When our friends from Hong Kong John and Sandy were visiting last week I took them on a boat tour down the Assiniboine and the Red River here in Winnipeg.
Our driver Ian was very friendly and shared lots of information about the sites we saw as we drove along.
A family of Canada geese followed along behind us. Canada geese may seem ordinary to us but they were of great interest to John and Sandy who come from Australia and teach in Hong Kong. Neither Australia or Hong Kong have Canada geese.
Ian gave a little safety talk before the tour began and told us how to use the provided life jackets. Although the river was flowing quite swiftly it is very low this year. The river walkways are actually open while last year they were under water.
Ian showed us the colorful marks on the bridge pillars that illustrate the various heights of the river in certain years. The red line was where the river was during the great floods of 1950 and 1997. Much of the city was saved from flooding in 1997 because of the Winnipeg Floodway which was built in the late 1960’s at the insistence of Manitoba’s premier Duff Roblin.
Ian pointed out many interesting sites as we motored along. I had seen all these landmarks, but it is different to view them from the river. We saw………….
the Manitoba Legislative Building with the Golden Boy atop its peak
the uniquely designed Provencher Bridge
the new Human Rights Museum currently under construction
the historic St. Boniface Cathedral
the statue of Louis Riel the founder of Manitoba
the Alexander Docks
the old Eatons Warehouse
the toboggan slide used for Winnipeg’s annual Festival du Voyageur and
many trees whose root system had been eroded by the river water
There was a little girl on board with us and she was thrilled when Ian let her drive the boat for a few minutes.
Before we knew it we were back at the Johnson Terminal at The Forks. The boat is a great way to see Winnipeg from a river point of view. I’m glad I took my guests on the trip.
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