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About Winnipeg | Things To Do And See

Winnipeg Exchange District

2nd Floor - 133 Albert Street
Old Market Square
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B 1G6
telephone: (204) 942-6716

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You can view some of the buildings in The Exchange District here

This area has been preserved and nurtured as one of North America's most colourful and cosmopolitan neighborhoods.

The Exchange District is a National Historic Site in the downtown area, just north of Canada's most famous corner, Portage and Main. Approximately 30-city blocks made of up nearly 150 building compose Winnipeg's Exchange District.

building in the winnipeg exchange district

The Exchange District's name originates from the Winnipeg Grain Exchange, the former centre of the grain industry in Canada, as well as other commodity exchanges which developed in Winnipeg between 1881-1918, some of which are still active today.

Around the turn of the 20th century, Winnipeg was one of the fastest growing cities in North America and became known as the Chicago of the North. Much of Winnipeg's remaining turn of the century architecture is heavily influenced by the Chicago style.

building in the winnipeg exchange district

By 1911, Winnipeg had become the third largest city in Canada with more than two dozen rail lines converging near the city center and with over 200 wholesale businesses. World War I from 1914-1918 as well as the opening of the Panama Canal in 1913 slowed its growth as there was a new route for shipping goods from Eastern Canada and Europe to Western Canada and from East Asia to the larger markets on the Eastern seaboard.

After this period much of Winnipeg's development shifted to Portage Avenue and streets to the south like Broadway Avenue and on towards Osborne Village. One advantage to the shift in development in Winnipeg building in the winnipeg exchange district at this time were that few Exchange District buildings were demolished to make way for more contemporary infrastructure and development in the subsequent decades . As a result, Winnipeg has one of the most historically intact turn-of-the-century commercial districts in North America.

You can get the full experience by going on a guided tour. These tours, which are approximately 1 1/2 hours in duration, depart daily, the East Exchange Tour at 10am and the West Exchange Tour at 2pm.

Guided Tours Available

Adult: $6.00
Youth, Student & Seniors: $5.00
Children under 10: free