Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/4/2018 (535 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
If you’re looking for a few reasons why Winnipeg is the greatest place in the country, I have excellent news.
Look no further than the upbeat kids in Susan Pereles’s combined Grades 5-6 class at Brock Corydon Elementary School in Winnipeg School Division.
These pint-sized local heroes have just finished a special project — a Winnipeg tourism guide done in the form of an alphabet book, wherein each letter spells out the wonders of an iconic city attraction.
In putting together their gung-ho guide book, entitled Better Known as Winnerpeg, the kids were randomly assigned letters, selected an attraction beginning with that letter, then wrote bullish blurbs and heart-felt poems and painted original illustrations for each venue chosen.
The kids even asked this pro-Winnipeg columnist to contribute a few well-chosen positive words for the "Q is for quotes" section.
"We’re tired of people putting down the city," Pereles explained when the Free Press visited her classroom to check out the tourism guide, which the teacher is making available to class parents for $7 to cover the cost of printing.
"Even our citizens don’t always appreciate what a wonderful city we’re from," said Pereles, whose classes have been doing pro-Winnipeg projects for the past nine years.
"We want us to be proud of our city. The book is going to celebrate Winnipeg’s different attractions, our jewels. It uplifts and reminds us what a great place we live in. We need to pump ourselves up. We’re Winnipeggers. No, we’re Winnerpeggers."
But you don’t have to take her word for it, because here’s what the kids’ (lightly edited) tourism guide has to say about our city, starting with...
A is for Assiniboine Park…
"Hey, there, are you bored and want to go somewhere outdoors? Then Assiniboine Park is just for you. It has lots of activities for all ages to do! If your kid is bored, you can go to the nature playground. If you want to learn more about Winnie the Pooh, then go to the pavilion. If you want to go on a romantic walk or just a walk, there’s plenty of trails. That’s just a little bit of what you can do."
— By Ella
B is for the Bridge Drive-In
"I scream, you scream, we all scream for BDI! BDI is the successful ice-cream shop that has been serving delicious ice cream that Winnipeggers have been craving for 61 years. ‘WOW’ that’s a long time. Don’t worry, soft-serve ice cream is definitely not the only dairy product they serve... they even have exotic ice creams like The Goog or the Cantaberry... The main thing that got all the business for them is the Elm Park Bridge! A blazing hot summer afternoon with a nice cold ice cream from BDI and an amazing walk across to the quiet, shady Kingston Row neighbourhood."
— By Jack
C is for the Children’s Museum
"Walk in/Hear, see and feel/The happiness of children surrounding you/Your child’s face lights up excited for the adventure ahead/Whether they like trains or building or just having fun/The museum has got it/For your daughter/And your son/The Manitoba Children’s Museum/Has exhibits for everyone."
— By Rachel
D is for Downtown (Wowtown)
"DOWNTOWN, LET’S GO DOWNTOWN, DOWNTOWN TONIGHT! I think those are the lyrics. That’s part of a rock song... Now, let’s talk downtown. First of all, when I think of downtown, I think of how unique it is, from the Manitoba Museum (the museum that goes back in Manitoba’s history and even has an interactive science centre, which is very fun) to the Winnipeg Art Gallery (where you can find art like carved whale bone from Indigenous cultures). There are many different places and no store is the same... Where the people make a constant chatter like the hum of the furnace on a frigid winter’s night."
— By Tea
E is for Esplanade Riel
"While standing 57 metres above the Red River, come see the history of Winnipeg. Esplanade Riel bridge is named in honour of Louis Riel. The bridge connects The Forks to Winnipeg’s French area known as St. Boniface. The bridge goes across the Red River and has a 250-metre long pedestrian path. And also did you know that on the side of the Esplanade Riel Bridge are historical carvings of Winnipeg? … Do you know that the Esplanade Riel bridge has the only restaurant on a bridge in North America? The name of this restaurant is Mon Ami Louis. The restaurant has an award-winning chef who makes amazing food."
