Before our guests from Hong Kong and India left Winnipeg we thought we needed to take them to the city’s most popular ice cream stand the Bridge Drive-In .The Bridge Drive In (known more commonly in Winnipeg as simply The BDI) has been serving ice-cream to patrons since May 1 1957 and on a warm summer evening there is always a line up of people waiting to get sundaes and milkshakes and a dipped cone. The crowd on the night we were there was modest.
But this is how it can look on a busy afternoon.
Dave and Anil cycled over to the BDI on Jubilee Avenue and we ladies took the car.
The Bridge Drive In has many flavors of soft ice-cream and you can get your cone dipped in butterscotch or chocolate and rolled in nuts.
Anil and I both opted for the Bridge Bar while Dave and the ladies had soft icecream. The bridge beside the ice cream parlor is The Elm Park Bridge but it is often called the BDI Bridge. The ice cream stand was named after the bridge when it opened and now 57 years later the bridge has come to be known by the name of the ice cream stand.The Bridge crosses the Red River and was built in 1912.The bridge used to have a 5 cent toll for pedestrians a 10 cent toll for vehicles and a 25 cent toll for trucks. The toll charges were stopped in 1946 and the bridge was closed to vehicles in 1974. The city did not tear down the bridge because it was too expensive to do so.The night of our visit there was even a saxophonist at the end of the bridge to serenade us.
Dave and I used to live one street over from the Bridge Drive In on Rosedale Avenue when we were first married and we visited the iconic ice cream stand regularly. It was fun to go back with our visitors and introduce them to a Winnipeg landmark.
Posts about showing other Hong Kong visitors Winnipeg………
The Winnipeg Art Gallery Roof
Leo Mol Sculpture Garden
Bison Up Close and Personal
I walk or drive across the Provencher Bridge almost everyday. What a stunning structure! Built in 2003 it is designed for both cars and pedestrians. I like to look way up at the top of the bridge where the side spar wires join together. I get deliciously dizzy, seeing all those pristine white cables create a perfectly spaced musical staff pattern in the blue sky.
The bridge spans the Red River and is the third one built in the same place. The current bridge was designed by Etienne Gaboury and Colin Stewart. I admire their creativity and often wonder how they dreamed up the plans for such an unusual structure. The pedestrian part of the bridge is called Esplanade Riel. It is named after the Metis leader Louis Riel, the founder of the province of Manitoba.
There is aboriginal art on the bridge. It is just a short distance from The Forks where the Red and Assiniboine rivers intersect. Canada’s First Nations people came to The Forks for over 6000 years to meet and trade with one another. Symbols for flying birds, the sun, flowers, fish, feathers, hills and water fowl are etched into the stone as well as some ribbons or ropes that are reminiscent of the bridge’s cables.On this section of the girders the art isn’t quite the same. A sun stylized in a unique way is the focal piece again, but this time there are butterflies and moths instead of birds and some crawling creatures that look like grasshoppers and beetles. Once again there are the winding pieces that resemble roads or paths or perhaps the back of a snake. An engraving explains that the artistic images on the bridge describe the creation of the world. The plaque tells the story in detail beginning with the words……….In the beginning all was stark and barren. Then on the dawn of the first day the earth came alive and offered its magnificent beauty in an endless cycle of seasons. There is a Salisbury House Restaurant on the bridge. Salisbury House is a burger and chips kind of chain owned in part by the famous Winnipeg singer Burton Cummings of Guess Who fame. When I walk across the bridge and view the sky, the tree line and the historic St. Boniface Basilica facade through the taut cables; I am struck by what I beautiful city I am living in, one that can rival the many famous cities of the world I have visited in the last six years.