To be honest, I’m no football fan. But rumour has it the 103rd Grey Cup is kicking off in downtown Winnipeg this afternoon, starting with the arrival of the Cup itself at 3 p.m. at the Legislature, and the festivities to follow sound AWESOME! So much is happening in my ‘hood (downtown), and there are going to be thousands of tourists visiting from other cities to take it all in! (And, as National Geographic confirmed earlier this week, Winnipeg is an awesome city to visit!) So let’s show everyone a good time!
What else is happening?
The University of Winnipeg is going to be a hub of activity from Thursday to Sunday, including a good ol’ Manitoba Parka Party, the Nissan Titan Street Festival (featuring tons of giveaways, local bands to groove to, the Bomber cheer team and more!) tons of kids activities and of course, the starting point of the Santa Claus Parade at 4:30 on Saturday afternoon! There’s a party at The Met on Friday, and the Manitoba Craft Beer Concert Series happens Thursday (with country stars like Aaron Prichett, Dallas Smith and Leanne Pearson at the RBC Convention Centre), Friday (with The Sheepdogs, The Trews and Attica Riots), and Saturday (with Loverboy, 54-40 and Queen City Kids at the MTS Centre). For all the info, visit the Grey Cup Festival website.
You should also know that the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is throwing a Back Alley Bash on Saturday evening after the Santa Claus Parade in the alley behind Dollarama (295 Portage Ave.) – Dirty Catfish Brass Band will be playing, and you can expect ultimate fun vibes all around!
The Hotel Royal Plaza (formerly Lo Pub, 330 Kennedy St.) is hosting events all weekend long, with proceeds going to Canadian Cancer Society.
And last, but certainly not least…the reason this is all happening, the piece du resistance…the actual football game!
Tickets are still available if you want to take in the game, BUT if you want to help end homelessness in Winnipeg, AND attend the game, be the top donor this week at theceosleepout.ca, and you could win yourself a pair of tickets to the Grey Cup.
Happy Grey Cup, Winnipeg!
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s an awesome photography festival in Winnipeg and it’s happening right now!
The Flash Photographic Festival 2015 is on, and we’re lucky enough to feast our eyes on the fantastic photographic skill that’s bursting out of this city!
There’s a handful of excellent downtown exhibits (and a bunch more in the Exchange District!) that you MUST check out before they’re gone – and on the plus side, they’re in some of the hippest and most delicious downtown digs to boot.
Also, don’t forget to check out the #finditdowntown exhibit, compiled by a bunch of talented photographers, and showcased at Portage Place, in a storefront near the fountain (and Staples). You’ll find our downtown is pretty photogenic, and you might just want to follow @finditdowntown on Instagram to grab a peek at what else is out there and catch the wrap-up party at Fools & Horses Coffee Co. on November 7!
Fools & Horses Coffee Co. | 379 Broadway
Colin Grover & Jacqueline Young
Little Maria’s Porchetta & Meatballs | 77 Edmonton St
Grolle Fine Art Studio | Fort Garry Place, 81 Garry St.
Nick’s on Broadway | 287 Broadway
Jason Cottes & Mike Sudoma
cityplace | 333 St. Mary Ave.
Portage Place | 393 Portage Ave.
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ #finditdowntown group show
Rudy’s Eat & Drink | 375 Graham Ave.
Talia Ricci & Gage Fletcher
The Planit Restaurant & Lounge | 285 Portage Ave.
Winnipeg Art Gallery, fourth floor | 300 Memorial Blvd.
FLASH group show
This hockey season, you can #finditdowntown! Drink specials, delicious bites, and tons of screens to watch the game!
And this year, I’ve made it easy for you to find a place to watch the game or to simply chow down on some great eats — restaurants and pubs with great discounts and deals. Check them out below or click here for a full listing of downtown restaurants open before, during, and after the game.
Watch the Game
- Hours: Sunday to Thursday (11:30 to midnight), Friday (11:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.), Saturday (3 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.)
- Happy Hour from 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
- Mondays: $5.5 pints of domestic beer
- Wine Tuesdays: $2 off 6 oz. glass of wine, $3 off 9 oz. glass of wine
- Craft Beer Wednesdays: $2 off craft beer selection
- Dean Martini Thursdays: $6.5 2 oz. martinis
VG Lounge (Fairmont Winnipeg)
- Hours: 11:30 a.m. to late
- $24 pitchers of beer
- Build your own Share Platter $8/app
- Free parking with $75 purchase
Chamberlyn’s Restaurant & Catering
- Hours: 5 p.m. to late
- Steak sandwich and domestic beer for $20
- Hours: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
- Pitchers of Bud and Bud Light for $15
- Cajun Honey Popcorn $1.50 (first bag is free for the table)
- Beef Chilli $8
- Beef Nachos $13
- Bucket of Fried Chicken $16/6 pieces
- Hours: Monday to Saturday (11 a.m. to 2 a.m.), open early and later on Sundays on game days
- $15 Burger and Beer (choice of import or domestic draft)
- Hours: Monday & Tuesday (11 a.m. to midnight), Wednesday to Friday (11 a.m. to 1 a.m.),
- Saturday (3 p.m. to 1 a.m.), Sunday (12 p.m. to 10 p.m.)
