Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg
When you Google Winnipeg the one image that will pop up on your device is of the iconic Canadian Museum of Human Rights. (CMHR)
Since I am new to the city, I have only starred at that image on all screen sizes since 2019, when I first decided to move here. (More on that in another blog, this one’s about me experiencing the sheer masterpiece that this glorious building is.)
CMHR is situated in Manitoba close to the confluence of Winnipeg’s Assiniboine River and Red River. This CMHR site along with the entire Forks area, of which it is a part, was the meeting place of the Aboriginal groups and is now declared a National Historic Site of Canada.
I came to Winnipeg around 10 months ago (in Oct 2021) but my busy college schedule, Winnipeg winters, and COVID restrictions had not let me explore the city. Though I have starred at the CMHR through all screen sizes over the last 2 years and I was living just 2kms away from the glorious Canadian Museum for Human Rights I had not visited it. So, one Saturday noon I booked myself a ticket to CMHR and paid a visit to this wonderfully designed building.
When it was decided to dedicate a museum to Human Rights, an architectural competition was launched in 2003. Architect Antoine Predock won this project and hence is the creative genius behind this masterpiece.
As you walk towards this building you cannot help but be in awe of this gigantic and irregular mass of stone and glass that seems to be growing out of the site itself. The entrance to the building boasts of a glass façade, the feature termed “The Cloud” whereas the back side of the building is that of stone.
Your walk towards the building is not the usual straight path. It is a rather narrow, curved path with slanting walls at both the edges that seem to be like open arms ready to embrace you. They keep increasing in height gradually as you reach the glass door; subtly taking you in.
As you begin your journey up the ramps your curiosity is piqued because of the mysterious nature of the blank wall on one side and frosted glass, allowing ample diffused natural light inside, on the other. The path being nonlinear you find yourself curious and excited as you walk comfortably on this perfectly sloped ramp. You are also pleasantly surprised by one random transparent glass that lets you have a view of the outside. The exhibitions are placed across seven different floors which makes the entire walk on the ramp approximately 1km. However, this ramp manages to transcend you from one space to another with ease and awe. You will also be delighted to have the same ramp act as a viewing deck for the exhibition on the lower floor
Aptly designed are also the interior spaces. There is a sudden shift in mood that happens, thanks to the lighting and music when you reach the exhibition floor and are no longer on the journey via the ramp. These spaces make you pause and read, pause and listen, pause and reflect on the Human Rights journey over the years. You naturally flow through these spaces to find your way out and onto the ramp again.
Tower of Hope:
The walk through these extraordinary spaces leads you to the Tower of Hope. Here, from 100 meters above ground level, you get a panoramic view of the city!
Elevator, yes elevator as well, is designed to optimize your view as you travel from one level to another.
The walk if not the mesmerizing aroma of coffee is sure to make you crave some caffeine. The Cloud Cafe’ is located on the fifth level and gives you an amazing view of the building above and below!
Be sure to enjoy a great cup of coffee (must try) at this in-house cafe’.
How to Visit:
CMHR can be reached easily by the local mode of Winnipeg Transit from different parts of the city.
When to visit:
It is open to the public from Tuesday to Saturday 10 am to 5 pm with unlimited same-day access. The ticket rates vary for adults, youth, and kids but are under 18 CAD (before Tax) as of May 2022 and students with valid ID also get a discount!
It is recommended that you buy the tickets online.
BONUS (limited time offer)
Visit for free: Enjoy Free Friday Nights at CMHR from 5 pm to 9 pm on Fridays only. (this offer is valid as of the 5th of August 2022)