Officially opened in 1909 and named after the Assiniboine people, strolling the pathways that meander through Assiniboine Park is a classic pastime for Winnipeggers. Home to beautiful gardens, playgrounds, a conservatory and an excellent zoo on the same grounds; for more than 100 years locals and tourists alike have adored this 1,100-acre urban park.
The park's signature is the Assiniboine Park Pavilion. A focus of early Winnipeg's social life, the pavilion was built in 1908. Originally including a dance hall and banquet hall, it was tragically destroyed by fire in May 1929.
The current larger pavilion was opened in May 1930 and today remains one of Winnipeg's most familiar landmarks and converted into an art-filled gallery. Entry is free but donations are always accepted.
Attractive gardens make up a large portion of the park with 400 acres designed in the English landscape style. Both The Conservatory and English Garden Open are open to the public for free every day of the year. Originally erected in 1914, inside The Conservatory you’ll find more than 8,000 flowers, plants and trees.
The Leo Mol Sculpture Garden displays more than three hundred works by Ukrainian-Canadian artist Dr. Leo Nol. Make sure to take a peek into Dr. Mol’s old school house studio site while you are there.
Another major attraction at Assiniboine Park is the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Located at the western end of the park, just North of the main parking area, it’s home to over 300 animal species. The newly opened 'Journey To Churchill' exhibit is the real standout with a 10-acre exhibit dedicated to northern and Arctic species such as polar bears.
With extensive displays, a popular feature of the 'Journey To Churchill' exhibit is the underwater viewing tunnels, known as Sea Ice Passage. These tunnels will give you a rare opportunity to view polar bears and seals as they swim by above you. Perhaps most unique, there is a clear wall between the two species habitats which creates a dynamic environment since the animals can see and smell each other.