- $3.99 16 oz. Bud or Bud Light Draft, every game home or away
- Met Buffet for $15.99 starting at 5:00 p.m., every home game
- Hours: 2 p.m. to late
- Park in Rice Centre for $5
- Daily food and drink specials
Carbone Coal Fired Pizza
- Hours: Monday to Friday (11:30 a.m. to late), Saturday & Sunday (1:00 p.m. to late), open early and later on game days
- Once the puck drops: $2 off all draft beer, Bud & Bud Light Buckets for $16, 2 for 1 wings, buy a $20 self pour beer for $15
Bar Red Sea
- Hours: 11 a.m. to late on game days
- Pound of wings and beer for $10
- Hours: Monday & Tuesdays (5 p.m. to 12 a.m.), Wednesday to Sunday (5 p.m. to 2 a.m.)
- Pints of Budweiser for $3.99 during home and away games, including intermissions
- Hours: Monday to Friday (11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.), Saturday to Sunday (5 p.m. to 10 p.m.)
- Happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Free parking for guests who eat there before game
- Buffet for $22 on home game days, 2 hours prior to first puck drop
- Free parking voucher for your next visit
Starbucks Coffee (Radisson Hotel)
- True North Blend Grande Coffee and Sweet Treat for $4, 2 hours prior to first puck drop on home game days
Kennedy Pub (330 Kennedy St.)
- Game day special $1 off any drink you order
Hotel Royal Plaza
- Game day special 20% off any room booking
Waves Restaurant & Bar
- 15% off your next visit (excluding alcohol)
- 10% off any order
- All you can eat ribs 5 p.m. until puck drop $25.99
- Add on all you can eat sides $3.50
Nick’s on Broadway
- $3.75 Half Pints and $2 off sandwich special
- 10% off with purchase over $5
Fools & Horses
- Creative hockey-inspired cocktails
There is so much going on downtown these days – I can hardly keep up! But as I was bustling down Portage Ave one noon-hour, I noticed a new business in a space that’s been empty for a while!
The Planit – at 285 Portage Ave. – is a very cool addition to the Portage strip. Owners Ashley and Sandra pride themselves on hosting guests in a safe, comfortable space and serving up fantastic, locally sourced food.
I tried a few apps when I was there – the elk flatbread pizza and stuffed jalapenos, which were both delicious, and I’m looking forward to going back to try a few of the sandwiches and entrees. And because they’re big on sourcing ingredients locally, the menu will change with the seasons.
Other cool things about this place: they’re super focused on the community through hosting events, fundraisers, bands, djs, poetry readings…you name it, staying open till 4 a.m. on weekends, offering up wall space to local artists to display and sell their wares, and they even have a program in place for people experiencing homelessness to grow the skills they need to transition into the workforce.
They’re hosting the Flash Photography Festival this month, so there’s your perfect excuse to pop by for lunch or when hunger hits after hours on the weekend!
Want to win a $50 gift cert to The Planit? Check out their menu and let me know in the comments what you’d order and you just might be the lucky winner!
SkyCity Centre just opened its sales centre on Garry St., and I couldn’t help myself but stop in for a peek! As many of you know, I love to shop downtown – so naturally, I left the sales centre with a 1 bedroom, 651 sq. ft. unit – oops!
The space has a 50 sq. ft. balcony, too – can’t wait to relax on one of my Eames chairs and take in the gorgeous view of downtown’s emerging skyline. What really sold me was the extensive list of amenities; there are 30,000 sq. ft. of them, all available exclusively to residents. The 8th floor features a gym, stretching room, hot tubs, a dog run and more. There’s
a movie theatre, huge lounge area and private dining room for dinner parties on the 45th floor. As the highest building in Winnipeg, this will be an amazing place to watch fireworks on Canada Day!
SkyCity Centre Winnipeg will be located at 245 Graham Ave. between Garry Street and Fort Street, just one block north of the new MTS Centre (home of the Winnipeg Jets), and flanked by a transit only street to the west. This iconic building will have a striking design created by award-winning Kirkor Architects and will become the postcard shot for downtown Winnipeg. The typical suites range from 529 sf to 1,003 sf, with larger combination suites available up to 1,600 sf. Units are now on sale and start from the $190s.
I’d love for you to be my neighbour! Visit skycitywinnipeg.ca for more information and to view the floorplans, standard suite features, artist’s renderings of common amenities and much more!
Something has come over Winnipeg – it’s saucy, juicy, meaty, and quite frankly, a bit messy.
It’s Le Burger Week. And people are going wild for the city’s best burgers.
How it works: check out the Le Burger Week website, let your mouth water for a bit, designate your top picks (play eenie, meenie if necessary) and then go forth and eat those burgers!
