When I was a child, my father had a job to build a church in Winnipeg. We would be home during these travels when he played his part in constructing churches in various regions of Canada. On this one occasion, he borrowed someone’s car and picked us all up, and we drove 24 hours from our home to the capital of Manitoba. This would be the first major trip I had ever done. Before this, a trip to the city and its beach was the farthest I had been.
Undoubtedly, as Dad travelled to our temporary home in Winnipeg, we passed the centre of our country. At that time, there was no big, flashy, touristy place to stop and marvel at some trivia about being equally distanced from the East as we are from the West. I wonder if I would have even appreciated this since I was still very young.
According to my children, I am very old now, and I did return to Winnipeg for the first time in four and a half decades. This time, I greatly appreciated being in the centre of the country I love so much. This time, I brought the one person I love the most to this small stop along the Trans-Canada Highway, and we both appreciated the scale and scope of where we were standing.
I was surprised by just how busy it was, and it must have surprised the organizers of this attraction because the parking lot is not quite big enough to meet the demand of those wanting to take a pic here. We both shared the moment and took photos of ourselves in the centre of Canada. Other than that, there is little else to do there.
If it weren’t for the sign, no one would tell that it was the centre of anything. The area is like the surrounding fields we passed to get here. I never realized just how flat it can be in Manitoba.
After spending a few minutes pondering where we were standing, we noticed a bonus attraction a few hundred metres down the road. It was Pete’s Center Canada Heritage. An open-air museum of heritage farm equipment that was well maintained and looked after. We would walk and see various tractors, plows and other farming equipment. Sadly, we noticed a for sale sign for this attraction. I hope whoever buys this will appreciate the need to preserve it for all those who pass by.
Both of these locations serve to inform tourists. The first shows the nation’s geography, and the second is how this nation was built.
- To find the directions to these locations, check out the Featured Map for this and many other places we have been to.
- Both sites are open daily and are free to visit.
- Many picture opportunities of the farming equipment. Less so of the Centre of Canada.
- Expect to be there for 30 minutes or more.
- Family-friendly site.