5 Essential Experiences in Winnipeg’s Exchange District

Whether you’re a Winnipeg first-timer or exploring new spots as a local, one must-see area of town is the Exchange District.

5 Essential Experiences in Winnipeg's Exchange District

Recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada, you can find Winnipeg’s 20-block Exchange District just north of Portage and Main. With many hotels in Winnipeg, this city is worth your visit, and we’ve rounded up top activities and locations to stop by throughout the year within its hottest region.

1. Theatre District 

Some of Canada’s finest art can be observed firsthand within the Theatre District, located on the east side of Exchange District. Catch a variety of entertaining shows at the Manitoba Theatre Centre or Centennial Concert Hall, where you can see touring musical acts, the legendary Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and the Manitoba Opera.

2. Old Market Square

Nestled at the corner of Bannatyne Avenue and King Street, Old Market Square transforms into a bustling whirlwind of activity in the spring and summer. Visitors often make a far trek to attend events like the Soca Reggae Festival, Jazz Winnipeg Festival, Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival, and Manitoba Electronic Music Exhibition-and rightfully so.

3. First Fridays 

Running for nearly a decade, First Fridays are your introduction to the Exchange District.  Held year round on the first Friday of each month, you never know where the night may take you on this walking tour of downtown’s shops and galleries. Choose a free self-guided tour or purchase tickets and make a reservation for the Art Talk/Art Walk.

4. Art Galleries

The Exchange District is known as a haven for art lovers. Purchase original print art at Martha Street Studio, or take a class at Cre8ery to up your personal artistic skills. Mayberry Fine Art gallery hones in on fine art appraisals and Canadian collections. Experience the matchless cultural appeal of Urban Shaman, which uniquely displays the work of children and adults from all over the world. Whether you’re on a First Fridays tour or self-guided walk, these galleries are worth stopping for.

5. Food Tours 

Love the idea of being led through the cuisine of the Exchange District by a seasoned expert? Check out a food tour, which guides you through restaurants like Deer + Almond, Peasant Cookery, Blüfish (try the Cajun seared salmon!) and others for an exquisite look at all that the district has to offer.

Check out more great things to do in Winnipeg.