Making Friends at The Forks Starts With Hello

Posted on Oct 04, 2017 by The Forks Market


The trails at The Forks are part of my daily commute and regular running route. No matter the season, it’s always a highlight of my day to be out on the trails, it’s relaxing and peaceful. Excellent people watching too, there are always people walking along the paths. My running buddy recently pointed out a funny habit I have: I smile and say hi to everyone I see. I had no idea I was doing it! Rural roots, I guess. And I like it. I like saying hi to my neighbours. Being the opposite of shy, I thought I would take the next step and get to know the people in our city a little bit more.

So, last weekend I grabbed a latte from Fools and Horses and went for a walk to chat with strangers! I met so many lovely people that I would love to share with you.

I met Bhopinder with wife Rupinder and friends Ravinder and Navinder strolling along laughing together in the Forks Prairie Garden.

What brought you here today?
I work here but I live in Toronto. This is my wife and my friends. My friends came here this morning for the first time and are staying for two days. I am just taking them around. The Forks is the first stop after the airport. We had something to eat at the Pancake House. I showed them the history of the buildings. And I took them down to the river to see the actual Forks.

What do you love about the Forks?
Oh, the history. That this was a Trading Post connected to the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Have you been skating?
No. I don’t know how to skate.

I can give you skating lessons. Will you come back in winter?
Sure! Sure, I can do that.

Down by the water I came across Kym with children Clare, Sam, Jane and Robbie throwing rocks into the river.

What brought you here today?
We wanted to get outside. Before the snow comes, to enjoy the fall. And we wanted to be near the water. And there’s lots of rocks and birdseed here. So it’s the perfect outing. The kids like playing in the bushes up there. The older kids can run around up there and the younger kids can be by the water watching the boats go by so there’s something for everybody.
We come here all year round. We come for skating and hot chocolate in the winter.

What’s your favourite season at the Forks?
The fall. The trees. For sure. The geese, the migration. But, the patios are nice in the summer too.

Over by the Oodeana Circle I ran into Vangelis and friend Vladimiros visiting from Greece taking a stroll on their first visit to Winnipeg.

What brought you here today?
We heard a lot of things about the Forks. There’s a lot of places to eat and sit. It’s nice to be outside. And we will also go to the Human Rights Museum. We can walk there from here. We’re going to see this sculpture here first.

Why are you in Winnipeg?
I came here as an exploratory visit. I plan to move here in a couple of years. I am setting up interviews. Tuesday, I think. And I’m going to start the whole procedure to have a permanent residency visa.

I came across Walter who was walking along solo listening to music.

What brought you here today?
I’m just here to get out of the house I guess. I was just going to wander around and maybe go eat something.

What do you like about spending time at the Forks?
I don’t know actually. I like walking the trails and being outside. I usually come on the weekends. Most of the time I come by myself. Sometimes I meet friends.

Do you come here in winter?
No. It’s too icy.

Well, you have to skate. Do you skate?
I’ve roller skated.

I can teach you this winter!
We’ll see.

Where do you usually eat when you come to The Forks?
I usually eat at The Original Pancake House or The Old Spaghetti Factory.

It was so interesting to strike up conversations with total strangers and get to know them a bit. People come to The Forks to connect - with the city, themselves, nature and with friends. At the end of the day, I felt like I did make some new friends. On your next visit to The Forks, try smiling and say hi to somebody new. It feels surprisingly good to connect - even with an interaction so small as a smile and a hello. Building and bridging our communities starts with something so simple.

Lindsay Somers is a Lifestyle Health Coach. You can follow here on Instagram and Twitter. All photos by FULL.

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