Tag Archives: Assiniboine Park

The Lady With A Book

On Monday I was waiting to meet a friend at Assiniboine Park for a walk when I discovered this intriguing statue of a woman sitting on a bench reading a book. She was dressed as someone might have been in the 1950s.lady with a book statue The sign on her park bench said her statue had resided for many years at a home on Wellington Crescent owned by Israel and Babs Asper. Israel or “Izzy” Asper was the founder of Can West Global Communications. He was also the former leader of the Liberal Party of Manitoba and was instrumental in the establishment of the Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg.  “Babs” or Ruth was the co-founder and chair of the Asper Foundation which supported philanthropic activities in the areas of health, education, culture and human rights.  Now that both Izzy and Babs have died their statue of a reading lady has been donated to Assiniboine Park in their memory.  It sits just inside the gate to the English Gardens. The quote beside the reading woman is from Cicero. “If you have a library and a garden you have everything you need.”

Other posts……..

Readers

Hopeful Families in South Korea

Rubbing Mr. Eaton’s Foot

 

 

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Filed under Art, Books, Winnipeg

Sketching in the Park

sketching assiniboine parkOn Monday my friend Esther and I met in Assiniboine Park to sketch.  Esther had picked a spot with a great view of The Pavilion.  We spent an hour and half or so creating our own versions of the scene.  

esther's sketch

My friend Esther’s sketch.

Assiniboine Park has a special significance for my family.  My parents got engaged in the park close to seventy years ago. My Dad was in the middle of his proposal when a guard knocked on the window and told him the park was closing for the evening.  The Pavilion was also the site for my brother and his partner’s wedding over a decade ago.  

sketch assiniboine park

My rendition of the park pavilion.

Assiniboine Park was a great place to sketch.  Esther and I have decided we will try to sketch together once a month. I wonder where we will go next? 

Other posts……..

I’m Trying to Draw Cartoons

When Did You Stop Drawing?

Don’t Be Scared to be Creative

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I’m Happy My Taxes Are Paying For This

red flower in the parkMy friend Esther and I were sketching in the English gardens in Assiniboine Park last week.  It was a gorgeous day and the gardens were alive with stunning flowers but what made me so happy were all the people in the park.  So many folks were out enjoying the lovely Manitoba morning.

water lilies and cloud reflectionWe chatted with an elderly couple walking their dog. They stopped to point out the hawk in the tree above our heads. “We come here everyday,” they said, “and that hawk is always perched right there. It’s his favorite tree.”  A Dad was reading the names of all the flowers on the little signs to his three young children.  Several people in wheelchairs were being pushed through the walkways and people with walkers and canes made their way slowly amongst the statues and plants. leo mol sculpture garden I was so fascinated with all the folks walking by I didn’t get much sketching done.  There was the teenager covered in tattoos in earnest conversation with her white-haired grandmother, a large extended family all dressed in pale green shirts in the park to have their photos taken by a professional photographer, a quartet of female friends out for a power walk and people who were clearly visitors to Winnipeg from other countries.family-leo-molI know people often complain about paying taxes but Monday morning in the park I said to myself, “I’m so glad I can contribute my tax dollars for the maintenance of this beautiful sanctuary that so many of my fellow citizens get to enjoy.” gate sketch

Other posts……..

Leo Mol Sculpture Garden

The T-4’s Welcome Spring

I Don’t Want a Tax Break

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Easter Inspiration at the Assiniboine Park Conservatory

 

And then my heart with pleasure fills and dances with the daffodils  -William Wordsworth

The magic is inside you. There ain’t no crystal ball.  -Dolly Parton

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change.   – Buddha

Elephants walk as if they have music being piped into their ears that no one else hears. -Jodi Picoult

The earth laughs in flowers. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

If there is a single lesson that life teaches us it is that wishing doesn’t make it so. Lev Grossman

Are not flowers the stars of the earth? -Clara Lucas Balfour

Just like hopes springing high… still I rise. -Maya Angelou

If I had but two loaves of bread, I would sell one and buy hyacinths, for they would feed my soul. ― MohammadA kind heart is a fountain of gladness. -Washington IrvingConsider the lilies….. how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. -Matthew 6: 28-29

Other posts……..

Flower Inspiration

Australia Inspiration

Fiji Inspiration

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Filed under Inspiration, Nature, Winnipeg

The T4s Welcome Spring

t-4 assiniboine park pondIt had been almost three months since the group of friends I meet with regularly had been together.  I was in Arizona and others had also traveled and been busy with work, planning weddings and all kinds of other interesting things. Luckily we had to wait for a table at the restaurant in Assiniboine Park so we could ….leo mol sculpture garden go for a walk through the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden catching upand we had time to sit on the sunny patio near the duck pond and catch up on our lives in the warm sunshine.  waitress at Qualico Centre assiniboine parkOnce in the restaurant we met our waitress Lorraine who was just a hoot!  She convinced us all to order her special very spicy Caesars. Very spicy is how I’d describe Lorraine too, full of fun and adventure, happy and life affirming. “I could just tell this group was special,” she said as she related details about her latest kayaking trip. lunch at Qualico centreWe had a long leisurely lunch.  The restaurant had been packed when we arrived but as we talked and talked and talked the crowd thinned and even the lively Lorraine left, pulling out her pony tail and shaking her lovely white hair free, as she exited into the spring air. park conservatoryIt was late in the afternoon before we finally paid our bill at the restaurant and headed over to the park conservatory. daffodilsThe place was all decked out for Easter and in one room the fragrance of the flowers washed over you as soon as you entered. It was heady!visiting in the park conservatorySuch a perfect place for visiting. We only left when the security guard came around to tell us the conservatory was closing. chairs at la cuisineBut our day wasn’t over yet.  We drove over to La Cuisson on Corydon a new cafe featuring British and French pastries, teas and coffees. smelling teasThe waitress brought samples of all different kinds of teas and coffees to smell.  What to choose?making siphon coffee at la cuisineI couldn’t resist the Sleigh Ride tea ( it just smelled so good) but the others had coffee and we were invited to watch while coffee master Hui Li created special hand crafted cups of coffee using the syphon method. It’s a unique technique Hui Li has been studying for two years. dessert choicesWe finally settled on which desserts to order. The talented young pastry chef who made them was there to serve our beautifully presented plates. We all took bites of each others before enjoying our own selections.la cuissonWe were sitting in the cozy coffee table space at the back of La Cuisson  and so we had our own private spot to carry on with our conversation, till someone looked at their watch.  It was nearly 7:30!  Time to think about going home and to select a date for our next get together. It had been a great day.t4s in the parkWelcoming spring in with friends. What could be better? 

