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Summer in the city

Train from Winnipeg to Grand Beach, original source unknown. 

Now that it is July, it is quite safe to say that summer weather is here to stay. These warm and long sunny days are much needed in preparation for the icy long winter up ahead, so soak it up!

In looking into typical summer activities in the 1920s & 1930s–during Nellie’s time–we thought we would share some ideas inspired by this time period of what to do during the summer months.


Yes, this might sound silly and quite obvious. But before the popularization of the automobile, walking, and biking for that matter, were popular modes of transportation. Nowadays we know that these modes are excellent ways in which one can exercise! One might of said, “Let’s ankle!”, which meant in the slang of the time, “to walk”. We would recommend to ankle around in the Leo Mol Gardens at Assiniboine Park, or even, to walkabout in your neighbourhood, or a heavily treed area for shade.


This one might sound quite obvious as well. Reading outside is a wonderful way to embrace the summer weather. A favourite library of ours in the Winnipeg area is the Cornish Library. It was also a space prominently used by Nellie McClung–who conducted lectures in the basement meeting rooms. It is an Carnegie Library, meaning that the funds in order to build it were donated by the famous businessman, Andrew Carnegie. Unfortunately, the library is closed until 2019 for renovations, however, we do still recommend strolling by the library to check out this historic space, perhaps sitting on the benches nearby with a favourite book in tow.


Although the French Impressionists were at the height of their prominence during the 1860s through 1880s, and the Impressionist style altogether faced a decline throughout the early 1910s, it is possible that individuals who grew up in the late 19th century would have felt a certain fondness for these works. The period of Post-Impressionism and Modernism then became the prominent styles after the decline of the Impressionist period. Presently, the Winnipeg Art Gallery is showing pieces from both the French Impressionist Period, as well as the French Modern Period. This is an opportunity that surely should not be missed! The WAG is also a nice place to cool off from the hot summer sun.


Alright, this last one does not involve staying in the city. Winnipegers have long been making the trek to Grand Beach. In 1916, the first train to Grand Beach was made available. Rates on the “Moonlight Express” at this time were 50 cents for a return fare. By the 1930s, a round trip to Grand Beach on the train was $2.20. Unfortunately, there is no longer a train to Grand Beach, however the drive out there is approximately just an hour from the city, and it is certainly worth the trip!


Historical and factual information was retrieved/ linked from/to the following locations: the City of Winnipeg, Grand Beach Tourism, Pinterest, and Winnipeg Art Gallery, Wikipedia. The featured image was shared on Pinterest, but the original source at this time is unknown.

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