Winnipeg might not have its own metro system, but with two kilometers of underground passageways and skywalks, getting around in their bitterly cold and snow heavy winters can still be a breeze. Of course, with 32 km of underground passageways snaking throughout its downtown core, Montreal can still proudly wear its crown as the most adept city at avoiding the slushy outdoors of wintertime. Despite it being almost May, when we opened our drapes on Wednesday morning in Winnipeg, it was snowing hard enough to make us decide that it was time to see if our hotel connected directly to the MTS Center without us ever having to go outside. It did, and allowed us to feel only slightly better about the all the text we kept getting from Montreal telling us it was sunny and almost 20 degrees.
Just like in Montreal metro stations, musicians take full advantage of the indoor passageways to busk and try to make a few bucks from the 21,000 employees and customers wandering throughout the sprawl that encompasses 200 stores, 60 restaurants and two hotels. The big difference is that buskers in Winnipeg can rock out on the skywalks instead of only in the underground, allowing them the chance to catch a few rays while they strum away.
Once we finally decided to step out from the shelter of the numerous underground passages and skywalks of downtown Winnipeg’s shopping district, a hotdog stand occupying a nearby street corner immediately drew our attention. Why? Because we haven’t seen one in Montreal since they were banned in the city in 1947. In reality, Montreal still won’t be seeing any food carts of this type for a while still, but the freezing-cold vendor, happily selling hot dogs on a gray Winnipeg afternoon still got us hyped for the fact that this summer, for the first time in nearly 70 years, Montreal will be getting its own dose of street food back, as food trucks have finally been approved to roam certain designated areas of the city peddling their very delicious wares.