It’s time to rock out in Stonewall, Manitoba! Sign up to give a ride to Stony Mountain for the Bar None prison visiting ride share and start planning your Stonewall getaway. With the Summit Café (RIP) in Stony Mountain shutting down, Bar None drivers are becoming better acquainted with Stonewall and realizing that it has quite a bit to offer the abolitionist day tripper. Here’s a little guide to spark your imagination.
A six-minute drive north from Stony Mountain, Stonewall greets visitors with a shrine to its most beloved former resident, the oddball painter William Kurelek. A steel and limestone sculpture inspired by Kurelek’s “Manitoba Party” stands at the crossroads of highways 7 and 67 and offers a series of reproductions of Kurelek’s prairie paintings. The tribute is no bluff: Stonewall is serious about art. The delightful South Interlake Regional Library is a perfect, sunny, comfy literary refuge to dive into your recent purchases from the Bar None book sale. (The library’s own ongoing book sale is not to be missed, either). Flicks Cinema is still going strong on First Street, showcasing the latest Hollywood goof-ups. Architecture is also in abundance in Stonewall, where a number of unusual old citadels remain. Many were produced – as Stony Mountain Penitentiary was – from the town’s original raison d’etre, the famous Stonewall Quarry.
Food and Coffee
When it comes time to grab a Bar None-subsidized bite, the chefs of Stonewall do not disappoint. The Kiln Drive-In (named for the kilns that tower over the town from the quarry), famous for burgers and ice cream, is the town’s summertime hub. Sig’s Grill and Coffee Shop is the classic diner of your dreams, Red Star Chinese Cuisine lets you mix and match from its long list of specialties, Appy Place Lounge is the place for wings, and Chicken Chef is a local favourite for good reasons (not least the two-piece chicken dinner and the clubhouse sandwich). If you’d rather just hang out, check out McLeod House Tearoom, Pizza Hotline, or Tim Hortons.
The biggest attraction in Stonewall is the grounds of the abandoned quarry and the old kiln towers. A gleaming new museum offers insights into the ancient geological foundations of the region and the dynamics of settler occupation and industrial capitalism that fuelled limestone production and construction there. A network of hiking trails spans out from the park – grab a map at the museum. The park boasts Manitoba’s first man-made lake, Kinsmen Lake, which hosts throngs of beachgoers every summer. Oak Hammock Marsh, another pleasant nature preserve, is just a 15-minute drive away. For indoor fun, play some laser tag at the Laser Jungle or bowl a few games at Quarry Bowling Lanes.
Shop ’til you drop
Stonewall offers a bevy of enchanting independent shops from The Grande Bazaar, to Something Beautiful, to Meta Cannibis Supply Co, and many more. Make sure to check out the magnificent plant life on display at Stonewall Florist and TJ’s Garden Centre on Main Street. If there’s something you’ve been meaning to pick up in the city, perhaps you can find it here at the Family Foods, Red Apple, or Deals for Dollars.
*Note: We changed the name of this post because of the hurtfully light-hearted way it invoked the Stonewall Riots of 1969. We are always interested in feedback from comrades and we want to thank everyone who shared their thoughts with us about this.