On the quiet west shores of Lake Winnipeg lies the beautiful lake town of Gimli. Whether you are fishing, sailing, boating, swimming, shopping or just relaxing, you will not want to leave this magical place. Whatever you choose to do, there is something for everyone.
Established in 1875 by Icelandic settlers with strong roots to their Viking ancestors, Gimli is a place of legend — the town earned the mythical name with its rejuvenating peacefulness, abundant wildlife and charming landscape.
Originating from Norse mythology, Gimlé (or Gimli) is known as “the most beautiful place in Asgard” and home of the gods following the battle of Ragnarök.
Today, the beauty of this welcoming harbour town remains true. Residents are favoured with the tranquility of nature, refreshing outdoor discovery and scenic inland-ocean views. The vibrant community offers modern amenities including the opportunity to rest, recharge and reconnect to a simpler way of life. It is also ideal cottage country, as it is located an easy one hour drive from Winnipeg.
Gimli is host to some of the most unique events in Canada and provides big city access while allowing you to embrace a quieter lifestyle.
Life in the rural municipality
According to Statistics Canada, Gimli’s population sits at approximately 6,181 but that figure almost doubles in the summer during the peak tourism season.
Fifty-five per cent of the population is aged 15 to 64. But the average age of residents is 51, making Gimli an ideal spot for couples approaching retirement or seniors looking to downsize and take advantage of their golden years. Many condominiums have been developed here, along with several 55+ independent living and long-term care facilities.
Conveniently, the Gimli Community Health Centre was recently constructed with modernized and expanded patient facilities.
While Gimli’s young families are fewer than empty-nesters, there are three schools — Sigurbjorg Stefansson Early Years School, Dr. George Johnson Middle School, and The Gimli High School — to prepare your children for post-secondary education, and by extension, a successful career.
There are plenty of single dwellings, from cozy detached houses to economical semi-attached homes or apartment buildings. For those desiring a more refined way of life, one of the lavish estates offers lake-town luxury.
Gimli offers a secluded and serene lifestyle, but it’s only a short drive away from the city if you need a break from the peace and quiet. There is a vibrant cottage scene here, with many accessed year-round.
Some of the many things to do in Gimli
Despite its quiet, laid-back atmosphere, there’s a lot to do in Gimli such as:
• Taking part in the annual Icelandic summer festival, Islendingadagurinn, and witnessing the reenactment of fierce Viking battles;
• Visiting Harbour Park, with its breathtaking view of the harbour and where you can visit a replica Viking sod hut or snap a picture with the famous five-meter tall Viking statue — but beware of the mischievous Huldufólk or Icelandic elves;
• Taking part in the Gimli Film Festival and joining hundreds of people woh make their way to Gimli beach with their blankets and chairs to watch films under the night sky;
• Touring the immersive Gimli Glider Exhibit or New Iceland Heritage Museum and learning about Gimli’s unique history;
• Strolling the harbour’s seawall and viewing the 72 spectacular murals painted by the Gimli Art Club;
• Enjoying their 10,000 sq. ft. skatepark located next to the Gimli Rec Centre;
• Revelling in the eclectic 121-year-old store, H.P. Tergesen & Sons General Store, for everything Viking (and funky modern goods, too);
• Taking part in the annual Gimli Ice Festival to heat up your winter activities.
For the foodie or those wanting to sate their hunger for authentic, homemade eats, Gimli is home to a variety of tasty restaurants, homey cafes and cozy pubs.
Start your day off right at Shelly D’s breakfast and brunch diner known as, “The best breakfast place in Gimli.”
If you’re in a hurry and crave a daily java, Flatland Coffee Roasters will quickly become your go-to coffeehouse to get your caffeine fix.
Kris’ Fish & Chips holds a seat for freshwater fish and seafood enthusiasts with perfectly cooked pickerel being a must-try for new residents, and you’re guaranteed great food and friendly service at Brennivins Pizza Hüs.
Or if it’s that sweet tooth you’re looking to soothe, give vinarterta a try. This Icelandic dish is a layered cookie-cake dessert filled with prune or apricot puree. Sugar Me Cookie Boutique bakery serves up a delicious recipe that’s been handed down through many generations.
Need a hand getting around?
For those with mobility challenges, Eastern Interlake Handi-Van offers dedicated transportation
services, while the Seniors’ Resource Program in Gimli offers tri-weekly congregant meals and meals-on-wheels delivery.
As a small town, Gimli is without a local bus service, but restaurants, hotspots, and schools are all within walking distance — drivers beware, the closer you get to the beach, the harder parking is to find!
Cycling is abundant in Gimli, with more than 300 routes marked on mapmyride.com from easy to challenging. If easy, recreational biking is more your speed, nothing compares to a relaxing ride down the boardwalk of Gimli Beach Park, which is monitored daily by our Beach Patrols.
Whether you’re looking for a place to set down permanent roots, or want to find a seasonal home for the summer near a great beach, Gimli is a fantastic option.
In the words of the Norse Gods, “Welcome to Gimli, a place more beautiful than the sun.”
To find out which amenities will be available over the Victoria Day long weekend, visit gimli.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 204-642-6650. For more information on Gimli’s other annual events visit icelandicfestival.com, gimlifilm.com and gimliicefestival.com
Contact your REALTOR® and learn more about Gimli’s housing and cottage market and what suits your needs best.