The Murals of Winnipeg

September 16, 2006 at 10:18 pm 20 comments

One of the things I noticed about Winnipeg when I first came here is that there are many murals all over the city.  There are murals on walls of old buildings, on walls of stores, schools, community centres, even under bridges. I’m not actually an art enthusiast but I enjoy looking at these works of art.   

This summer I heard Janet Stewart of CKY News announce that there was a Mural Fest going on in Winnipeg.  Since then, my kids and I were always on the lookout whenever we were out to search for the entries of this Mural Fest.  And only then did I take an interest in photographing the many murals of Winnipeg. 

Here are just a few of the first ones I took.  These were taken while we were driving, from inside the car so excuse the quality of the pictures.    

On our way to Polo Park, the Assiniboia Downs on Portage Avenue.


Ryan spotted this one while we were waiting for the red light to turn green when we were on our way to Kumkoon Restaurant to attend a birthday party.  This is one of the entries to MuralFest 2K6.  It shows pictures of skeletons underground.  I learned later on that this is titled Three Sisters.  You can read about this entry on this site.

 This one was taken when Ryan and I watched the baseball game.  This is just behind the CanWest Global Park and is visible from Portage Avenue.


“Mommy, there’s a mural,” Ryland squeeked from behind me one afternoon when we were once again driving along Portage Avenue.  Please ignore the rusty ugly post in the middle.


This is a close up of the Manitoba Hydro Mural on Polo Park, which you’ve already seen in a previous post.


I intended to post only a couple of these murals in my Friendly Manitoba post but I realized that there are just too many that it requires a separate post.  There are so many more murals here that are better than these and I thought that I should really get out of the car and devote a time of walking to get better pictures. Besides, I want to take pictures of my favourite ones.  And also I’ve already promised Señor Enrique that I’d share them here in my website.

So two Saturdays ago, I announced to my family, “I’m taking pictures of murals after we’re done shopping today.  You guys can go home and I’ll stay behind and go downtown to take some pictures.”


“I’ll miss you, Mommy,” said my youngest one.  He always says that when I go out without them.

“Why do you have to take pictures?” asked my middle guy.  “Just look at the internet.”

“Ryan, there are no pictures of these murals on  the internet,” I told him.  Later on that night, I searched and found out that there are a couple of websites of these murals.

As usual, my oldest son was just quiet but I saw a smile on his face that night when I showed him a picture of his favourite.

One mural I always marvel at is the one on St. John’s Music Store on Portage Avenue.  This is where Reggie bought his flute and saxophone and we go here occasionally to buy his music sheet, music books and other things he needs for his flute.  That Saturday afternoon, I told the husband to drop me off at St. John’s and I’d take the bus from there to go to downtown and take more pictures of the murals there.

This is the St. John’s mural. It starts on the side where you’ll see the black top cover of the piano and the Yamaha logo.  It continues to the front where you’ll see the keyboad (see photo above) and towards the middle, the keys merge into flowing water.  I just love it.


At downtown, I got off at Portage Place, walked along Portage Avenue and started taking pictures of some the new statues placed there this summer.  I will post these ones next time. 

There’s this mural just past the MTS Centre across the street which was done by a group of students from three different elementary schools.


As I was walking towards the corner of Main Street, I spotted a newly placed mural on the side of The Fairmont Hotel on Lombard Place.  I later on learned that this is one of the MuralFest 2K6 entry and is titled Sentez!  You can see a larger view on this website.


On Main Street, just past Portage Avenue, I spotted another MuralFest 2K6 entry.  This is The 1919 Strike.


I reached The Exchange District.  Reggie has been here quite a few times to watch free jazz concerts.  This mural is already faded but I think the art is quite good and it’s just a shame that it’s partly hidden from public view.  I had to enter through the gates to get this shot.


I reached City Hall, crossed the street to catch my bus and took pictures of the Concert Hall and The Manitoba Museum.  I will share these later.  While standing there at the bus stop, I noticed another mural on the side of the museum, so I went closer and took this picture.  Another MuralFest 2K6 entry, titled Cartography for New Cosmopolitans.

My bus came and I got off 200 Disraeli Freeway to take the final picture of the day, my favourite mural of all.  I pass by this building everytime I go downtown and back.   I learned from The Murals of Winnipeg website that this was Mural of the Year 2004.  Titled, Layin’ Down Tracks,” according to the website … 


This spectacular Mural measures in at nearly 14,000 sq. ft., making it the largest Mural in Manitoba and, we believe, the second largest in Canada. This visual feast is probably best enjoyed when one considers the Prairie, Railroad and Music themes all blended and blurred together in a playful visual metaphor of ‘layin’ down tracks’.”

Here are shots of both sides of the building.


The following day, my sister and I went over to Mama’s house and we drove along Selkirk Avenue.  Only then did I realize that there are murals painted on almost every store that lines this street.  I remember Mama telling me that Selkirk Avenue used to be the commercial centre of Winnipeg before Portage Avenue claimed that title.   Sis asked me, “You want to take more pictures?”  I told her, “It’s all right.  I think I’ve had enough for now.”  Besides I found out that there’s already a website devoted to The Murals of Winnipeg. 

But don’t be surprised if once in a while you see me posting some more of these murals. 

In the meantime, please check out The Murals of Winnipeg and you’ll find many more pictures of murals here that depict the way of life and culture here in Manitoba. 

In MuralFest 2k6, you’ll find all five entries of the festival and the meanings and artists behind the art.

For those who are unable to view the pictures on Flickr, let me know and I’d gladly email them to you.


Entry filed under: Detour, Winnipeg.

