Winnipeg is the capital city of Manitoba and the largest city in the province. Over the past decade the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program brought to Canada immigrants in record numbers and Winnipeg became home to more than 60,000 newcomers.
The strong population growth boosted Winnipeg’s economy, which was recently rated the third-fastest growing economy among Canada’s major cities. Being one of the Canadian cities that offer most affordable housing, Winnipeg continues to attract immigrants from around the globe.
Winnipeg is one of the sunniest cities in Canada. However, clear skies don’t necessary mean warm weather. Manitoba’s capital experiences very cold and windy winters, which last from November to March. The average snow depth in January is 20 cm and the temperatures are between -22.8°C and -12.7°C. Extremes are not unusual. The lowest recorded temperature was in -45°C in February 1966. Strong winds can make winter temperatures feel even colder than the actual temperatures. Wind chill is the index to indicate how cold the weather feels to the average person. In Winnipeg there are about 49 days a year with wind chill of -30°C or less. The coldest wind chill was -57.1°C in January 1996.
Summers are from May to August. Temperatures in July are usually between 19.5°C and 25.5°C. The highest temperature recorded in summer was 40.6°C in 1949. The city is hit by thunderstorms and sometimes tornadoes in springs and summers.
Winnipeg is threatened by severe flooding (such as the Red River Flood of 1997) because of its flat topography and the melting snow.
Winnipeg Transit provides the public bus service in the city. It operates 84 fixed routes. The buses run usually from 6 a.m. until pass midnight. You can find system maps and timetables at the Transit Administration Office (B-414 Osborne Street), the Millennium Library (251 Donald Street) and Winnipeg Square Service Centre (SW Concourse Portage and Main). Also, Winnipeg Transit’s web site offers a trip planner where you can type your location and find out how to get to your destination. For transit fares click here.
For information on driver licensing in Manitoba click here.
Manitoba doesn’t have as much snow as other Canadian cities; however, it is known for the icy roads in winter. Drivers should be aware of the risks and take precautions. Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) has posted a variety of tips on driving safety.
Drivers should use extra cautions at some intersections in Winnipeg where there are two lanes of traffic that can both turn right. Such intersections are Fermor at Dunkirk, Main at Chief Peguis, Chief Peguis at Lagimodiere and Jubilee and Osborne. When turning, drivers in the second lane from the right must stay in the same lane to avoid a collision with the other turning vehicles on their right. Vehicles at these intersections are also allowed to turn right on a red light unless there is a sigh that prohibits this. However, drivers should turn only if they can do it safely and without interrupting the oncoming vehicles that have the right of way.
Because in Manitoba, particularly in Winnipeg, there is a serious problem with auto thefts, MPI has established financial incentives for vehicle owners who install ignition immobilisers in their cars. Owners of high-risk vehicles are required to install immobilisers.
In 2011 a national survey of police-reported crime data revealed that Winnipeg and Manitoba had the highest homicide rates in the country, and that Winnipeg had the most violent crime. Criminologists point out that the high rate of homicides and violence is a result of social issues within specific neighbourhoods. The most dangerous areas are downtown and North End.
In cases of life-threatening emergencies or crimes in progress call 9-1-1.
Property crimes, situations when a person feels suspicious about crimes that have occurred or the offender has left and is not returning are not considered emergencies. The Police Non-Emergency telephone number is 204-986-6222.
To report frauds and scams contact PhoneBusters at 1-888-495-8501 (toll free) or via their website.
Places of worship
Christians make about 72 per cent of Winnipeg’s population. For a list of churches in the city click here.
Followers of Judaism can visit Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, which is a centre for Conservative Judaism.
The Ahmadiyya Centre Mosque, located at 525 Kylemore Avenue, is part of The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.