— By Joey
F is for The Forks
"The Forks is a lovely place where you can walk through the trees, where you can hear the birds whistle through the waving leaves above the treetops. The Forks is where the Assiniboine River joins the Red River and the two rivers continue together. There is a whole bunch of fun stuff to do at The Forks. There is Market Hall where you can get food, souvenirs, toys and more... In the winter, you can go skating on the river for a couple of kilometres. There are also awesome Christmas lights all over The Forks... Sometimes you can see the fish under the ice and that is SO COOL!"
— By Sam
G is for Winnipeg Goldeyes
"It is a sunny day/The fans cheer for the Goldeyes/Noisy/ Balls in the air/Fast balls/Things to buy/Cheering/It is hard to see the ball/Players get hurt, the ball is hard/A lot of people/The green grass covers the ground."
— By Brian
H is for Human Rights Museum
"We have the right to be ourselves/We have the right to dress as we like/We have the right to dance, sing and speak the truth/We have the right to view the glittering lights/Of our Human Rights Museum/Sheltered in peace, harmony and safety/Sharing our knowledge with all humankind."
— By Angelina
I is for Investors Group Field
"Investors Group Field is a magical place to go with your family to watch the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and concerts. You will make lots of memories. The stadium is a great place to go with your family. There is easy parking for bikes, special lots for cars, so easy to get in and out. There are great sight lines so you can always see the field. There is great energy in the building and everybody is friendly. The seats are very comfortable and there is a rain cover so you don’t get wet. The tickets are reasonably priced."
— By Benett
J is for the Winnipeg Jets
"Mark Scheifele on a breakaway. He takes a shot and scores. Jets win in overtime again. So go see a Winnipeg Jets hockey game at 300 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB. I like the Winnipeg Jets because it is very active hype noise entertaining and a bunch more stuff. Other people should like the Winnipeg Jets because they are very supportive to their fans... The Winnipeg Jets were awarded the second overall draft pick in the draft lottery in which they selected Patrik Laine. And the Jets win again!"
— By Brock
K is for Kildonan Park
"Kildonan Park has many things to offer like a play area with a splash pad for your kids to enjoy and have a good time. They also have a public boat dock in the summer and an ice-skating area in the winter... If you want to watch and hear a lot of fun, then go to the Rainbow Stage Theatre, which has a whole bunch of musicals like Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz and a lot more... Kildonan Park gets visited by thousands of people and one of them will hopefully be you."
— By Terence
L is for Legislative Building
"The Golden Boy glistening/Limestone bright and strong/Statues bold/Flags flying/Flowers blooming/Visitors abound/Proud and imposing/Seat of Government."
— By Conor
M is for Mint
"Hey, I know you’re probably thinking that the Royal Canadian Mint is really boring, but wait until you hear this. When you first pull into the Mint, you will see a lot of glass. That’s because the walls are just made out of glass and concrete so when you go up on the third floor you can see far away. There are lots of tours that you can join. They take you all over the place and the best part is that you can see the machine make coins very fast. If you ask me, that’s pretty cool."
— By Morgan
N is for Nuit Blanche
"Nuit Blanche is an amazing free festival going on all night from dusk to dawn on Saturday of Culture Days either on the last Saturday of September or the first of October. It attracts many people because of all the great activities. The activities include a colouring wall that you use by waving your arms, a music wall you point at to make music, and a glowing tree... Nuit Blanche means white night. Nuit Blanche is the best way to turn your night bright."
— By Luke
O is for Osborne Village
"This is a place where friends gather, socialize and have a great time. A neighbourhood of people alike. Osborne Village is a place with restaurants and cafes, shops, bars and festivals. Osborne Village was named Canada’s greatest neighbourhood by the CIP (Canadian Institute of Planners). This diverse area is alive with turn-of-the-century buildings, parks, plazas, varied housing for families, singles and couples and the Gas Station Performing Arts Centre."
— By Alex
P is for Pantages Playhouse Theatre
"This grand old lady/Got lots of history/And a big makeover/Used by many/The Pantages Playhouse/Is a treasure for all and for all indeed."
— By Peter
Q is for Quotes
"We should be known as Winnerpeg because we INVENT REALLY COOL STUFF!!! We invented Pizza Pops, the inventor of the cellphone is from the North End! We invented garbage bags! The 911 emergency line! So many cool things. We. Are. Awesome."
