Two picturesque small towns just a short drive from Brandon

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There has been such a great response from our last two mini-Manitoba road trip articles, we’ve decided to keep going.

For this trip, pack the car with a few snacks and head south on the #10 highway out of Brandon. The highway is in excellent driving condition and before you know it you’ll be crossing the Souris River and enjoying the view of the valley. First stop is Boissevain. It’s located right on the highway.  Once you slow down for the school zone you’ll see signs directing you to turn left to start the Art Drive. There are numerous murals around town and they are bright and beautiful. You can’t miss them.

Clearly a progressive town, Snap Chat picked up a filter for Choy’s Restaurant right away. Just down the street from Choy’s and across from the Community Theatre is a beautiful little park aptly named “Arts Park.” Definitely walk through and enjoy the eclectic displays! It’s a gem.

Photo: Cathie Crossin
Photo: Cathie Crossin
Photo: Cathie Crossin

If you’re ready for a coffee, do stop in at Sawmill Tea and Coffee company. Ask about their daily flavour of cheesecake, or pick up a bowl of their homemade soup.

Once you’re back on #10 and heading south, you’ll come to a junction where you can choose to head east to Killarney or west for Deloraine.

I picked west for Deloraine! Farm families are hard at work here in the harvest season. The golden fields of the area are as pretty as a picture.  The town of Deloraine isn’t far and the drive will go quickly but, I’m going to suggest a 3km detour off the highway at Turtlehead Creek Dam before you even get there. (It’s clearly marked by highway signs.) As you head towards the dam and the golf course you’ll see an intriguing sign that says “bank vault.”  This signals a gravel detour to an old field stone bank vault. One of only 2 left in western Canada, it’s an intriguing piece of history.  You see, Deloraine wasn’t always where it is today. In fact, it was first established in 1882 about 10km east of town. But in 1886 the Canadian Pacific Railway settled their line north and west, so nearly all the buildings were transferred over to the new site. Unfortunately the bank vault could not be moved, so it was left behind on what is now private property.

One you get to Deloraine you can stretch your legs and walk about in the Flags of the World Park. It’s also next to their tourist booth. Over on Broadway Street I spied the post office building. It reminded me of the clock tower building in the movie Back to the Future. Actually, with all the great heritage buildings and wide open green spaces, Deloraine would be a great place to make a feature film.

Photo: Cathie Crossin
Photo: Cathie Crossin

If you do plan to take a Manitoba road trip soon, take your mask and your hand sanitizer with you. Spread only kindness.