Other posts about the T-4s……

Should the T-4s Get Tattoos or Go Skydiving? 

I’m Getting Crafty for Christmas

A Lovely Day in Steinbach

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Filed under Food, Nature, People, Restaurants, Retirement, T-4s, Winnipeg

A Quick Visit to Assiniboine Park

On Friday morning our out-of-town guests had a few hours free so I offered to take them on a meander through Winnipeg’s signature park -The  Assiniboine Park.I had no idea the park had started a trolley service- but what a great idea.We were able to take a double-decker bus all the way from the front gate to the English Gardens.Most of the flowers in the English Garden aren’t in full bloom yet but we did see

some lovely poppies.We visited the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden.  Mol is Winnipeg’s most famous sculptor. Here Beena and I pose with Mol’s depiction of Moses. In the Topiary Garden we saw a bison made out of dried grasses anda whole series of frog musicians fashioned out of plants and flowers. My friend Meena was especially interested in this statue telling the story of Winnie the Pooh who was named after the city of Winnipeg. She had read about it in a previous blog post of mine. Later we visited the Winnie the Pooh Gallery in the main park building where we learned more both about A. A Milne the Winnie the Pooh author and E.H. Shepard the illustrator. Soon it was time for our guests to be picked up for their excursion to the Winnipeg Mint and so we left the park. 

Other posts about Assiniboine Park…….

Qualico Family Centre

Winnie the Pooh 

Leo Mol Sculpture Garden

 

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We’re Living in a Piece of History

  The condo we just moved into,  is located in a building that is a Winnipeg historical landmark. The Ashdown Warehouse on Bannatyne Avenue was built in 1895 by James Henry Ashdown, also nicknamed “The Merchant Prince.” The warehouse, the largest in Winnipeg at the time, had sections added onto it in 1900, 1902, 1906 and 1911. It served as the headquarters for James Ashdown’s retail empire that made him one of Winnipeg’s first millionaires.

At the turn of the century the building was a warehouse  used for keeping all the things sold in the Ashdown Store, which was located in a building at the end of Bannatyne- housewares, dishes, cutlery, sporting goods, paint, automotive and electrical supplies, tools, agricultural equipment, plumbing supplies, furniture and wood stoves.  Mr. Ashdown who was a charter member of the Winnipeg Board of Trade used his influence to have a railway line spur built right near his warehouse so it would be easy for him to move things back and forth between his other warehouses in twelve different Canadian cities.  A set of scales that must have been used for weighing goods still sits in the front lobby of  our building which was designed by S. Frank Peter and J.H.G. Russell. The building has wood post and beam construction and the original walls of Selkirk stone and brick are still visible in all the condos.

James Ashdown came to Winnipeg in 1868, but at the time it was just a little village called The Red River Settlement. Born in London, England, in 1844 James and his family had immigrated to Toronto when he was eight years old . James began his work life as an apprentice to a tinsmith- which is perhaps why there are beautifully tooled tin ceilings in the lobby and elevator of our condo.  James was imprisoned for 69 days by Louis Riel, a Metis’ leader. James was part of a group of fifty citizens who resisted Riel’s attempt to take control of the Red River settlement. 

The enterprising Mr. Ashdown devised  the country’s first catalogue as a method to advertise his products across the country.  Once he loaded up a train that traveled across the country making stops in every town along its route, opening up its doors to sell goods to the local citizens. The forward thinking James chaired a committee of citizens that insisted Winnipeg be incorporated as a city, long before it qualified as a city because of its size.   James would later serve as Winnipeg’s mayor for two terms. 

529 Wellington was where Mr. James Ashdown had his home. Today it is a well known restaurant, with a pricey menu. Mr. Ashdown lived at 529 Wellington with his wife Susan and their five children. His son took over his business when he died in 1924 and ran it till his own death in 1971.

There is a statue of James Ashdown in the walkway of famous citizens in Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park. Mr. Ashdown certainly deserves to be there. He founded the University of Winnipeg and served on its board of directors for 36 years.  He also founded the first YMCA and public school system in Winnipeg. He led the drive to open Assiniboine Park and was a life governor of Winnipeg’s General Hospital. He was a director of the Bank of Montreal and founded the St. Charles Country Club. It was his initiative that got an aqueduct built to provide fresh water for Winnipeg and make typhus a thing of the past for its citizens.  Mr. Ashdown was barely finished one civic improvement before he began thinking about what was next on the agenda to make Winnipeg a better place to live. 

 My home is in a building that belonged to a pretty important man! The Ashdown Warehouse was the first building in Winnipeg’s Exchange District to be turned into residential condos. Now there are quite a few others and more are being built and renovated all the time. 

 

 

Other posts about buildings in my neighbourhood………

Kelly House- A Charming Residence

Good Will and Good Memories

A Hotel With a History

 

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