A little while ago on Instagram, we asked you what you've always wanted to know about The Forks, and you were full of really great questions about our history, what we're doing now, and what's ahead. We took the time to pick some of our favourites and respond!
Here's what you wanted to know:
Q | How old is The Forks?
A | Very old – after the ice shields melted, the rivers were created. There is archeological evidence that Indigenous people have been meeting here for over 6,000 years!
The Forks, the meeting place we know and love today, started in 1989.
Q | When was it founded?
A | The Forks, as we know it today, was founded when the municipal, provincial and federal governments created The Forks Renewal Corporation, a private, financially self-sufficient organization in 1987 to turn the space that was sitting as an old abandoned rail yard with no access to the water into a community gathering space.
Q | Where did it get it's name?
A | Well, technically it's not a fork, where one river splits, but a confluence, where two rivers meet... it is definitely not a spoon.
Q | What were the buildings originally used for?
A | The Forks Market = horse stables for horses that delivered goods arriving by train
Johnston Terminal = cold storage for goods coming off the trains
Manitoba Children's Museum = train repair and maintenance – also the oldest building on the site built in 1889
Q | Do most people know that it is of Indigenous ancestry?
A | Definitely! The area is extremely rich in Indigenous history! One way we share these stories is through the Oral History Tours in the summer and Indigenous storytelling in the teepee in the winter.
Q | What's next for The Forks?
A | Stay tuned! Big things are coming.
Q | Why isn't there a Tim Hortons or a Starbucks at The Forks?
A | Because with 1.4 million visitors a year and Winnipeg's #1 tourist destination, we believe it's important to support and show off local talent and small business owners.
Q | Is it haunted in the Market building?
A | Sometimes when it's quiet at night, we hear the faint "naaaaay" or distant "clop-clop, clop-clop" of the horses that were here before us.
JUST KIDDING. No, to our knowledge, the Market building is NOT haunted!
Q | What is the average monthly rent for a space in The Market?
A | If you have a business plan to propose, email email@example.com.
Q | Where did the fudge and incense guy go?
A | Sadly, the fudge guy and Ram from Mystic Scents recently passed away.
Q | Can I bring my dog inside The Market and Johnston Terminal buildings?
A | Nope! But pups are totally welcome outside on leashes!
Q | Do the yellow and red coloured bands on the bridge represent anything?
A | They're flood lines!
Blue = flood of 1997
Yellow = flood of 1950
Red = flood of 1826
Bonus | This blue line (see photo) indicates how high the water came up in 1997.
Q | Will you ever have a permanent bike valet area?
A | Oooh! Well, we currently have about 90 bike lock-up spots – we'd love to see them all full, all the time!
Q | Is there mosquitoes?
A | The Forks is a magical place. But... not that magical.
Is there anything else you'd like to know?
Other posts that might interest you:
- Grain-y Goodness: Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company supporting community
- Forks Date: 3 things to say to sound smart on the big day
- Forks-ology: What's under the land and what does it tell us?