Featured

The Leaf in Winnipeg Manitoba

Horticultural The Leaf at Assiniboine Park

The Leaf at Assiniboine Park is Canada's Diversity Gardens

Visiting Winnipeg's World Class Horticultural Attraction

The Leaf in Winnipeg, Manitoba - It was a cold and blustery day in Winnipeg. The wind chill certainly discouraged outdoor adventures. Not to mention it was mid-March, so it was no longer wintery enough for winter activities but not yet warm enough for spring activities. This begged the question, what can we explore in Winnipeg that is indoors? The answer is easy. Visit The Leaf in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It is an award-winning, world-class attraction known as Canada's Diversity Gardens. The Leaf celebrates the diversity of Canada's people by telling stories about the interconnections of people, places and nature through plants. Sounds interesting...and warm.

The Leaf at Assiniboine Park. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
Red Vein Chinese Lantern. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

The Leaf in Winnipeg Manitoba

The Leaf in Winnipeg Manitoba is one of the jewels of Assiniboine Park. There are four different biomes, or gardens for visitors to explore including the Hartley and Heather Richardson Tropical Biome, the Mediterranean Biomes, Babs Asper Display House, and the Shirley Richardson Butterfly Garden. Since we were trying to escpae the cold weather outside, we didn't explore the outdoor gardens, not that there would have been anything to see this time of year. The Leaf has almost 12 hectares (30 acres) of gardens surrounding it with six different gardens to explore.

Looking up to the 6th Floor Bridge. Photo Credit: Janet Guthrie
Looking Down from the Bridge. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

The Leaf's Architectural Design is a Winnipeg Attraction

The architecture captures natures complexities resulting in the organic form of the building reflecting the plant life within its biomes. The Leaf's design was inspired by natural designs like the nautilus shell and sunflowers and the Fibonacci Sequence that is so common in nature. Honestly, the architecture of The Leaf is just as incredible as the gradens that are housed within it. KPMB Architects out did themselves on this project.

The Leaf's Impressive Architecture. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Tropical Biome at The Leaf in Assiniboine Park

The Hartley and Heather Richardson Tropical Biome is a fantastic escape in the winter when Canada's northern winds blow. The warmth of this indoor rainforest instantly washes away the winter chill whisking visitors instead to a tropical paradise. Its lush tropical plants, koi pond and waterfall make this garden feel like an oasis.

The Hartley & Heather Richardson Tropical Biome. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
Tropical Plants. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Canada's Tallest Indoor Waterfall

At six stories (20m/65ft) high, the Hartley and Heather Richardson Tropical Biome at The Leaf in Winnipeg, Manitoba is home to Canada's tallest indoor waterfall. The waterfall not only makes for a stunning addition to the biome, but it also serves an important purpose. During the winter, the waterfall adds humidity to the biome required for the tropical plants. Whereas in the summer, visitors will enjoy its evaporative cooling effects.

Canada's Tallest Indoor Waterfall. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
Peering behind the waterfall in the Tropical Biome. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Mediterranean Biome

The Mediterranean Biome is most fragrant biome of them all. This biome feels like you have just set foot into Italy or Greece. It is filled with herbs, like rosemary and thyme inviting visitors to touch the plants and to enjoy their fragrance. A large seating area in this biome is designed for visitors to relax and imagine what life must be like in these Mediterranean countries. 

The Most Fragrant Biome. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Celebrating Cultural Diversity Through Plants

Signage throughout The Leaf not only showcases the rich biodiversity on display, but it also highlights the interconnections between people and plants.

What I found to be really interesting is the focus that The Leaf has on using plants to tell stories about Canada's cultural diversity. While we were visiting it was the last day showcasing The Flora of the Philippines. I haven't visited the Philippines yet but judging by the beauty on display at The Leaf, the country must be breathtaking. 

Celebrating the interconnections between plants and people. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
The Flora of the Phillipines Display. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

The Flora of the Phillipines

The Babs Asper Display House features rotating displays throughout the year. The biome was filled with hundreds of beautiful tropical flowers and orchids. As I learnt during our visit, the Philippines is home to over 1,000 species, sub-species and varieties of orchids. Wouldn't that be a magnificent sight to see, all those orchids growing wild all over the Philippine countryside? 

Picture time at the living arch. Photo credit: A. Guthrie
Orchid Tree. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

The Butterfly Garden at The Leaf in Winnipeg

The Shirley Richardson Butterfly Garden is on the sixth floor of The Leaf in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Butterfly Garden is currently filled with a butterfly species that is native to Canada called Painted Ladies. 

