The province of Manitoba boasts of having some of the best tourist sites in all of Canada. Assiniboine Park is one of the places located in Winnipeg that make it so amazing. The park spans over 1,100 acres (450 hectares) and is maintained and owned by the Winnipeg Public Parks Board.
But what is so special about the park that it is so beloved among the people of the city? Find out below!
Formerly known as the City Park, the Assiniboine Park as it is known in the modern day has been around for over a hundred years. There are various attractions within the walls of the park that cater to the entertainment of people of all ages, old and young. Without any further ado, let’s take an in-depth look at the park and all the things that make it great!
Assiniboine Park: 8 Incredible things
1. Leo Mol Sculpture Garden
Leonid Molodozhanyn was Ukrainian and Canadian descent. He was known to the rest of the world more popularly as Dr Leo Mol.
The Leo Mol Sculpture Garden displays some of the amazing work that the artist created. The sculptures present in the park are made of bronze and ceramic. Along with the sculptures, many drawings and paintings made by Leo Mol himself are also on display.
Now, the sculptures aren’t the only good thing about the Sculpture Garden although it is easy to see why some might think so. The Sculpture Garden is a very peaceful spot and is known to be a brilliant way to get away from the noise of the city.
Entry to the park is free of cost, and the flower beds in the park make it a very pleasant sight to the eyes. Leo Mol himself was known to be a wonderful gentleman, one with whom you could have an amazing conversation. The park offers various different flavours to visitors throughout the year, but fall is the best time to come to this part of Assiniboine Park.
2. Duck Pond
The Duck Pond is one of the most famous parts of Assiniboine Park. During summer, the pond is full of open water where you can come to relax and enjoy the flower beds right beside the pond. During the winter though, it offers a very different experience.
As Winnipeg has one of the coldest winters in all of Canada, the Duck Pond freezes over when the mercury drops. This creates a great opportunity for people to go skiing on the frozen surface of the pond.
There is a restaurant beside the Duck Pond which offers amazing food at very reasonable prices. You should try having breakfast here because of the selection of dishes that the place has. The restaurant is very child-friendly and hence, offers a good reason to visit the park with family.
Although it is called the Duck Pond, Canada geese are a lot more common on and beside the surface of the Duck Pond.
3. English Garden
The English Garden is the most well-known part of Assiniboine Park. The garden boasts of over three acres of perennial flowers, shrubs, bushes and trees that are arranged in a typically English fashion.
There is a rose garden within the area marked as the English Garden which is divided into four different sections. A pond lies at the centre of the rose garden, and although it has been named the fish-lily pond no fish or lilies exist within the water body. Only a central fountain can be found at the pond.
The purpose of the construction of the English Garden was so that the citizens of Manitoba, as well as tourists, could get information about floriculture. Ever since the execution of the idea, new flower species have been introduced into the English Garden on an annual basis.
If you ask around in the city, there’s a very good chance that people will suggest that you spend your day exploring Assiniboine Park. Upon further inquiry, nine out of ten residents will recommend that you make it a point to spend some quality time at the English Garden.
4. Assiniboine Park Pavilion
The Assiniboine Park Pavilion is one of the most instantly recognizable locations in the city of Winnipeg. It is also the cornerstone of the Assiniboine Park, located in the heart of the vast, lush fields. The Pavilion is a three-storeyed building, all of them dedicated to exhibiting art.
Pieces from local artists as well as internationally acclaimed artists can be found at the Pavilion. Entry to the Pavilion is free, like most other facilities at the park.
You can’t expect the kids to appreciate art the way a grown human being would. Keeping that in mind, the Pavilion has made a special attraction for kids, and adults who are young at heart.
If you explore the Pavilion, you’ll find that it houses the early drawings of Winnie the Pooh and the history of the character in itself. Here’s a fun fact that most people don’t know: Winnie the Pooh was named after the city of Winnipeg, and a display dedicated to the widely-loved character in the heart of the city only seems right.
The height of the Pavilion is about 90 feet (27 metres). When it was first built, the tower contained the pump and the water system that was supposed to be the source of all the water in the park. It was destroyed in the fire that occurred in the month of May 1929.
The original plan for the Pavilion included a dance hall, a banquet hall and amenities for catering.
5. Lyric Theatre
The Lyric Theatre is located very close to the Assiniboine Park Pavilion. It was opened in 1999 and is still functional to this day. The construction follows the bandshell pattern, which refers to the dome-shaped outdoor theatres originally meant to reflect the sound coming from the stage back to the audience.
Admission to the Lyric Theatre is free, and there are events held throughout the year that you should check out. The best of the events held at the Lyric Theatre has to be the outdoor movie night. As you can imagine, watching a movie under the stars is a wonderful experience that everyone should try at least once in their life.
Apart from movie nights, there are bands booked to play at the stage throughout the year. Do check out the list of events being held at the theatre here.
Ballet in the Park is another popular event that is held at the theatre during the summer. If you’re into exploring new avenues of art, then do consider catching a show of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra or the Winnipeg Royal Ballet at the Lyric Theatre!
6. The Assiniboine Park Zoo
The Assiniboine Park Zoo is the highlight of the Assiniboine Park. While there are many other contenders for that title, no other attraction of the park caters to as large an audience as the zoo does.
The zoo was originally opened in July 1908 and has been welcoming visitors for over a century. The zoo forms a very large chunk of the Assiniboine Park, at an area of 90 acres (36 hectares). The zoo leads to the English Garden, and it is recommended that you pay a visit to the animals first before resting for a while at the English Garden.
The Assiniboine Park Zoo is one of the few things in the park that actually charge a fee from visitors, which is justified. The fee is reasonably priced and offers a great family experience to all those who visit. The most favored attraction in the zoo has to be the Polar Bear display.
If you want to get the best out of your trip to the Assiniboine Park Zoo, then you should plan your trip during the winter.
Miniature railways have something very special about them. The one at Assiniboine Park is no different. The train station is located in the Assiniboine Park, and it houses the Assiniboine Park Railroad. On top of that, there is another private mini train that you can find right outside the park, very close to the zoo.
Many families in the city have traditions of coming to ride the mini-train during certain times of the year. It is also a great way to spend some quality family time.
8. Sports Fields
The park has various playgrounds for kids including a cycling road, a baseball pitch and three different cricket pitches which count for three different fields where separate groups can interact and play a game.
The Assiniboine Park is where the Manitoba Cricket Board holds all club cricket competitions. In addition to that, it was also the host of the under 19 Cricket World Cup that was held in 2012.
The playgrounds offer the more energetic kids a chance to run around and enjoy. It also makes the park a great place for a picnic.
The land which is today known as the Assiniboine Park was originally acquired by the Winnipeg Public Parks Board in 1904. The park was officially opened to the public in 1909. For over a century, the park has been the go-to place for people in Winnipeg and there is no doubt that it will continue to be so for generations to come.
Do check out 11 Awesome Facts About the Province of Manitoba.