Winnipeg Shopping Guide
While a meeting or convention at RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg is always a win, we're willing to bet that you'll also enjoy your time outside of your work obligations – especially when it comes to discovering the city's shopping scene.
Chances are, you have some gifts you’ll need to pick up for the family back home, while surely making some time for yourself to work that charge card is in order.
On that note, whether your version of retail therapy involves a mall, a chic neighbourhood studded with enticing storefronts, or an area brimming with big brand name stores, Winnipeg has a spot for you.
In Winnipeg's highly walkable Exchange District you’ll find plenty of local designers and no shortage of fashionable and fun stores -- all located within this handsome setting that is actually a National Historic Site.
On the locally crafted jewelry side of things, Hilary Druxman (258 McDermot Avenue) has made a name for herself with handcrafted, minimalistic and multi-occasional pieces in silver and gold, while newbie dconstruct ecoresin and concrete jewelry (84 ½ Albert Street) makes affordable and fun pieces out of recycled resin and concrete that are simply sublime. For those of you looking for a little Wes Anderson-esque preciousness in your lives, Tiny Feast (217 McDermot) has everything from fancy stationary, to stylized local map prints (which make a great gift), to carefully curated gifts and homewares, while Tara Davis Boutique (246 McDermot Avenue) is the definition of utterly charming, featuring everything from cards, to kid’s and women’s clothes, local art, pottery and plates, earrings and handbags.
And let's not forget about all the magic that is Toad Hall Toys (54 Arthur Street), where you can find almost every toy imaginable in a delightful Old World setting that will have you on the lookout for students from Hogwarts. Indeed, the Exchange District is so hip and design savvy that the area has its own non-profit organization called Design Quarter Winnipeg who highlight and list all "the authentic, local, design-driven experiences" so you can have a curated experience while exploring and shopping the area (maps are available at stores across the Exchange, while you can follow them on social media @designQwpg.
More locally made wears and fashionable numbers can be found in Osborne Village, where the stores are door to door making it feel like one big sidewalk sale (which you just may encounter in the summer). A few gems in the Village include Out of the Blue (102 Osborne Street), for boho-chic fashions, accessories and shoes; Rooster Shoes (105 Osborne Street) – which also has some great coats; and Silver Lotus (103 Osborne Street), which specializes in whimsical jewelry and exquisite handbags.
On Corydon Avenue, Winnipeg’s former Little Italy, you can hop from shop to shop – finding everything from jewelry to men’s wear – all on one walkable little stretch. A few can’t miss stops on this stretch include the October Boutique (847 Corydon Avenue) – whose motto is “Women are Strong” and who back it up with some really rocking wears, particular in the coat, denim and dress department; Penny Loaf Bakery (858 Corydon Avenue), where the wood fire oven sourdough breads are a work of art (they also have excellent desserts too); The Peg Authentic (807 Corydon), where you can get comfy Winnipeg-branded streetwear; and Poppie (1724 Corydon Avenue), where the slogan, “we love helping women find clothing that makes them feel amazing,” is spot on.
Another nice hood where you can hit the streets and get chic is Academy Road in River Heights. On one stretch situated across eight blocks you can find everything from a perfect cocktail dress at Mad About Style (538 Academy Road); to really cool (and comfy) art and clothes celebrating Canadian and Winnipeg (for both men and women) at North Flag (558 Academy Road); to fancy-pants macaroons that you’ll surely want to Instagram from Jenna Rae Cakes (580 Academy Road).
On getting there: Both Corydon Avenue and Academy road are only approximately a 10-minute cab or Uber ride from downtown, Osborne Village is just over the bridge from the Manitoba Legislative Building (so about a five minute drive or 20 minute walk from downtown), while the Exchange District is merely a few blocks away from the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg, which includes the ability to reach it by heated skywalks and the underground.
Big box stores and shopping centres
If you do your best work in a mall or in an area saturated in big box stores, Winnipeg also has countless options.
For starters there is CF Polo Park (1485 Portage Avenue), central Canada’s largest shopping mall where the brands include Disney, H&M, Anthropologie, Fossil, Urban Outfitters and Michael Kors (to name but a few). It’s just a five minute drive from downtown, while the area it is situated in is surrounded by restaurants and a few local breweries too.
Further south of downtown (about a 15 minute drive) is where you’ll find the brand new Outlet Collection Winnipeg (555 Sterling Lyon Parkway), Winnipeg’s first fashion outlet which offers over 400,000 sq. ft. of swish indoor retail space, featuring over 100 brands including Nike, Under Armor, Saks off 5th and Roots.
In this same area – which is known as Seasons of Tuxedo – you’ll also find IKEA, a massive Cabela’s, HomeSense, and numerous other quality big box stores.
Made in Manitoba must-have gifts
Before we get into this list, we must state that so many of these products you can now find at the newly refurbished (and fabulous!) The Forks Market, where the majority of the stores specialize in carrying locally made goods.
On top of that, stores that specialize in locally made goods include the Gallery Shop at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Museum Shop at the Manitoba Museum, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Boutique, and the Museum Store at the St. Boniface Museum.
- Coal and Canary Candles – these locally made candles have taken the city by storm. They smell amazing, have long-lasting wood wicks, and also feature some of the puniest names around. Available at fine stores across the city along with their new flagship store inside The Forks Market.
- Manitoba Mukluks – some of the world’s most comfy and warm footwear is created by this Indigenous-owned company who employ local Indigenous artists. They make moccasins, mukluks, and “Storyboots,” the latter of which are one-of-a-kind creations where the artist receives 100 per cent of the proceeds.
- Chocolates – Chocolatier Constance Popp (180 Provencher Boulevard) specializes in turning iconic Winnipeg settings like the Golden Boy, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and more into stunning edible creations, while also using a host of gourmet local ingredients in her delicious creations. Other notable chocolatiers include Aschenti Cocoa (782 Corydon Avenue), who go beyond fair trade and specialize in bean-to-bar creations that come directly from farmers they work with in West Africa, Decadence Chocolates (70 Sherbrook Street), Mordens’ of Winnipeg (674 Sargent Avenue), and Melt Chocolate Co., whose owner/chocolatier Amanda Green used to be the Principal Dancer with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
- Beeproject Apiaries – Owners Chris Kirouac and Lindsay Nikkel have urban bee hives located across the city and in quite residential neighbourhoods, from which they produce their small batch honeys. In this, you literally can get a taste for the city, as a bee’s honey will differ depending on where and what they are pollinating. They sell their honey at fine retailers across Winnipeg.
- Capital K Distillery – Winnipeg’s newest – and currently only distillery – has one fantastic lineup of premium spirits, including some of the smoothest vodka and gins you’ve ever tasted. 1680 Dublin Avenue.