So we did the touristy thing, navigated around the Market , that hive of activity where the multifarious sights and smells buzz hither and thither. I finally escorted Olga to the car, ensured she had a good book to read, and said, "I'm going to find that Gate."
The Gate is the last remnant of Upper Fort Garry, which attained its heyday when Louis Riel occupied it in 1869 and shook the new Confederation of Canada to its very soles. I have been visiting Winnipeg for decades, always telling myself that I will now see the Gate, and I often visited The Forks, where I believed that Gate stood, but failed to see it.
The Forks today is the heart of Winnipeg, at the fork of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. It has always been the heart of Manitoba, even before there was a Manitoba. Stone age people camped there, and Aboriginals gathered there after the continental glacier retreated, and fur traders found it, settlers settled it, and merchants built a city around it. In the nineteenth century, the Hudson's Bay Company built a depot there, from which it ruled the North West Territories, before there was a Canada. They called it Fort Garry, and later, Upper Fort Garry.
What Plymouth Rock is to the Americans, Upper Fort Garry Gate is ̶ or should be ̶ to us Canadians.
If Fort Garry had never existed, the Canada we know would have never happened.
Now I set out to find the Gate . . .
Read E.J. Lavoie's complete article (4 chapters) at http://bit.ly/27W72ZB . This is timely because the author is in Winnipeg this week. He will revisit the site and report back.