This week we’re finally hit double-digit temperatures (15C, 13C) here in Winnipeg, with longer days and the sun sitting high in the sky, all of which are sure signs of spring.

While others look for red-breasted robins, Canadian geese returning home, or tiny prairie plants sprouting through the soil to signal the arrival of the season, I have a new harbinger for this time of year… rising river levels, regular flood reports and about a thousand sandbags delivered to my door.

If the sandbags have arrived… so has spring on the Red River.

This is the third year I’ve had to build a dike in my low-lying backyard, and the usual group of friends, family, and volunteers who arrive to help out are beginning to get a little tired of the biannual invitation. One of my friends suggested that if I want to have 30 people over, I should just have a barbeque.

That said, with a flood of goodwill (as I wrote about here last week) we had the 50-foot long wall of sandbags in place and water-tight within about two hours. And when it was all said and done, all that was left was the ‘after party.’

Aside from our swelling rivers, there are other sure signs of spring for Winnipeggers, including getting out and about in some of the city’s liveliest neighbourhoods.

For me, there’s a certain joie de vivre in strolling through Winnipeg’s “Quartier Français” of St. Boniface, and stopping in at one of the many cafes, bistros or boutiques or taking in the downtown skyline from the Esplanade Riel bridge.
Read more about my favourite “french connections” at

In the meantime, with the sandbags in place, and my first promenade along Provencher Boulevard complete, it’s time to get back to my desk and enjoy the signs of spring from my office window.

What’s a sure sign of spring for you?

Enjoy the new season.

Author's Bio: 

I’m a girl from the Canadian prairies who likes wide-open spaces, fresh ideas, a great story, and inspiring environments, buildings and art of all kinds. I have written feature stories about architecture, urban, rural and lakeside living, cool neighbourhoods, and everything from business to pleasure (tourism and travel).

I believe that powerful writing, too, can link the artistic with the practical.

My feature writing has appeared in: Ottawa Citizen, Winnipeg Free Press, The Western Producer, The Cottager, Manitoba Business Magazine, Manitoba’s Northern Experience, Home & City, Manitoba Gardener, Ciao and up! (WestJet’s magazine).

Barbara Edie