— By Ace Burpee (personality, 103 Virgin Radio)
R is for Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada
"Fasten your seat belts and get ready for the flight of your life. The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada is the second-largest aviation museum in Canada... One of the most popular planes you can go in is the Air Canada plane that was built in the 1950s, and was flown until the 1970s. It is one of the only planes that you can go on, it’s also the biggest plane... Hope to see you there!"
— By Nathan and Matteo
S is for Salisbury House
"S is for Salisbury House Poem!/A is for awesome, which describes their food!/L is for longer, you wish you’ll stay longer!/I is for incredible service!/S is for Salisbury steak, amazing!/B is for the best breakfast!/U is for uncommonly delicious food!/R is for R U hungry?/Y is for you, you think of one!"
— By Lucien
T is for Toad Hall
"Toad Hall is a wonderful toy store that is fun for all ages. They always have new stuff but keep it classic. Toad Hall has fulfilled many people’s wants as they have been open for 41 years... All of their staff are very reliable and knowledgeable. If you have a craving for candy, they have lots of it. Toad Hall is located in the middle of the Exchange District on Albert Street. I have been going there for years and still love it. I know you will love it, too!!"
— By Anya
U is for Upper Fort Garry
"Upper Fort Garry is a historical gate located at 130 Main Street. First used as a place of meeting for the Indigenous peoples, this is a great spot for anyone who loves history. In the 1870s, it was used for economical and military resources, since then the Governor’s gate is all that remains. Surrounding the gate are commemorative plaques that explain the deep, rich history of the site... come and see for yourself."
— By Zoe
V is for Valour Road
"Have you ever heard of Pine Street? Probably not, because in 1925 Pine Street’s name was changed to Valour Road in honour of three men. Their names were Leo Clarke, Robert Shankland and Frederick William Hall. They all lived on the same block and were all in the military in World War One. The street was renamed to honour them because they all three of them received the Victoria Cross. The Victoria Cross was the highest military award in WWI and only 96 Canadians received it... I suggest you go see Valour Road for yourself."
— By Nathan
W is for Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
"Feel the music/Hear the clapping/A piece skillfully played by the orchestra/Shiver as the music gets louder/At the cue of the conductor/Be excited as the music gets faster/Feel calm as the music slows down/Hear and see the expression of the orchestra musicians/See the variety of the shows/Remember the experience."
— By Dillon
X is for Exchange District
"If you like shopping, eating or walking, the Exchange District is the place for you. The Exchange District is a neighbourhood with everything you can imagine, from festivals to fashion shops. Architecture is a huge part of the Exchange. One of the greatest buildings is the Grain Exchange Building. It was originally a place where people would exchange crops and materials. It was the start of the Exchange District in 1906."
— By Matteo
Y is for Youth
"There is nothing more important in a city than its youth! This book was written by 23 Grade 5 and 6 students from Room 5 in Brock Corydon School, the youth of Winnipeg. We are between the age of child and adult. Every year, our class does an inquiry project on the city of Winnipeg ... We will change our city for the better, and learn lots from our teachers and parents. We all make a difference to the world and we will make that difference matter. We are the youth of Winnipeg, Manitoba and the world."
— By Dillon and Luke
Z is for Zoo
"See the peacocks roaming/The polar bears stomping/And the kangaroos jumping/Hear the tigers roaring/The birds chirping/And the bison chewing/Smell the butterflies sweet honey/The delicious food at the Tundra Grill/And the exotic smell of Toucan Ridge/All of this happens at Assiniboine Park Zoo."
— By Caspar
So there you go, Winnipeg. Thanks to the kids in Room 5 at Brock Corydon School, now you know the ABCs of the city you call home. If you want to get a copy of the tourism guide, email teacher Susan Pereles at spereles@WSD1.org. It will cost you $7 to cover printing costs.
You might want to send one to out-of-town friends to make them jealous of the fact you live in "Winnerpeg."
Doug has held almost every job at the newspaper — reporter, city editor, night editor, tour guide, hand model — and his colleagues are confident he’ll eventually find something he is good at.