Where to Walk Your Dog in Downtown Winnipeg: 5 Beautiful Places
Having a dog while living downtown is a great motivator to get outside, see other people, and experience small daily bits of fun. Walking your dog in the downtown helps you feel like you’re instantly part of a community of dog owners. Dogs are great companions; they’re your best friend, and keep you warm on a cold winter night. On a bad day, a doggie tail wiggle will definitely cheer you up.
Some people say that having a dog is like having a child. I would say it’s like having a child that never grows up. But as dog lovers know, they’re worth the work! Having a dog while living in an apartment can actually help you stay motivated to get outside. Dogs need exercise, and can develop health problems if they don’t get enough. No one wants their furry friend to get sick!
So no matter how snowy, cold, rainy, or hot it is outside, you put a leash on your excited dog and get yourself outside. Sometimes it’s eye-wateringly early and you’re dreaming about your warm bed, but Fido needs his walk. And as a bonus, you get to enjoy as much fresh air and physical activity as your pet! (Ever notice how fit some dog owners are?)
But here’s the problem: Your dog is all excited about going out to see the big world, but you have no idea where to go or what route to take this time. You’re in luck: here’s a list of 5 beautiful places and parks in Winnipeg within a 20-minute walk of 300 Main Street:
1. Bonnycastle Dog Park. The park is just a 12-minute walk from 300 Main Street. It’s located in the beautiful Assiniboine Avenue area, right across from the Fort Garry Hotel. I love spending summer days here, just walking around and seeing happy dog owners playing with their pets! The park even has a bottle-refill fountain that operates in the hot summer months. Bonnycastle Park was opened in February 2016 and has become very popular with downtown doggies. The off-leash park is fully fenced and has almost 13,000 square feet of playing area. Its design includes artificial turf that was specifically designed for dog parks. Take your dog to Bonnycastle dog park—I promise you both will enjoy it!
2. The Forks. You can’t let your dog go off-leash in this heritage area, but why not combine your dog walk with some entertainment for yourself? The Forks is just a 9-minute walk away from 300 Main Street. In the summertime, wander around with an ice cream in one hand and dog’s leash in the other while listening to buskers. In the wintertime, enjoy Christmas lights, watch people skate and absorb the joyful holiday vibes. Keep in mind that the Forks can get very crowded during festivals; unless your furry friend is very used to big crowds of people, you might want to avoid busy days.
3. Central Park. This park is not an off-leash dog park, but pet owners love it anyway. After a 17-minute walk away from downtown, you can stroll in a peaceful place surrounded by historical architecture. The park is also a good place for a relaxing pause if you and your dog walked for a long time and need some rest. Bring a book and settle in on a bench to enjoy a relaxing day in the park.
4. Waterfront Drive. This is one of my favourite areas in Winnipeg because it combines historical and brand-new buildings with a wide sidewalk through the park. Taking a walk here feels like wandering through a picturesque forest. Dog owners, bikers, and joggers share the walking route at Waterfront Drive. The sidewalk is paved, wide, and well maintained, and runs right beside the mighty Red River. It’s a lovely place to have some quality time by yourself, with a good friend, or with your dog.
5. The Legislative Grounds. The park around the monumental Manitoba Legislative Building is easily one of the best in Winnipeg for walking with your dog. The Legislative Grounds are a bit further from 300 Main, clocking in at 21 minutes at a walking pace, but it’s worth the extra effort. It’s peaceful right in the middle of the city, and it’s always full of dogs and their owners enjoying some time together. Personally, I believe the Legislative Grounds are so popular because it feels like time stands still there. As soon as you walk into the park and see the Legislative Building, you slow down, and a strong feeling of being part of history overcomes you. Seriously—just put a leash on your dog and go experience it for yourself. Just forget about your cell phone in your pocket, and lift your eyes to the ledges of the Manitoba Legislative Building. The details might surprise you.
It might seem like a concrete jungle, but downtown Winnipeg is full of beautiful and safe park spaces for getting outside with your canine companion. Now you know all of my favorite parks and hidden gems for dog walking—share your favourites in the comments