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Manitoba and Saskatchewan
Manitoba and Saskatchewan are two of Canada's three central Prairie Provinces, home to rich agricultural land and diverse wildlife.
Manitoba sits right in the middle of Canada and is North America’s geographic centre. Bordered by Ontario to the east, Nunavut Territory to the north, and to the south by North Dakota and Minnesota. Its capital is Winnipeg, located just 65 miles north of the American border, and easily accessible by rail, road and air. Manitoba’s landscape is as enchanting as it is diverse, with prairie grassland in the south and west, rugged Canadian Shield lakes and forests in the east and north, and arctic coastline and tundra in the extreme north.
Saskatchewan lies directly to the west of Manitoba and borders Canada's third Prairie province, Alberta. Directly south are the US states of North Dakota and Montana. Along with a rich mix of history and culture, Saskatchewan offers visitors endless freshwater fishing, water-based recreation opportunities, abundant wildlife, uncrowded parks, outdoor adventures like canoeing and horseback riding, farm vacations and amazing golfing.
Churchill is known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World, it is also known as Manitoba’s beluga whale watching hotspot and is a bird watcher's paradise. The approach of winter also makes Churchill one of the best places to experience the northern lights. While in Churchill, take in some of its extensive fur trade history, adventure kayaking, hiking and outstanding cuisine (Arctic Char is a must!). Here you can experience a once in a lifetime tundra adventure.
Located on the edge of the Arctic, Churchill has the feel of a frontier town. This unique tundra community is only accessible by train or aeroplane (there are no roads leading here). As the Polar Bear Viewing Capital of the World, you can polar bears everywhere – on murals, signs, souvenirs, and sculptures – and the live version occasionally wanders into town as well! Snowmobiles roar through town in winter and ATVs cruise by in summer. The town grew from a remote outpost to a bustling seaport with the construction of the Hudson Bay Railroad and Port of Churchill in the late 1920s. Through much of the 1950s and 1960s, the town was a thriving military community. Set amid rugged wilderness, this remote but accessible northern community stays connected with the world through its mobile phone coverage along with high speed and wireless internet.
Churchill's Wildlife & Attractions
Polar Bears - October and November are the best months to see polar bears as they get prepared to move out on the newly formed ice on Hudson Bay in search of seals. Come face to face with the mighty polar bear from unique tundra vehicles that let you travel in comfort and safety over the snowy terrain. Follow the bears as they gather along the shores of Hudson Bay, waiting for the ice to freeze. Wilderness hikes offer a bears’ eye view of the stunning coastal landscape. During prime polar bear viewing season, it’s even common to see an ambling bear pass by your window. When you’re not bear watching, enjoy the colourful light show of the aurora borealis or try dogsledding for an exhilarating arctic adventure.
Beluga Whales - Nicknamed “sea canaries” for their strange high-pitched whistles, clicking, chirping and other underwater vocalizations, thousands of beluga whales inhabit the warmer waters of the Churchill River after the ice breaks up. Zodiacs and larger passenger boats can take visitors out among the intelligent and curious pods of whales. Listen in on the whales’ conversation using hydrophones and try to figure out what they are saying.
Northern Lights - The aurora borealis (or northern lights) is a natural phenomenon caused by the interaction of charged particles from the sun with atoms in the upper atmosphere. Scientists from around the world have come to Churchill to study the northern lights in the active night sky – Churchill is one of the top three places on the planet to see the northern lights. These otherworldly dancing curtains of light glow in a rainbow of colours, and are at their most resplendent in January through March. Under clear winter skies, visitors can watch the colourful artistry of the Aurora borealis light up the pitch-black nights. Grab a front-row seat in the comfort of the plexiglass-covered Aurora Domes to watch this spectacular natural light show. Start here to plan your trip to see the Northern Lights!
Birds - The Churchill area is a world-renowned hotspot for birdwatching opportunities. In spring and autumn, birdwatchers flock here to see the 250+ species of birds that nest or pass through Churchill on their annual migrations. The tundra and taiga provide habitat for native birds, including a large variety of hawks and falcons like the Gyrfalcon and Peregrine Falcon. Snowy Owls are common, as are Tundra Swans, terns and gulls. Avid birdwatchers search for Harlequin Ducks and the rare Ross’s Gull for the potential sighting of a lifetime.
Native Culture - The Eskimo Museum in Churchill is excellent for learning about the native cultures in this area of Canada. The Museum is dedicated to advancing knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of Northern culture and history with an emphasis on the Canadian Inuit. The exhibit now includes historic and contemporary sculptures of stone, bone, and ivory, as well as archaeological and wildlife specimens.
Regina was once a treeless plain near a small winding creek and home to a humble tent settlement. Today it is known as an urban forest with more than 350,000 hand-planted trees, an extensive park system, major attractions and a rich, colourful heritage. You will be welcomed here by all residents with a warm handshake, helpful advice and genuine smiles. This city is extremely proud of its development over the years, and it is a fantastic place to visit to soak up a vibrant and exciting atmosphere.
