. http://www.blackpearlcoffee.ca/
- One of three locations in town, Gimli Fish Market is a top source for fresh seafood and fish, particularly from Lake Winnipeg. Be sure to try smoked goldeye, a regional delicacy, which can be packed for travel. 596 Dufferin Ave, 589-3474. http://gimlifish.com/
- For a piece of Ukraine, The Todaschuk Sisters’ Ukrainian Boutique is chock full of folk art, Easter eggs, traditional red beads, CDs, embroidered tea towels, candles and other old world gifts. Note: shopping is by appointment only. 508 Selkirk Ave, 586-3445.
- Winnipeg Trading Post stocks a wide range of beads, furs and rawhide for native crafts. The gorgeous, ultra-soft mukluks and moccasins carried are a well-worth-it splurge. 1128 Main St, 947-0513.
- When temperatures drop, go to Wonderful World of Sheepskin for essential outdoor gear from jackets to mitts to earmuffs made of ultra-warm and cozy sheepskin. 250 Dufferin Ave, 586-8097. http://www.worldofsheepskin.com/index.html
Top Things to See and Do
- Completed in 1962, Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral features five copper domes and a stunning exterior mosaic of the holy trinity. World-renowned Ukrainian artist and Winnipeg resident Leo Mol accepted the commission of this mosaic. 1175 Main St. http://www.htuomc.org/
- McPhillips Station Casino transports guests back to the grand old days of the railroad with opulent chandeliers, red velvet and dark wood decor. Play VLTs, poker, bingo or blackjack; catch live entertainment; or watch a game in the sports bar inside this 178,000 sq. ft. centre. 484 McPhillips St, 957-2500. http://www.casinosofwinnipeg.com/
- Learn about the early operation of postal service in Western Canada at Ross House Museum. This historic building is made entirely of oak timber with hand-carved logs and features an interpretive exhibit to reflect the life of the Ross family home when it operated as a post office. 140 Meade St N, 943-3958. http://www.mhs.mb.ca/info/museums/ross/index.shtml
- Joe Zuken Heritage Park, 140 Meade St North, 943-3958. The Winnipeg branch of the Ukrainian Museum of Canada is located in the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan Church. Dedicated to the preservation of Ukrainian culture, the museum displays folk art and crafts made by early pioneers, traditional dress, Easter eggs, woodcarvings and woven articles. 1175 Main St, 582-1018. http://www.umc.sk.ca/page/contact
- There are 18 holes of family entertainment amongst the black-light glow of painted sea creatures and dinosaurs at U-Puttz Black Light Mini Golf. 423 McPhillips St, 582-2166. http://www.u-puttz.ca/