Manitoba’s amazing roadside attractions 1

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A gigantic mosquito, a snake couple, a happy rock . . . these are just some examples of monuments representing Manitoban towns.

Some of them represent the town’s main industry. Others indicate what the town is most known for, or even where their name originated. These landmarks can be quirky, extremely eye-catching, and always Instagram-worthy!

Remember these attractions on your next road trip:

  1. Komarno’s giant mosquito

    Komarno is a small community an hour north of Winnipeg. Komarno actually means “full of mosquito” in Ukrainian, which is in line with its unofficial title of “Mosquito Capital of the World.” Fully embracing this unique distinction, the town built a massive mosquito statue in 1985. You can see this massive landmark along 156 First Street in Komarno.

  2. Giant “Sunflowers” painting

    This reproduction of Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” is the biggest in the world. Complete with an easel, you can’t miss this gigantic landmark in Altona as it towers 76 feet high! This is the work of local artist Cameron Cross who created a series of gigantic reproductions of Van Gogh’s work (the other two being in Australia and Kansas, USA). The painting is also a celebration of Altona’s title of “Sunflower Capital of Canada”.

  3. Flinty Statue

    How did Flin Flon (located 743 km northwest of Winnipeg) get its quirky name? The name Flin Flon came from a fictitious character from the novel “Sunless City” named Jossiah Flintabattey Flonatin. This character, who is an underground explorer, appealed to the city’s founders since the area is a mining town. The character’s statue, which has since been nicknamed “Flinty”, stands at the Tourist Park and Campground and the entrance to the City of Flin Flon. It was designed by Al Capp, a famous cartoonist and creator of the ‘Lil Abner comic strip.

  4. S-sam and S-sarah statue

    The 15-foot tall monument of this slithery couple can be found at Inwood Park next to the Interlake Pioneer Trail. S-sam and S-sarah represent the thousands of red-garter snakes that call this area home. The largest concentration of these snakes may be found at the Narcisse Snake Dens north of Inwood during mating season in spring.

  5. Happy Rock

    Can you get more literal than this? A smiling rock called “Happy Rock” is the town of Gladstone’s official mascot. This 15-foot monument (minus the pedestal) stands on the visitor information centre of the town and is known as the “Canadian Ambassador of Smiles” You can wave back at Happy Rock as you go through the northeast side of highway 16.

  6. Tommy the Turtle

    Another quirky character you can’t miss is the 28-foot turtle called Tommy in Boissevain. The mascot represents the nearby Turtle Mountain area where you can find the Turtle Mountain Provincial Park. Boissevain also hosts the Canadian Turtle Derby, a turtle racing event. See Tommy waving the Canadian and American flags on Mountain Street, in Boissevain which is at the south edge of the town, at the intersection of highways 10 and 443.

Want to know more roadside attractions? Head on over to Manitoba’s amazing roadside attractions 2.
Sources: Roadside attractions for a road trip in Manitoba, To Do Canada; Atlas Obscura; Giant statues of Manitoba, We’ve Gone on a Holiday by Accessed August 31, 2023.

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