FTLComm - Winnipeg - April 6, 1999
Without a doubt, Winnipeg's Forks is a very special place. Making use of the old warehouses East of the Railway station and at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboia Rivers the Forks is of course the original site of the early trading post that became Winnipeg. Like Granville Island in Vancouver and Yorkville in Toronto, the Forks is a mix of international shops, local culture and a general sprinkling of fun.

In the various buildings in the area are a wide variety of specialties shops that sell everything from puzzles to popcorn. The main concourse is in fact an open food market and a delight to the senses. As you move from stall to stall you can sample foods from around the world to right next door.

The picture on the right is what you see as you enter one of the main buildings beside the open square.

The place had loads of people on Monday when we dropped by and with construction in full swing we could see the progress toward getting things ready for the Pan-American games to be held in Winnipeg this summer and the Forks will figure prominently in this project as a centre for the many cultural activities planned.

The heavy snowfall over the weekend has enlarged considerably the rivers, have a look around in the QuickTime VR panorama below. The walk along the river is now mostly submerged and the spring crest of the river is not expected until about two weeks from now.
These two pictures only give you a hint at the atmosphere in one of the buildings we visited Monday. There was a guitar playing street musician playing while tourists like ourselves and people who look like they come there to take advantage of the atmosphere for a meeting, a lunch or just a place to spend a fine afternoon.

The little shops and stalls, some as small as six feet long while others are large galleries offer such a wide variety of things but there is a deliberate emphasis on specialty products and exotic things from Africa, Asia and Europe. There are Jamaican food stands and marvellous chocolate factories side by side with meat markets, fish mongers and vegetable merchants. A series of restaurants ring this particular building with glass and access to the outside.
Above is a view of a shop stocked with interesting products from China. These shoppers are admiring the marvels of the pottery and clever art and novelty items in this great store.