Winnipeg, Manitoba

Template:Canadian City Winnipeg (Template:Coor dm, CST) is a Canadian city, and the provincial capital of Manitoba. It is prominent in Western Canada for transportation, finance, manufacturing, agriculture and education

The city is located in the flood plain at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers near the geographic centre of North America, and is protected from flooding by the Red River Floodway. It is the province's largest city, with 619,544 people (2001 Canadian Census) and 702,400 people in the metropolitan area (Statistics Canada 2004 estimate). It has the Winnipeg International Airport, railroad shops, grain elevators, stockyards, meatpacking, aircraft maintenance and bus manufacturing facilities, flour and textile mills, and bio-medical research facilities. It is one of the coldest large cities in the world with temperatures averaging below freezing from mid-November through much of March. Although, during the summer the tempurature reaches 30°C and higher, which is consistant from June through to September.



In 1738, the Sieur de la Vérendrye built the first post on the site, Fort Rouge, but it was later abandoned. Other posts were built in the Red River region, which was fiercely contested by the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company. Fort Gibraltar, a post of the North West Company on the site of present-day Winnipeg, was renamed Fort Garry in 1822 and became the leading post in the region. In 1835, Fort Garry was rebuilt after the devastating flood of 1826 and although it played a small role in the actual trading of furs, it housed the residence of the Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company for many years. In 1869-1870, Winnipeg was the site of the Red River Rebellion, a conflict between the local Métis people led by Louis Riel and newcomers from eastern Canada that led directly to the entry of Manitoba into Confederation as Canada's fifth province in 1870. On November 8, 1873, Winnipeg was incorporated as a city. In 1876 the post office officially adopted the name "Winnipeg", which was three years after its incorporation. The name Winnipeg has its origin in the Cree Indian name given to the lake 40 miles north, meaning "Win", muddy, "nipee", water.

Winnipeg experienced an economic boom during the 1890s through 1920s. The population rose from about 25,000 in 1891 to more than 200,000 by 1921. The Manitoba Provincial Legislature Building ( reflects the optimism of these boom years. Built of Tyndall Stone in 1920, it is topped by the "Golden Boy (", a four metre high five ton sculpture sheathed in 23.5 karat (98%) gold. The Golden Boy carries a sheaf of golden grain in his left arm, while his right hand holds high a torch. The Golden Boy's torch was illuminated in 1970, as part of Manitoba's Centennial Celebration. The lamp was removed in 2003 as part of a refurbishment of the famous statue, when it was discovered the cable supplying power to the lamp also contributed to the erosion of its internal frame. The statue is now lit at night by floodlights.

The current city of Winnipeg was created by the Unicity Act of 1971. The municipalities of St. James-Assiniboia, St. Boniface, Transcona, St. Vital, West Kildonan, East Kildonan, Tuxedo, Old Kildonan, North Kildonan, Fort Garry, and Charleswood were amalgamated with the Old City of Winnipeg. Small portions of the city have since seceded, but the vast majority of the populated area of the city remains within one single municipality. In order to prevent urban sprawl, the city restricted development to inside an urban limit line and in most cases left several kilometres of open space between the municipal boundary and suburban developments. Surrounding municipalities have a combined population of less than 100,000.

Because of its extremely flat topography and substantial snowfall, Winnipeg is subject to severe flooding. The Red River reached its highest flood stage in the last two hundred years in 1826. A large flood occurred in 1950, which prompted Duff Roblin's government to build the Red River Floodway, a 49-kilometre long diversion channel that protects the city of Winnipeg from flooding. Other related water diversion projects include the Portage Diversion (also known as the Assiniboine River Floodway) and the Shellmouth Dam. The flood-control system prevented flooding in 1974 and 1979 when water levels neared record levels. However, in 1997, flooding threatened the city's relatively unprotected southwest corner. Flood control dikes were reinforced and raised using sandbags and the threat was avoided. Winnipeg suffered very limited damage compared to cities without flood control structures, such as Grand Forks, North Dakota.

The generally flat terrain and the poor drainage result in hundreds of areas of poorly drained land, leading to a seasonal explosion of insects, especially mosquitos. Winnipeg has gained a reputation as the mosquito capital of North America, resulting in the limitation of much outdoor activity during the hot and humid summer months. The fear of West Nile Virus has further exacerbated the problem.

Winnipeg lies in an unprotected arctic trough which channels cold arctic air south, directly across the Canadian Shield and Canadian Prairie. This results in bone-chilling temperatures as early as October and record setting cold and winds during December, January and February. The extremity of its climate in the winter months has caused the (somewhat derisive) nickname of "Winterpeg". Summers are typically warm with average temperatures above 25°C and much sunshine is received throughout the year.

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Winnipeg panorama, from 1907


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Winnipeg skyline

The City of Winnipeg is home to 619,544 people (2001), about 55% of the total population of Manitoba. Winnipeg's population has grown by only 1067 residents from 1996 to 2001. Winnipeg's total annual growth rate has been 0.5% since 1971 with the majority of growth coming from in-migration from the surrounding rural areas, Aboriginal reservations and native communities, as well as the expansion of the city limits to annex the surrounding towns.

Edmonton and Calgary however, at one time smaller cousins, have grown 3.0% and 4.5% per year, respectively, over the same period to the point where they each have metropolitan populations of over 1.0 million. Once Canada's fourth-largest city, as the economy of the '70s and beyond began to evolve away from rural/farm based industry, Winnipeg stalled in growth and dropped to 9th by 2004.

Around 19% of the population is under 14, and 13.7% are over 65.

