One of Winnipeg’s newest neighbourhoods is the St. James Village. Located along Portage Avenue, St. James Village is a cluster of boutiques, restaurants, cafés and specialty stores. It is also home to the city’s largest shopping mall Polo Park, as well as numerous other big box retailers. While here, be extreme at Adrenaline Adventures, shop for stylish surf and snow gear at King’s Skate, Snow and Surf or scream for ice cream at Sargent Sundae. The greater St. James area was one of Winnipeg’s original districts, with the Royal Canadian Air Force 17 Wing base located in the heart. Be sure to visit the Historical Museum of St. James. This two-storey Red River frame house, built in 1856, displays furnished rooms with period pieces from 1860-1890. Here, you will also find the 1911 Municipal Hall Building, which houses exhibits from the St. James-Assiniboia area and surrounding parishes.
Where to eat
- Do you know what craft beer is? No matter what you answer, you’ll want to visit Barley Brothers, one of Winnipeg’s craft beer pubs. Traditional pub fare, paired with perfectly well rounded, punch you in the face hoppiness, is a delicious combination. 655 Empress Street, 204-772-2337
- Gus & Tony’s at the Park boast the best burgers in the city. Decide for yourself after visiting this classic Greek meets North American-inspired restaurant. 2501 Portage Avenue, 204-414-5508.
- Fifteen HD TV’s keep the action on all night long at Hat Tricks Sports Bar and Grill (even the bathrooms have screens!). Grab some appys and wings, or even a steak, while enjoying a beer or spirit.
- Enjoy a gourmet quick bite at family-owned Green & Grain, which specializes in oversized wraps, seasonal salads, and homemade soups and sandwiches. There are two locations in Winnipeg: 3334 Portage Avenue, 204-832-5966; and 839 Henderson Highway.
- Blue and gold isn’t just for Bomber’s fans anymore, it’s also a burger on the menu at Silver Heights Restaurant and Lounge. Stuffed with blue cheese, pickles, bacon, mushrooms and onion rings, this is a burger that begs to be conquered. A family dinner or night out with friends is why people visit Silver Heights. 2169 Portage Avenue, 204-889-7246.
- Resist a banana split at Sargent Sundae? Impossible! Winnipeggers from all areas flock to this ice cream lovers’ paradise all summer long. Cash only. 2053 Portage Avenue, 204-832-5021.
- Light and crispy batter with flaky succulent fish fillets entices landlubbers young and old to Captain’s Table Restaurant. “Arrrr! ‘Twere yummy!” is one patron’s comments on urbanspoon.com. Find out for yourself—or walk the plank. 1823 Portage Avenue, 204-837-3474.
- You won’t tire of the daily grind at Daily Grind Coffee, the perfect place to grab a cuppa tea or joe. Try a green tea frappe for a refreshing and fragrant cold alternative. 3393 Portage Avenue, 204-896-3477.
- The Burger Place is a no-frills joint with exceptional house-made deluxe chilli cheeseburgers and savoury poutine. 1909 Portage Avenue, 204-831-7967.
- With its charming celestial charts, chimes and other-worldly atmosphere, Star Grill is a unique dining destination. Tarot card and tea leave readings are offered alongside a globally influenced menu. 2069 Portage Avenue, 204-837-7827.
- Caramel pork tenderloin is just one example of the mouth-watering, creative Mediterranean fare offered at Steve’s Bistro. The dining room is inspired by the region with its rustic iron gates and arches. 3123 Portage Avenue, 204-831-5531.
Top Places to Shop
- Shop till you drop at the city’s largest mall, CF Polo Park. More than 200 shops and services are housed in this vast complex, including a Scotiabank Theatre Winnipeg, the Bay, Sears, H&M and Canada’s largest Forever 21 store. 66Q – 1485 Portage Avenue, 204-784-2500.
- Located across St. James Street from Polo Park, the 270,000 sq. ft. St. James Station is home to a cluster of big box retailers, including Old Navy, Canadian Tire, Home Outfitters and more.
- If you can dream it, they can make it at Vandenbergs Fine Jewellery. This boutique is the place to shop for engagement rings, wedding bands, milestone markers and all things sparkly. 1858 Portage Avenue, 204-487-4732.
