The downtown area of Winnipeg is a pretty broad area. It encompasses the area between the Red River on the east, The Assiniboine River on the south, Sherbrooke Street to the west, and the rail yards on the north. Winnipeg's downtown is centered around the corner of Portage & Main, and includes the historic (early 1900s) Exchange District to the north, and The Forks National Historic Site (and market) to the south. The city recently completed a transit mall on Graham Avenue, to draw some traffic off Portage Avenue. The area is well served with the Health Sciences Centre at its northwest edge.
This community is definitely attractive to young singles, young marrieds, and professionals without children. There is a lot of shopping, culture and nightlife in this area, and it is close to the downtown business district. Much of the district is connected with indoor walkways, making it very convenient to get around in winter.
The downtown schools are all part of the Winnipeg School District #1. The area has 3 elementary schools north of Notre Dame, and another elementary and a high school just west of Maryland St. The Adult Education Centre and University of Winnipeg's campus are also in the community. The Public Library's main branch is downtown, and there is a smaller branch on Bannatyne Ave.
There is plenty of shopping in the downtown area. One of the most fun places is the Forks Market, but there is a stretch of shopping centres and structures on both sides of Portage, from Main Street west to Colony Street. On the north side of Portage is the $100 million Portage Place, which is linked to the Bay and Eaton's stores. The downtown stores along Portage are all connected via pedestrian walkways that stretch out almost 2 kilometres, so you can shop in comfort instead of braving Winnipeg's winter climate.
The downtown area has a number of attractions and recreational facilities. There is of course, the historical site at the Forks, which is also home to the Children's Museum and the CanWest Global Performing Arts Centre (home to the Manitoba Theatre for young People) as well as a number of summer festivals. Just to the north is the Shaw Park, home of Winnipeg's AA baseball team, the Goldeyes. The Winnipeg Cyclone Basketball team plays its season at the "Wind Tunnel" at the Convention Centre. During the winter, you can ice skate on the Assiniboine and Red River between the Midtown Bridge and the Provencher Bridge,