Regina is the capital city of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, and thanks to visionary city planners it is now a thriving modern oasis. We offer a number of hotels in Regina to get you close to all the action. There are many things to see and do in Regina from exploring the Warehouse District, where roughly 80 blocks of old, Chicago-style warehouses have been revitalized as an urban core of condos, boutiques, gourmet restaurants and nightlife, to visiting The Wascana Centre, a 2,298 acre park, has been built around Regina’s man-made Wascana Lake.
Things to do
The Wascana Center
Known as the pride of Saskatchewan, this fantastic man-made park offers so much to each visitor. The park holds its own attractions with bike paths and walking trails leading to them. Take a look at all the secrets unearthed at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. Play with the giant Tyrannosaurus rex named Megamunch, or learn about the life of the ancient aboriginal people of Saskatchewan and beyond. The Saskatchewan Science Centre encourages experiments, surprises you with stage shows, wows you with workshops, and features Saskatchewan’s tallest indoor climbing wall. The Wascana pool is a fantastic day out for all the family and meeting new people, there is also the opportunity to rent a canoe or Kayak and explore more of the park.
The Government House
Discover Government House, a true Canadian treasure! Built in 1891, this grand building first served as the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of the North-West Territories. Experience this national historic site and provincial heritage property. Step back into a gentler time with a costumed tour of 19th-century life at Government House, or explore the new Edwardian Gardens to further enjoy the richness and beauty of this heritage landmark
The Warehouse District is a must see when visiting the beautiful city of Regina. Home to both modern and historic Chicago-style buildings, which were built in the early 1900's, it is now a thriving area in the city full of boutique shops, art galleries, bars and nightclubs. Experience the culture and history of this city by spending an afternoon in the thriving Warehouse District.
Saskatoon is Saskatchewan's largest city, lying in the centre of the province on the South Saskatchewan River. It is one of Canada's sunniest cities with plenty of fine dining, bustling nightlife, beautiful trails and outdoor spaces as well as cultural institutions such as the Mendel Art Gallery, which houses one of the top collections of contemporary and historical art in Canada.
If shopping is more your style, Saskatoon has a variety of unique retail destinations, offering everything from handmade crafts and homewares, to high-end brand speciality stores. You can stay in some of the country’s finest hotels, all conveniently located and easily accessible by car or public transport.
Saskatoon is a city with a lively ambience, friendly hospitality and rich, diverse cultural experiences. It has many attractions including the beautiful River Landing and the Dakota Dunes Casino. Visitors from far and wide enjoy the city's beautiful parkland setting. Natural riverbank parks and trails make jogging, biking and casual hikes easy and relaxing, invigorating and refreshing; right in the heart of the city. Graced by the natural splendour of the South Saskatchewan River, Saskatchewan's largest city provides convenient amenities in an inviting natural setting. Enjoy shopping and dining in the trendy Broadway shopping district with delicious authentic local cuisine in one of many fine restaurants. Golf fans can enjoy a round on one of the city's several award-winning courses.
Saskatoon Facts & Information
The Province of Saskatchewan's largest city (Population 260,600 - 2011).
There are more hours of sunshine annually than any other major Canadian city.
Located on the Trans-Canada's Yellowhead Highway #16 - the city is centrally located - provincially.
Saskatoon is within a short drive of the beautiful boreal forest.
The city's beautiful parkland setting is graced by the natural splendour of the South Saskatchewan River.
A four-season destination with temperatures ranging from 30°C on the warmest summer days, to -30°C on the coldest winter days.
Fly here with Air Canada or WestJet from all over Canada and further afield.
Over 400 acres of riverbank trails and parks to explore.
Seven bridges within city limits cross the beautiful South Saskatchewan River.
Over 6000 years of First Nations' culture celebrated on sacred ground at Wanuskewin Heritage Park.
Exceptional museums include the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, the Diefenbaker Canada Centre, and Western Development Museum.
Award-winning-golf courses, rated among the best in Canada
Professional and amateur theatre groups, a symphony and numerous art galleries
Saskatoon's historic and unique Broadway Shopping District
One of North America's most beautiful campuses with its distinctive architecture; the University of Saskatchewan
Canada's largest science project - the Canadian Light Source Synchrotron
One of the most successful university-related research parks in North America - Innovation Place
Manitoba's capital city Winnipeg is a bustling cosmopolitan city with plenty of small-town charm. Visitors can enjoy great food at one of its many restaurants, experience culture at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet or a performance by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, or enjoy one of the many festivals which take place here year round.
Winnipeg is the gateway city for polar bear watching trips to Churchill in Northern Manitoba, so if you are passing through for your wildlife tour, why not extend your stay and explore Winnipeg's many attractions, excellent shopping and fascinating museums.