- High Tea Bakery’s stellar dainties and drop-dead gorgeous cakes are unforgettable treats. Choose from fun iced cookies, delightful cupcakes and petits fours in the dessert case. 2103 Portage Avenue, 204-775-0264.
- Die-hard skateboarders, trick cyclists, surfers and snowboarders frequent Kings: Skate, Snow, Surf for the latest apparel and specialty sports gear. 1769 Portage Avenue, 204-897-5464.
- At Olympia Cycle & Ski, knowledgeable employees help customers find the perfect comfort, hybrid, mountain, road, cyclocross or cruiser bike, along with cross-country ski equipment. 1813 Portage Avenue, 204-888-4586.
Top Things to See and Do
- Looking for adventure? Try cable wakeboarding, paintball or ziplining in summer, or snow tubing or cable snowboarding in winter at Adrenaline Adventures. A two-storey outdoor rope course will also get the adrenaline rushing. Located on Winnipeg’s west perimeter between Roblin Boulevard and Wilkes Avenue, 204-800-2060.
- Walk around the outdoor Air Force Heritage Air Park and marvel at 14 aircraft presented in dramatic action poses. The Air Force Heritage Museum is free but available by appointment only. It is located at 1 Canadian Air Division Head Quarters and contains rare artifacts, including the Battle of Britain lace tapestry. North of Sharp Blvd (Air Force Way) off Ness Avenue, 204-833-2500 ext 4180.
- Vintage aircrafts and artifacts at the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada explain Canada’s rich aviation history. The Avrocar, a replica of the flying saucer built by Avro Canada, is one of many notable aircraft displayed. 958 Ferry Road, Hanger T-2, 204-786-5503. http://wcam.mb.ca
- Get swept up in live horse racing from May-September and year-round simulcast races at Assiniboia Downs. A gaming lounge and tiered dining room overlooking the track makes this a popular entertainment destination. 3975 Portage Avenue, 204-885-3330.
- While it is technically located in Tuxedo, Assiniboine Park is accessible from St. James by a pedestrian bridge over the Assiniboine River. This beautiful green space features a zoo, duck pond, restaurants, new children’s adventure playground area and Qualico Family Centre, trails, fields, English gardens, restaurants, a pavilion and a stage. 55 Pavilion Crescent, 204-927-6000.
- Nature enthusiasts enjoy meandering along Omand’s Creek Greenway Trail, which follows Omand’s Creek, which is an important urban oasis for wildlife.
- Learn about the history and development of the historic parishes in St. Francis-Xavier, Headingley, St. Charles and St. James at the Historical Museum of St. James-Assiniboia. Three buildings house approximately 2,000 artifacts, including textiles, glassware, ceramics, metals, artwork and photographs among others. 3180 Portage Ave, 888-8706.
- More than 160 species of prairie plants grow around The Living Prairie Museum, a tall grass prairie reserve. The interpretive centre displays information on prairie history and offers guided hikes. 2795 Ness Avenue, 204-832-0167.
- Located just outside the west Perimeter, Red River Exhibition Park is a multipurpose facility home to exciting major events, such as the Red River Ex and Canad Inns Winter Wonderland. Hundreds of thousands of visitors flood the park each June for the EX, where a midway, live entertainment, hands-on exhibits and vendors set up. From December to early January, Canad Inns Winter Wonderland features million of lights and themed areas available for viewing during a 2.5 km drive. 3997 Portage Avenue, 204-888- 6990.
- For hometown action, hockey buffs head to the new MTS Iceplex to watch minor hockey and adult league games on four regulation size rinks. The Winnipeg Jets also practice here—many sessions are open to the public. 3969 Portage Avenue, 204-837-7539.
- Awaken your mind-body connection at Prana Yoga Studio. Drop in on a class, sign up for a workshop or grab some gear at their onsite shop. 987 Portage Avenue, 2nd Floor, 204-784-9471.
- A game of bowling is a perfect fun family adventure, first date activity or fiercely competitive activity between friends. Check out the action at St. James Lanes & Lounge. 1805 Portage Avenue, 204-888-7586.