Did you know...

…that the old witch’s house from ‚Hansel and Gretel‘ stands next to the Red River in Winnipeg?

On the occasion of the centenary anniversary of the German community in Manitoba, the German architect Hans-Peter Langes designed an unconventional gingerbread cottage, made of candy and called “The Witch’s Hut”. Since 1970, it represents a part of the German fairy tale culture in Canada. A statue in the capital city of the province commemorates the well-known choreographer and director of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Arnold Spohr. Even the gourmand gets a treat here: The family-owned ‘Ralph’s German Restaurant & Café’ serves fresh German traditional meals and delicacies. The recipe for the best pumpkin seed bread in all of Winnipeg can be found at the German bakery ‘The Crusty Bun’.


The Hespeler Avenue in Winnipeg © Goethe-Institut Montreal

The Hespeler Avenue

Wilhelm “William” Hespeler was born on December 29th, 1830 in Baden-Baden and played a key role in settling the west of Canada. 

„The Crusty Bun“ © Goethe-Institut Montreal

“The Crusty Bun” - THE German Bakery in Winnipeg

If you turn off St. Mary’s Road onto Hastings Boulevard, the scent of freshly baked delicacies fills the air. It smells like fresh bread, buns, and other baked goods - it smells like home in Germany.

Ralph’s German Restaurant & Café © Goethe-Institut Montreal

Ralph’s German Restaurant & Café

In the parking lot at Ralph’s German Restaurant & Café, you can find cars with license plates not only from Manitoba, but also from the neighbouring province of Saskatchewan and the bordering US state North Dakota. Found in the small city of Winkler, this restaurant is well known far outside of the city limits.

Statue of Spohr in Assiniboine Parc © Goethe-Institut Montreal

Dr. Arnold Theodor Spohr

Arnold Spohr was born in December 1923 to German immigrant parents in Rhein, Saskatchewan, not far from the border with Manitoba. He devoted his life to ballet, and he was recognized for his accomplishments as a dancer, choreographer, and director both in Winnipeg itself and internationally.

The Witch’s Hut in Kildonan Park © Goethe-Institut Montreal

The Witch’s Hut in Kildonan Park

In 1970, the German Canadian Congress in Manitoba initiated the Witch’s Hut project for the centennial celebration of the German community in Manitoba. This present to the children of the province was ceremoniously opened in October 1970, and it has been one of the best-known traces of Germany in Winnipeg since then.