The Shirley Richardson Butterfly Garden. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
Painted Lady Butterfly. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

The Leaf at Assiniboine Park Gift Shop

Everything at The Leaf in Winnipeg Manitoba is designed to connect people with nature, including the handmade items for sale in the gift shop. Here you'll find skin and body care products infused with essential oils, Indigenous art and unique jewelry, gardening items, food and so much more. When visiting The Leaf in Assiniboine Park, be sure to take a few minutes to explore the gift shop. 

The Gift Shop at The Leaf in Winnipeg. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Gather Craft Kitchen and Bar

Being in Winnipeg for the better part of the week I had plenty of time to quiz the locals on the best places to eat in town. Without fail every single one of them recommended Gather Craft Kitchen and Bar at The Leaf in Assiniboine Park. As it turns out the place was packed for lunch on a Sunday. Actually, I think it might be packed all day every day. Not realizing that we should have made reservations we were fortunate to have found seats at the bar.

The concept behind Gather Craft Kitchen and Bar is the celebration of nature, the food it provides and connections that people make when they gather together for a meal. Their menu is inspired by global cuisine and cooking techniques. Sounds delicious, right? But I think the secret to Gather Craft Kitchen and Bar is the fresh, locally sourced and seasonal ingredients grown in their gardens and sourced from farmers across Manitoba. 

Gather Craft Kitchen and Bar at The Leaf. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Lunch at Gather Craft Kitchen and Bar

The reviews and recommendations were right, the food at Gather Craft Kitchen and Bar was sooooooo good. I'd fly back to Winnipeg just to get another bowl of this squash soup! The squash was grown on-site at the park and seasoned with sweet and mild curries. It was topped with yogurt, crushed cashews and pickled chilis. So delicious. 

What makes the soup even better is that it was part of an event called Stone Soup Week, which is a fundraiser for school meal programs across Manitoba. Participating restaurants donate $1 from each bowl of soup. Now that is a soup that warms the heart.

My cocktail of choice this time is the Tea Thyme Mocktail. Yes, mocktail. Gather Craft Kitchen and Bar uses herbs grown at The Leaf to make their craft cocktails and mocktails. The Tea Thyme is made with fresh ginger and turmeric root tea mixed with lemon juice and thyme infused honey as well as a non-alcoholic spirit. 

Stone Soup Festival at Gather in The Leaf. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Assiniboine Park

Assiniboine Park has been an important attraction in Winnipeg, Manitoba for over a hundred years.  At 450 hectares (1,100 acres), Assiniboine Park is a massive park in the heart of Winnipeg. The park is beautiful and filled with so many attractions within attractions that visitors could easily spend their entire visit to Winnipeg just in Assiniboine Park.

Other Assiniboine Park Attractions

There are many other attractions at Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg, Manitoba including

- The Assiniboine Park Zoo which is famous for its Polar Bear exhibit
- The Park Cafe
- Nature Playground
- Cargo bar
- English Garden
- Leo Mul Sculpture Garden
- Lyric Theatre

- Steam Train and so much more.

After finishing up our visit to The Leaf in Winnipeg, Manitoba we had just enough time for one last adventure before heading to the airport to catch our flight home. Naturally we chose another indoor option to esacpe the cold day. Our choice was to visit the Pavillion. It was close to The Leaf, has free admission and includes a Winnie the Pooh gallery. The character, Winnie the Pooh is based on a really bear that came from Winnippeg. Hence, the character's name Winnie and why this is also a must-see attraction when visiting Winnipeg.

Winnie the Pooh Display at The Pavillion. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
A Winnie the Pooh reading nook at Assiniboine Park. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

The Leaf in Assiniboine Park is a Must-see Attraction when Visiting Winnipeg

The Leaf in Winnipeg Manitoba is an award winning world-class attraction in the heart of Assiniboine Park. The botanical gardens and the architecture are stunning. However, the thing that I found to be the most interesting was how The Leaf told the stories of Canada's diversity through plants.

The Leaf in Winnipeg Manitoba

The Leaf at Assiniboine Park is Canada's Diversity Gardens

Travel Guide

  • British Columbia

Location (Map)

The Leaf, 145 The Leaf Wy., Winnipeg, MB R3P 2N6, Canada
×
Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manit...
Camping in Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada
 

Comments 2

Greg Girard on Friday, 29 March 2024 00:05

This is another great post Janet. You are very well written.

This is another great post Janet. You are very well written.
Janet Guthrie on Friday, 29 March 2024 03:29

Thank you Greg.

Thank you Greg.
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Monday, 15 July 2024