There is a spot in this city that everyone has passed. You will all know exactly where I am talking about. But I doubt that many of you have dipped under the bridge to see what is there. On the other hand, I will be almost 100% of Winnipegers know the area across the river. BDI anyone? I thought so. But the south side of the river is tucked away from the flood of traffic that heads down south Osborne and across the St Vital bridge.
I started on Kingston Row, just west of the St Vital bridge. I was headed for the bridge to BDI, when I decided to go backwards and explore the large, brick building you can clearly see from the road. The Canoe Club. I found more than just a building. There are a few little streets that are invisible unless you are right there.
The Canoe Club is not a canoe club. It was, once, an active canoe club, and they kept the name when the new building was built. Today, it is an assisted living facility, obviously a top-market place. I talked to a man about the facility, and while they do not have a nurse on staff at all times, they do offer meals and laundry services. The units are “condoized” (his word). Parking is underground. The grounds are stunning and the view is straight out across the river. A beautiful facility, in a great location for anyone who can afford it.
I left the Canoe Club and walked along the tiny streets back to Kingston Row. This is a spit of land surrounded by the Red river. See the map to see where the river is compared to the land. At this end of Kingston Row, the houses on both sides of the street are on the river. How’s that for a great trick?
Many of the houses are quite large and impressive, but there are a number of average and even modest-sized homes in the mix. And they are all different. It’s like every house tries to be as different from its neighbour as possible. That makes for an interesting landscape, as does the proliferation of huge gardens. This must be the best place in the city to grow hostas. I have never seen so many huge and varied hostas in one place anywhere.
The sweet treat after several blocks on Kingston row, is the foot-traffic-only bridge across the river that leads to a Winnipeg institution, the BDI (Bridge Drive Inn). Even though it was raining, and the mosquitoes were out in force, the BDI was quite busy. I ordered my treat, and while we waited and while I ate, Kenna soaked up constant attention. Some crowds are especially kind to dogs, and people who are lined up for casual food are often the best.
It was a shock to the system to start back along Jubilee. That is one of the busiest streets in the city. I don’t think I have ever seen it quiet. However, heading east, just a block from the BDI, Cockburn Street leads to a very nice path along the river. The houses we saw from the street just a few minutes ago, were now visible from the river side.
Before long we reached the bridge, and walked right under both sides. You have to walk north a little, to find a tunnel. That takes you safely across under the bridge again, and there is access to the sidewalk just up the bank. The bridge was busy, but I was rewarded for walking in the rain with a beautiful double rainbow. When you are driving, you discover a rainbow. When you are walking, you earn them. Once across the bridge, there is a set of stairs to take you back to the lower level.
It wasn’t a hard walk, but I did chalk up nearly 4km. This is a very pretty area to walk, and since it ties into the Churchill Parkway, can be extended a long, long way.