A loose-fit, unisex tee
Winnipeg’s Esplanade Riel: A magnificent bridge connecting people and cultures
The Esplanade Riel bridge for pedestrians and cyclists spans the Red River, connecting Winnipeg’s French Quarter, Saint-Boniface, with the heart of Manitoba’s capital. One of the most recognized visual symbols in Winnipeg, this elegant construction designed by Franco-Manitoban architect Étienne Gaboury is also designed to bridge the gap between the city’s Francophone and Anglophone communities, who live “on the other side of the river” from each other, as Winnipeggers say. Gaboury also designed the Provencher road bridge, which is paired with the Esplanade Riel. With the same goal in mind, he graced the sides of the bridge with patterns representing the diversity of Winnipeg’s cultural origins (Indigenous, French, British and Métis), interwoven like the threads in a ceinture fléchée (traditional sash). The Esplanade Riel, a side-spar cable-stayed bridge and the only bridge in the world to have a restaurant at its centre where people can meet, dazzles pedestrians and cries out to photographers.
At Esplanade Riel’s grand opening in December 2003, Jim Thomson, Director of Public Works for the City of Winnipeg, said that walking on the pedestrian bridge gave one “the impression of walking in an outdoor cathedral.” Everywhere along the Red River, this amazing white pyramidal structure piques people’s curiosity and draws them like a magnet. Once you reach the bridge, you want to cross it, strolling under the magnificent web of its support cables and taking in the beauty of its unique structure: the large windowed restaurant at its centre, the tall spire, the aerial impact of the cables moving to create a variety of patterns. This bridge is an attraction in itself.
Since 2014, the remarkable architecture of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights next door to the Esplanade Riel on the west bank of the Red River has added to the postcard-like image of the two masterpieces viewed from the east bank. The Esplanade Riel connects the tourist and recreational area of The Forks, The Forks National Historic Site and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to the west and the French Quarter of Saint-Boniface to the east. Pedestrians can then follow Provencher Boulevard, a cultural and commercial district, or Taché Promenade, which leads to the Saint-Boniface Museum, the oldest building in Manitoba, as well as the Saint-Boniface Cathedral and its cemetery, where Louis Riel is buried.
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