Manitoba's capital city Winnipeg is a bustling cosmopolitan city with plenty of small-town charm. Home to more than 1,100 restaurants, Winnipeg’s top-notch food scene tantalizes every taste bud. Sample exotic dishes from authentic mom-and-pop restaurants, bite into innovative tapas at trendy bistros and dine with gourmands at hotspots manned by the city’s top chefs.
Known as the “cultural cradle of Canada”, Winnipeg is home to Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and so much more. The city also boasts a proud aboriginal heritage as the heart of Canada’s historic fur trade. There are festivals all year round including the Festival du Voyageur, Folklorama and the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Winnipeg also has an impressive arts scene, from the world’s largest collection of Inuit Art, to modern canvases and locally-made crafts. Areas like Osborne Village, Academy and the Exchange District cater to shopaholics with unique stores and boutiques.
There is plenty for families including the Manitoba Children’s Museum and The Forks, Winnipeg’s gathering place with nine acres of activity, restaurants, shopping and interactive fun. For the outdoor aficionado, green spaces blanket the city. Take a bike ride through scenic Assiniboine Park, see a herd of bison at Fort Whtye Alive and practice your bird calls at Oak Hammock Marsh.
Top 10 Must-See Attractions in Winnipeg
The Forks National Historic Site - An urban oasis in the heart of Winnipeg, this historic meeting place is located at the junction of the Assiniboine and mighty Red River and has attractions including a skateboarding park, river walk, shops and green space. You can enjoy a wide array of dining experiences, superb shopping and an exciting calendar of entertainment and events.
Winnipeg Art Gallery - This is Canada’s oldest public gallery, and home to the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art, some of which is always on display. The Gallery boasts constantly changing exhibitions of national and international art, and also showcases the works of local Manitoba artists. It is home to the popular Storm Bistro which overlooks the rooftop sculpture garden and is easily accessible, within walking distance of all downtown hotels.
The Exchange District - The Exchange District National Historic Site is one of North America’s most colourful and cosmopolitan neighbourhoods. The district is home to turn-of-the-last-century architecture and is home to the Winnipeg’s unrivalled arts community, boutique shopping and some superb restaurants.
The Manitoba Museum - This award-winning heritage and edutainment centre welcomes thousands of visitors each year. It features an ever-changing variety of exhibits in addition to its Planetarium, Science Gallery and nine spectacular permanent galleries. The museum offers a vivid portrayal of Manitoba's rich and colourful history and is home to one of Canada's most important historical collections: The Hudson's Bay Company Museum Collection.
St. Boniface & Winnipeg's French Quarter - Cross the Esplanade Riel Pedestrian Bridge and you’ll find yourself in St. Boniface, home to one of the largest French-speaking communities west of the Great Lakes. and the birthplace of Louis Riel, the Métis leader who founded Manitoba. Reflective of its French heritage, here you can stroll along Provencher Boulevard and enjoy its boutiques and quaint cafes.
Wonders of Nature - Fort Whyte Alive is Winnipeg’s award-winning 640-acre nature centre has a 30 strong prairie bison herd, five lakes, seven kms of trails and outdoor activities all year long, including fishing, canoeing, hiking, wildlife watching, snowshoeing, skating, cross-country skiing, and the super Richardson run toboggan slide. Nearby is The Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre with nature trails, guided tours of the marsh, canoeing, wildlife viewing and many interactive exhibits.
Assiniboine Park - This is Winnipeg’s oldest park, open for more than 100 years. It is home to the Assiniboine Park Zoo and its Nature Playground. Relax in the tranquil Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, or stroll along its tree-lined walkways as you enjoy the park’s lush and verdant setting. See an exhibition at the Pavilion Art Gallery, dine at one of two restaurants or watch a performance beneath the stars at Lyric Theatre.
Winnipeg's Cultural Experiences - Winnipeg is known as the cultural cradle of Canada. Enjoy a performance by Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Opera or the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. For something more avant-garde, there are the Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers, the intimate setting of Prairie Theatre Exchange or Le Cercle Molière’s theatre performed entirely in French.
Sports & Gaming - Winnipeg is perfect for sports lovers. Catch the Winnipeg Jets NHL team, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers CFL team or the popular Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball team in action. Alternatively, participate is a round of golf on one of the city's many manicured golf courses or take to a running or ski trails. For gaming fans, there are two themed casinos - Club Regent and McPhillips Station or catch the action at Assiniboia Downs horse racing track.
Royal Canadian Mint - This is where every single Canadian circulation coin is produced. When arriving, look for the beautiful 110-foot tall glass tower designed by local architect Étienne Gaboury. Learn about the production of coins and explore the Interactive Coin Museum for a fun and creative experience, including the once-in-a-lifetime chance to lift and hold a 23-pound gold bar worth approximately $600,000!