The Exchange District is a National Historic Site of Canada in the downtown area of Winnipeg , Manitoba , Canada. Just one block north of Canada‘s most famous intersection, Portage and Main, the Exchange District comprises twenty city blocks and approximately 150 heritage buildings, and it is known for its intact early 20th century collection of warehouses, financial institutions, and early terra cotta clad skyscrapers.
Winnipeg’s Exchange District: Where it all began!
The Exchange District is one of Winnipeg’s assets and many people forget that there is so much to do there and so many reasons to live there. It is especially active in the summer with concerts and events. It is filled with old, historical buildings, fabulous restaurants, and retail stores that have great stuff to purchase.
Here are some of the things you won’t want to miss in Old Market Square in Winnipeg this summer:
1. The Exchange District Walking tours.
Did you know there are many walking tours in the Exchange District that give you a chance to learn more about your city? If you are interested in movies and the theatre, you’ll love their newest tour, Real to Real, where you can see how the Exchange District has been transformed into various scenes from movies. There are other tours as well that focus on things like the banking district, the newspapers, the grain exchange, and even the darkest secrets of the city.
2. Friday Concerts.
Every Friday from 12 noon to 1 PM you can enjoy various musical treats at places throughout the Exchange District. This summer some of the concerts you can enjoy include Free Ride, Sons of York, and the JD Edwards Band. What a perfect way to spend your lunch as you enjoy some sunshine and good music – and it’s all free!
3. Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival.
There’s no better time of the year to enjoy some of Winnipeg’s best theatrical talent. From July 13-24 this year, you can enjoy comedic, historical, dramatic productions and more. You can buy a pass for a day or for a weekend or for the entire festival and take in as many productions as you like during that time. There are also free events and entertainment at the Old Market Square grandstand where you’ll also find some fabulous food and fun products that you can buy as a keepsake. Find out more about the Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
4.The Winnipeg Jazz Festival.
This is an event that jazz lovers look forward to all year long and it draws in some major talent. From June 16-25 you can enjoy all kinds of jazz music. Some of the talent you can enjoy include Mark McLean, Pete Rock, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Steve Martin. Yes, I just said Steve Martin and yes, it is THAT Steve Martin. Steve Martin will be playing with the Steep Canyon Rangers and playing music from his new CD, Rare Bird Alert.Find out more about Jazz Winnipeg.Watch Video
5. Exchange District Restaurants.
When you’re enjoying all that great entertainment you are bound to get hungry and thirsty. Fortunately, the Exchange District is filled with restaurants and lounges where you can quench your thirst or get your fill of good food. Bailey’s is a popular place to eat and drink if you want an upperscale environment and Johnny G’s is known for a more casual setting. Other places you might want to check out include Cakeology, King’s Head Pub, The Line Up, Tre Visi, or The Underground Cafe.
Whether you’re looking for a day of fun, or thinking about a unique place to live, put Winnipeg’s Exchange District on your list.
Sagan Morrow owns an open-concept condo in Winnipeg’s Exchange District and loves downtown living. By night she writes the blog Living Healthy in the Real World and is the Executive Director for The Food Label Movement; by day, she coordinates the Dig In local food campaign for Food Matters Manitoba. Sagan has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Rhetoric, Writing and Communications and is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist. She enjoys taking in the theatre and art culture of downtown Winnipeg during her spare time.