And don’t forget to download the Burger Week app and vote!
I’ve conveniently compiled a list of the nine downtown burgers I’ll be trying this week (photos courtesy of Charcoal Collaborative)! And if you try one, be sure to #finditdowntown and tag me in your tweets and Instagrams!
The Keg – 115 Garry St.
Maple Crunch Burger
The Keg’s signature 8oz prime rib burger with jalapeño aioli, maple butter, bacon, melted brie cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce and house-made crispy chips on a toasted bun.
Shannon’s Irish Pub – 175 Carlton St.
Served on ciabatta bun with a garlic mayo, cheese, tomato and Jameson-infused sautéed onions and house fries.
ERA Bistro at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
In house made beef patty, chedda, swiss, all the fixings on an in house made pao de queijo.
Rudy’s Eat & Drink – 375 Graham Ave.
The “Dad Bod” Onion Burger
Caramelized onion, havarti cheese & house bacon stuffed in a freshly ground 100% steak patty on an onion cheddar bun topped with house-made onion rings.
The Merchant Kitchen – 314 Donald St.
Sweet & Sour Pork Belly Burger
Slow roasted pork belly, pork pate, cilantro, Sriracha mayo, grilled pineapple, fried egg, sweet and sour BBQ sauce, sesame seed bun.
The Velvet Glove – 2 Lombard Pl.
Ancho cumin beef burger, guacamole, pica de gallo, cheese sauce, crushed Doritos, pickle chips, red onion and Sriracha crema on a brioche bun.
Nick’s on Broadway – 287 Broadway
The Asobi Burger
Manitoba Beef Patty soaked in bacon fat, goat cheese, nori bacon, watermelon radish, arugula, black garlic aioli, edamame chow-chow on brioche.
Oscar’s Deli – 175 Hargrave St.
Two beef patties, bacon, pastrami, salami, American cheese, egg, lettuce, tomato, fried onions, dressed with hot mustard and horseradish sauce on a sesame seed egg bun.
SMITH at the Inn at the Forks
SMITH spiced pork burger with house cured bacon, grilled pineapple, Fort Garry Beer mustard.
Hey! Did you go to Interstellar Rodeo a few weekends ago at The Forks?
What an awesome time. How great that we could come together as a community, in the heart of our city – where two rivers meet – and where people have been meeting for most of history, to share in the amazing music created by top musicians.
I thought it was a great fest. The music was fantastic – now I can say I’ve been serenaded by the likes of Sarah McLachlan, Dwight Yoakam and Vance Joy.
The crowd was a pleasant size and it was really enjoyable to have the option of wine paired with each act.
And I enjoyed being able to walk home at the end of the night!
It’s events like this that make our downtown and public spaces like The Forks even more welcoming, vibrant, and exciting to go to.
I’m excited to hear that downtown will be the home of a whole bunch of new events in the coming months. It makes sense – downtown is where it’s at! I’ve been saying this for years.
But truly, we have it all – several transit hubs, green space, restaurants and some of the largest event spaces in the city – heck, the new RBC Convention centre is going to be the biggest space of its kind between Toronto and Vancouver. And it’s central to everyone, no matter where you live in the city!
Events I’m looking forward to finding downtown in the coming months include:
Snowflake: Snowflake is a winter urban wellness retreat that will nourish and inspire in the cold prairie winter. The event offers participants rejuvenation, inspiration, and connection to their community through an offering of wellness workshops and inspiring activities to choose from. Yoga with renowned teachers from across the country, creative workshops, inspired speakeasy session, outdoor adventures, live music and entertainment, vendor village.
Wall-to-Wall II: Wall-to-Wall is a mural and culture festival that sees the creation of indoor and outdoor murals. Each new work of art is celebrated with unique events. Wall-to-Wall II will expand beyond West Broadway, the birthplace of the festival, to Downtown, with an exterior mural launched at Fools & Horses Coffee Co.
Downtown ARTery: Downtown ARTery will transform the entire stretch of Graham Ave. from the WAG to 201 Portage into a corridor of light and art. It will dramatically change both the distribution of Nuit Blanche Winnipeg activities and Winnipeggers’ experience of this underutilized area, while highlighting a variety of local artists and performers. Also, there’s A Moveable Feast bike tour on the September 26 – the night of Nuit Blanche. Participants will get to check out the Artery before getting VIP access to the WAG on this popular night! Info/tickets available here.
2K Dangle: A fun run for hockey fans of all ages and skill levels will see participants run and stickhandle a ball for 2 kilometers starting at Memorial Park then ending at Manitoba’s Legislative Building.
Spaceland: A one-day block party inspired by SXSW, Spaceland will take over an urban dead zone and fill it with music and people, facilitating a collective reimagining of public space. Food trucks, a small beer garden, eight of the city’s hottest up-and-coming bands and two national headliners, and creative placemaking, will make Spaceland an exciting new addition to the city’s musical landscape.
For more events coming to your downtown, click here!