Tickle Me Elmo Rainy Fall Days

20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Shoshana  |  September 17, 2006 at 2:15 am

    I love murals. In the Philipines high school, we have murals, but the teachers called it vandalism. I thought it was art!

    Mural is much better to look at than good ole concrete n bricks surface. Really!

  • 2. ipanema  |  September 17, 2006 at 5:05 am

    Same here. They look great niceheart!

  • 3. eric aka senor enrique  |  September 17, 2006 at 9:56 am

    Wow! I haven’t seen this kind of mural in NYC, Irene. This is intense. My favorite is the St. John’s keyboard mural. I can just imagine you walking around and having a wonderful time taking these pictures.

    Manitoba ought to be praised for supporting street art!

    This is truly incredible. Thank you for sharing with us 🙂

    I’ll check out the URLs now.

  • 4. aurea  |  September 17, 2006 at 2:48 pm

    Those murals are amazing! I like the one with skeletons underground the best. Thanks for sharing.

  • 5. bw  |  September 17, 2006 at 7:56 pm

    murals are a great way to enhance the appearance of the city. It sometimes boggles me how these artists do it!

  • 6. niceheart  |  September 17, 2006 at 10:47 pm

    Thanks for the visit, Shoshana. I agree that murals spice up the look of any concrete surface.

    I think so too, Ipanema.

  • 7. niceheart  |  September 17, 2006 at 10:51 pm

    Eric, I did have a good time walking around taking those pictures. Actually, I wouldn’t mind going back to Selkirk Avenue although I am not fond of that area. But it’s already starting to get cold here, so we’ll see.

    I would have thought that NYC also have great murals like these. Now I am starting to realize that our artists here are really that good.

  • 8. niceheart  |  September 17, 2006 at 10:56 pm

    I’m glad you like them too Aurea. So you like the skeletons? I hope you read the meaning behind the art in the website. 🙂

    I agree, BW. These artists are really quite something eh?

  • 9. ladybug  |  September 18, 2006 at 3:00 am

    wow…nice murals! I also liked the one with the keyboard. Hindi pa ganyan kaganda yung mga murals dito eh. You’re very lucky to live in such a beautiful and friendly place. 🙂

  • 10. Kyels  |  September 18, 2006 at 4:48 am

    Wow! The murals are great!

    I have not seen any of these around my place and they’re really awesome!

    Thanks for sharing Niceheart!


  • 11. Sidney  |  September 18, 2006 at 9:22 pm

    A city of artists!

  • 12. niceheart  |  September 18, 2006 at 11:11 pm

    Nice no, Ladybug. Looks like majority likes the St. John’s mural. I always admire it everytime I go there.

    Kyels, I don’t think there are a lot of places with murals. I think this is also another thing that’s unique to Winnipeg. 🙂

    Sidney, I like that title. And I think it’s quite appropriate because there are many artists here, not just artists as in painting, but also artists in music and theatre.

  • 13. phil  |  September 19, 2006 at 6:30 am

    Sounds like Winnipeg has an aesthetic sense of itself. I wish AC had it. Seems like folks in the countryside, out in the province away from the town, do a better job of keeping their surroundings clean and scenic. If I had to point to THE major deficiency of this town, it would have to be its mostly trashy appearance. There are a few bright spots, but they are spotty indeed…. Oh well… You make me want to come and see your adopted Canadian city; maybe I will someday, but ONLY when it’s warm!

  • 14. mmy-lei  |  September 19, 2006 at 6:53 am

    wow! good the know that your place supports artist! i love murals also and im amaze of those artist!

  • 15. niceheart  |  September 19, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    Phil, are you referring to Angeles City? Not clean, eh? It’s probably also because there are less people in the countryside that’s why people tend to keep their surroundings clean. Less pollution too.

    Do come visit our beautiful Canadian city. July or August would suit you, I think.

    Mmy-lei, these artists are really quite amazing.

  • 16. Phil  |  September 20, 2006 at 3:01 am

    Yeah, Angeles City… the local priorities definitley don’t include city beautification. They have a hard enough time just trying to build and maintain the bridges. But you know how that works over here!

  • 17. haze  |  September 20, 2006 at 4:08 pm

    Hi Niceheart just got back from a WE vacation from Paris! Oh that’s what I call ART !!! We also have it in France and we call it tag (spray painted grafitti). In the Philippines we called it vandalism but I guess this is not one of a kind, kasi attractive syang tingnan di ba!

    You can call a thing vandalism if it doesn’t make sense at all 😉 especially if they write someone’s name and insulting a person thru tagging on the wall !

    But this one is a real masterpiece, bravo ! I will be absent for a week, will be attending hubby’s cousin wedding on the southwest of France in Pay Basque. So see you soon ! Have a nice day !

  • 18. niceheart  |  September 20, 2006 at 8:47 pm

    Of course, Phil. They have more important projects that they have to attend to.

    Hello Haze. You’re the second one to say that they call this vandalism in the Philippines. From what I understand, vandalism means damaging someone’s property.

    Wow, Paris! I think I’d like to go there someday. And going away again for another week. Lucky girl. Hope you have a nice time. 🙂

  • 19. Downtown Winnipeg - Portage Avenue « Journey to Honeyville  |  September 27, 2006 at 12:18 am

    […] I was out again last weekend taking pictures of buildings downtown here in Winnipeg.  I already had some pictures from my trip down there a few weeks ago when I photographed the murals but I wanted to have some more to give you guys a pretty good picture of Downtown Winnipeg. […]

  • 20. bobbystahr  |  August 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Does anyone know why the website themuralsofwinnipeg won’t load anymore?


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