I have said so many times that there are countless reasons to spend time in Red River North. For my first offering of the new year, I thought it fitting to give 20 of the main reasons that I have said this. A good friend, (who is more energetic than I), suggested that I give 150 to match the 150th anniversary of Manitoba. I have no doubt there are that many, I just may have to work harder than planned. Thanks, friend!
At any rate, here are twenty good reasons to spend time in Red River North in 2020 (not necessarily in order of importance):
Reason 1: Accessibility
Rick Mercer summed it up when he said, “If you can’t make the big trips, make the small trips, in your own back yard. I guarantee you it’s awesome.” In real estate and business, a prime factor is location, location, location. Red River North is in the heart of the province, in the heart of Canada. And if you live in Selkirk or Steinbach, Winnipeg or Winnipeg Beach, it’s in your back yard!
Reason 2: Affordability
Beat the ever-increasing airline costs, and those dastardly exchange rates. There’s a lot to see and do, with very little cost to you!
Reason 3: Four Season Features
Summer, Winter, Spring or Fall, there’s lots to see and do. “No matter the season, there’s always a reason” to spend time in Red River North.
Reason 4: Unique Experiences
You can cross “a bridge to nowhere”, watch “The Lockport Air Force” (pelicans), or enjoy the second-best drinking water in western Canada in Selkirk; spend time at Manitoba’s largest outdoor pool and splash pad, watch boats go through the locks at Lockport, (the only lock on the Canadian Prairies), or visit the grave of the man who scored the first regular season of the Winnipeg Jets of the WHA in 1972, Ab McDonald.
Reason 5: The Region is Rich in History
In this, the 150th anniversary of The Province of Manitoba, you can relive part of our rich and colorful past. Whether it’s visiting the oldest stone church in Western Canada, touring Lower Fort Garry, or visiting the grave of legendary Chief Peguis, “it’s all right here”!
Reason 6: Something for All Ages
Selkirk is an age-friendly city but has as many seniors’ as youth-oriented activities. Throughout the area there are beaches, campgrounds, sports grounds and arenas, and many other features that appeal to residents and visitors, from toddlers to seniors, and those in between.
Reason 7: Nature at its Finest
Nature is on display throughout the region: Brokenhead Wetland, Oak Hammock Marsh, The Red River, Netley Marsh, Lake Winnipeg, and many other spots provide countless opportunities to connect with nature.
Reason 8: Special Events
There is a wide range of well-attended annual events in Red River North: fairs and rodeos, curling bonspiels and golf tournaments, the biggest vintage auto rally in Manitoba, farmers markets and craft shows, fish derbies, Holiday Alley, are just a few of these feature events.
Reason 9: Friendly People
I said it in previous blogs, and it’s worth repeating: We have never lived in a community where we were made to feel as welcome and part of the community as we have here. Our input and contributions are welcomed, rather than treated with suspicion or ignored. We have now lived here three years, and we definitely feel at home. I have observed that visitors to the area are treated just as well.
Reason 10: Retail Tourism
If shopping is an important part of your holidaying, look no further than Packers Ladies Wear in Selkirk, Lakehouse Treasures Vintage Store at Travers Bay Corner on Highway #59, Gypsy Trader in Selkirk, Whytewold Emporium at Matlock, Madison Lane Boutiques of Lockport, and Dylans at Grand Beach are some of the businesses that attract people from near and far.
Reason 11: Pick a Winner
Who needs Vegas? South Beach Casino & Resort on Highway 59 is the perfect location for a getaway. They provide affordable luxury in their 95-room art-deco hotel. Enjoy the tropical style pool, Mango’s Kitchen and Grill, Blue Dolphin Lounge and gaming excitement at the casino, featuring 600 slot machines, table games and roulette tables
Reason 12: You Can Pace Yourself
Because so many of the features of Red River North are easily accessible and close to one another, visitors can move as fast or as slow as they wish. Many highlights of the region can be touched on in a matter of a few hours, or a person can spend a week in one location. It’s your choice.
Reason 13: Bibliotourism
There are several reasons why public libraries have become a great place for tourists to visit. These range from libraries being a source of information about a region and its other attractions, to the availability of free wi-fi at most libraries, to a social spot to read, relax, visit, and in many, have a coffee or snack.
The Gaynor Family Regional Library offers up “every trick in the book”. It’s not only a library that meets the needs of people today, but it is poised to meet future needs too. Whether it’s traditional books, e-books, meeting space for community groups, or a place for socializing over a coffee, Gaynor has it all. And the facility is built to award-winning environmental standards.
Reason 14: Accommodations
Selkirk Inn, and Canalta Hotel in Selkirk, South Beach Resort at Scanterbury, Sandbar Motor Inn and Spirit Rock Inn of Grand Marais, and Birchwood Motor Inn, Traverse Bay can meet hotel/motel needs of visitors year-round. If Bed and Breakfast is your preference, you have some superb choices available throughout the region. You are sure to find something to satisfy your taste.
Reason 15: First Class Forward-Looking Facilities
The Selkirk Rec Complex is the largest solar-powered building in Manitoba and features geo-thermal heating. The Gaynor Family Regional Library is 38.7% more efficient than the national energy code requirements. The Selkirk Regional Health Centre is 33% more efficient than national energy code minimum standards and is designed with future needs in mind.
Reason 16: Art and Artists
Some of the most renowned former and current artists of Manitoba are from our region, from ceramics and glass, to bronze and metalwork, painting and sketching, pottery and carving. You name it, “it’s all right here”. Check out Gwen Fox Gallery, take in the annual Garden and Art Tour, or just drive around and enjoy the many murals, statues, and other creative presentations in the community.
Reason 17: Fun for Foodies
Throughout the region, there are eating spots to appeal to all tastes and occasions. Whether it’s a steak at Larters of St. Andrews, South Beach, Gaffers at Lockport, or Selkirk Golf Club, breakfast at Petersfield Motor Hotel Restaurant or Roxi’s on The Red, or a hot dog at Skinner’s or The Half Moon Drive Inn of Lockport, we’ve got something to appease every craving.
Reason 18: Views, Views, Views
Enjoy the sun rising over the Red River in Selkirk, or watch it set on Lake Winnipeg from Victoria Beach. Watch thousands of Canada geese winging over Oak Hammock Marsh, or gaze upon fields of golden canola in the fall. Appreciate the beauty of the many award-winning yards and gardens or investigate the largest Camere-style dam ever built (and the only one in the world still in existence).
Reason 19: Wedding Bells
I’m not knocking destination weddings, but why not make one of these first-class facilities your destination if a wedding is part of your holiday plans? Lower Fort Garry on Highway #9, Kinlock Grove in Matlock, Gaffers of Lockport, Larters at St. Andrews, and Hawthorn Estates in East Selkirk, are top-notch wedding and photo venues.
Reason 20: Avoid Annoyances
Like parking meters, traffic jams, and the noise of car horns and sirens; come to where the loudest noise most mornings is the chirping of birds, and the sound that usually greets you in the busier spots is a friendly “hello”.
My challenge to you is to check out these 20 reasons.
Next time, I will ask you how many you experienced.
In 2020, there are reasons a-plenty
To spend time In Red River North.