Compiled by the Road Trip Manitoba team
Last updated on August 29, 2023
As next-door neighbours, travelling between Ontario and Manitoba is both convenient and easy. Whether you’re travelling across Canada, going between the two places for work, or simply wanting to travel from Kenora to Winnipeg for a holiday, we’ve outlined everything you’ll need to know about how to get between the two. Thankfully, there are many transportation options between Kenora, Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba, which are only about 200 kilometres apart.
We’ve listed all possible routes and options for you to travel between Kenora and Winnipeg below. Whether that’s by your own car, bus, airplane, train, or otherwise, we’ve put together the complete route guide between the two cities. We’ve also included a couple of things to do along the way, as well as some tips for your arrival in Winnipeg. Keep in mind our entire site is dedicated to the province of Manitoba, so if Winnipeg is your final stop or if you’re travelling onward throughout the province, we have plenty of articles for you to help plan your perfect trip!
Manitoba is made up of Treaty 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 Territory, as well as communities that are signatories to Treaty 6 and Treaty 10. Manitoba is home to the original lands of the Anishinaabe, Anish-Ininiwak, Dakota, Dene, Ininiwak, and Nehethowuk peoples, as well as the homeland of the Métis peoples.
About the Route
For this route, you’ll be travelling between the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba. Kenora is found on Lake of the Woods, Ontario, and has a population of about 15,000 permanent residents; however, it is a very popular spot for people from Manitoba to visit, as many Manitobans have cabins around Kenora or go camping in the area. In fact, some people joke that Kenora should just be part of Manitoba!
Thankfully, it’s a very straightforward route from Kenora to Winnipeg. Winnipeg has plenty to do, no matter the season, and whether you’re in Winnipeg for work or for an adventurous holiday, it’s well worth a visit. There are also a few things to do along the way from Kenora to Winnipeg… we’ve listed a few at the end of this guide!
Winnipeg is approximately 200 kilometres west of Kenora and takes an average of two to three hours of driving in optimal conditions. Flying is also an option, as is taking a train or a bus from Kenora to Winnipeg.
To sum up, there are quite a few ways to travel between Kenora and Winnipeg.
Kenora to Winnipeg by Car
The easiest way to get from Kenora to Winnipeg is by car. From Kenora, you’ll head west of the city on the ON-17/Trans Canada Highway, and you take that all the way to Winnipeg. It’s that simple! You’ll see numerous signs pointing you toward Winnipeg, so you’re sure to feel pretty confident on this route.
If you want to rent a car in Kenora or Winnipeg, there are a few companies that offer car hires, including Enterprise and a few others. There are multiple locations around the cities for convenience (including at the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport).
Driving in winter in Canada can be challenging, especially if you’re not used to driving in snow or on icy roads. Make sure the car you’re driving has the proper tires for the weather conditions (snow tires or all-weather tires), and always check the weather conditions before you head out on your trip. In summer, be aware that road construction may slow your journey down. Summer also sees a lot of traffic on Sunday evenings from Kenora to Winnipeg, as many Winnipeggers are on their way home from the cabin.
It’s an obvious statement but a necessary one: You’ll need a valid driver’s license to drive in Canada. If you don’t have a Canadian driver’s license, you’ll need to check if an International Driver’s Permit is needed. American driver’s licenses are usually accepted in Canada, but you should always double-check if any other documentation is needed to drive in Ontario or Manitoba if your license is from outside Canada.
If you have any concerns about driving in either province, you can always check out the Official Ministry of Transportation Driver’s Handbook of Ontario or Manitoba’s road laws and driving regulations.
Kenora to Winnipeg by Bus
Thankfully, there are daily buses between Kenora and Winnipeg, and they only take about 2.5 to three hours. You can book a bus from Kenora to Winnipeg using Ontario Northland; the bus leaves from Kenora and arrives at Sherbrook Street or Southdale Mall in Winnipeg. There’s also Kasper Transportation, which leaves from the Kenora McDonald’s and arrives in the Southdale neighbourhood of Winnipeg.
With both companies, you can buy a one-way ticket or a round-trip ticket, and the trip from Kenora to Winnipeg is generally during the afternoon or evening. We recommend buying your bus ticket in advance so that you ensure your ideal travel date.
Kenora to Winnipeg by Train
While there isn’t a passenger train station directly in Kenora, you can catch a train at nearby Redditt, Ontario, which is about a half-hour’s drive away. From there, you can take the train to Winnipeg. It’s a bit annoying – it would be much easier to take a train from Kenora to Winnipeg directly – but at least it’s an option if you need it! Book your train ticket in advance on VIA Rail Canada.
Kenora to Winnipeg by Plane
Even though the distance between Kenora and Winnipeg is only 200 kilometres, there is indeed a flight between the two! Fly from Kenora to Winnipeg using Bearskin Airlines, which flies out of Kenora Airport. While there aren’t daily flights from Kenora, meaning you’ll have to be flexible on when you fly, it’s a good option if you aren’t able or aren’t interested in going by road.
Kenora to Winnipeg by Other Options
Feeling adventurous? It is possible to cycle from Kenora to Winnipeg, although we’d only recommend this to avid cyclists! It’s certainly possible to complete it in a day if you are an advanced cyclist, although we recommend starting very early.
Things To Do Along The Way
If you’re driving from Kenora to Winnipeg and you’re not in a huge rush, there are some great spots to explore along the way. After all, you have more than 200 kilometres of Ontario and Manitoba to drive across! Here are a few of our favourites, although keep in mind this may mean straying from the Trans-Canada Highway and adding some mileage to your journey.
Whiteshell Provincial Park
Whiteshell Provincial Park is one of our favourite provincial parks in Manitoba, although we recommend spending at least a few days to fully see all that it has to offer. At the bare minimum, stop for a picnic or a few photos; highlights include the Bannock Point Petroforms, Falcon Lake, West Hawk Lake, Brereton Lake, and Rainbow Falls. There are also some of the best Manitoba hiking trails in Whiteshell Provincial Park if you want to squeeze a hike in along the way.
Stand in the Centre of Canada
You can’t approach Winnipeg from the east without stopping at the Centre of Canada Park! Stand on the exact longitudinal centre of Canada for a fun photo op.
Golf 18 Holes
A fan of golf? Plan your drive from Kenora to Winnipeg around a game of golf at the Oakwood Golf Course in Manitoba.
Make a Splash at Lilac Park
In St. Anne, Manitoba, you can visit Lilac Park to enjoy the water park and slides! It’s a fun stop, especially if you have kids. Note that reservations are highly recommended, even for a day pass!
Looking for more? We have an entire section dedicated to Eastern Manitoba on our list of the best things to do in Manitoba.
Upon Arrival in Winnipeg
You made it!
Whether you’re in the city for a long holiday or only have a day or two, there are plenty of things to do in Winnipeg. There are a lot of incredible Winnipeg museums, including the renowned Canadian Museum for Human Rights, as well as some amazing Winnipeg art galleries. And don’t miss out on all of the things to do in downtown Winnipeg, including the Forks, the Exchange District, the Manitoba Museum, and Hargrave Street Market.
Where to Stay in Winnipeg
Once you get to Winnipeg, there are numerous options for accommodation! Our favourite hotels are the Fort Garry in downtown Winnipeg or the Inn at the Forks. Regardless, choose from one of the best hotels in Winnipeg, or go for one of our top picks of Winnipeg AirBnbs.
Where to Eat in Winnipeg
Thankfully, Winnipeg has an incredibly diverse culinary scene. With thousands of restaurants to choose from, you’re never far from one of the best restaurants in Winnipeg.