Racial make-up

  • White: 78.0%
  • Aboriginal: 8.6%
  • Filipino: 4.9%
  • South Asian: 2.0%
  • Black: 1.8%
  • Chinese: 1.8%

Religious make-up

The most common languages spoken by Winnipegers are: English (99.0%), French (11.1%), German (4.1%), Tagalog (3.8%), Ukrainian (3.1%), Spanish (1.7%), Chinese (1.7%), Polish (1.7%), Portuguese (1.3%), Italian (1.1%), Punjabi (1.0%), Vietnamese (0.6%), Ojibway (0.6%), Hindi (0.5%), Russian (0.5%), Cree (0.5%), Dutch (0.4%), Non verbal languages (0.3%), Arabic (0.3%), Croatian (0.3%), Greek (0.3%), Hungarian (0.3%), Japanese (0.2%), Creoles (0.1%), Danish (0.1%), Gaelic languages (0.0%), Inuktitut (0.0%), Micmac (0.0%). Source: Statistics Canada, see external link.

External links

  • Winnipeg 2001 census data ( at Statistics Canada
  • Winnipeg 2001 census summary ( at the City of Winnipeg (PDF file)


Approximately 375,000 people are employed in Winnipeg and the surrounding area. Winnipeg's largest employers are either government or government funded institutions: The Province of Manitoba, The City of Winnipeg, The University of Manitoba, The Health Sciences Centre, The Casinos of Winnipeg, and Manitoba Hydro. As well there are several large private sector employers:Manitoba Telecom Services, Palliser Furniture, Great-West Life Assurance, Motor Coach Industries, Convergys, New Flyer Industries, Boeing Aerospace, Bristol Aerospace and Investors Group. 54,000 people or 14% of the work force are employed in the public sector.

Winnipeg is also home to "'1 Canadian Air Division (1CAD)' (", the headquarters of the Canadian Forces "Air Command" (Canada's Air Force). This is also the command structure responsible for strategic coordination and control of NORAD operations over Canada (tactical control is in North Bay, Ontario, in a bunker reminiscent of Cheyenne Mountain).

Winnipeg is home to the National Microbiology Laboratory, Canada's frontline in its response to SARS and one of only 15 Biosafety level 4 microbiology labratories in the world, the most famous being USAMRIID (U.S. Army Research institute for infectious diseases.)


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Winnipeg from space, April 1994

Winnipeg has had a public transit system since the 1880s, starting with horse-drawn streetcars. It had electric streetcars from 1891 until 1955, and electric trolley buses from 1938 until 1970. Winnipeg Transit now operates entirely on diesel buses. For decades, the city has explored the idea of a rapid transit link, either bus or rail, from downtown to the University of Manitoba's suburban campus. The most recent proposal calls for several enhanced bus routes, which would extend across the city. These routes would use bus-only lanes for most of their length, with separate busways being built around congested sections. Winnipeg is home to large transit bus manufacturers, including New Flyer Industries and Motor Coach Industries.

Winnipeg is unique among North American cities its size in that it does not have continuous freeways. Beginning in 1958, the primarily suburban Metropolitan council proposed a system of freeways, including one which would have bisected the downtown area. The plan culminated in the monumental Winnipeg area transportation study of 1968. The extensive freeway plan faced stiff community opposition and was deemed over-ambitious. It wasn't implemented as a concerted undertaking, but construction of major traffic corridors follows the study to this day. A modern four-lane highway (the Perimeter Highway, which is mostly an expressway around the city with interchanges and at-grade intersections) has been constructed which bypasses the city entirely, allowing travellers on the Trans Canada Highway to avoid the city and continue east or west uninterrupted.

Reference: Winnipeg Streets and Transit Division, Winnipeg area transportation study, 1968. The Council of the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Winnipeg has recently been slated to recieve a new International airport capable of servicing larger intercontenental air fare. This new airport will replace the existing one in early 2008. The existing airport will then serve partially as domestic travel, but mostly as domestic and US trade site.

External link


Starting in 1900, in both provincial and federal elections, central Winnipeg elected politicians from the Labour Party. Winnipeg was the site of a general strike from May 15 to June 28, 1919. This strike saw violent protests, including several deaths at the hands of the Royal North-West Mounted Police, and the arrest of many of Winnipeg's future politicians. Though it was not chartered until 1932, the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation was born not only out of the depression but also out of the labour unrest of 1919. Its successor, the New Democratic Party, has enjoyed some support in Winnipeg since the early 1960s. Winnipeg's longest-serving MPs include J.S. Woodsworth (21 years), Stanley Knowles (38 years), David Orlikow (25 years), Bill Blaikie (25 years and counting), Lloyd Axworthy (21 years).

Winnipeg is represented in the Canadian House of Commons by 8 Members of Parliament. Currently 3 are from the Liberal Party of Canada, 3 from the New Democratic Party, and 2 from the Conservative Party of Canada .

On June 22, 2004, businessman Sam Katz was elected mayor of Winnipeg, receiving 42.51% of the vote.

See also: List of mayors of Winnipeg, Manitoba


Winnipeg is and has historically been home to numerous professional sports franchises, some of which survive today. The Winnipeg Jets were one of the original teams of the World Hockey Association and won three league titles. The Jets entered the National Hockey League in 1979 and played in Winnipeg until 1996. The Jets featured such hall of famers as WHA Coach Rudy Pilous, players Bobby Hull, Dale Hawerchuk, and (briefly) Serge Savard, as well as potential hall of famers Teemu Selanne, Phil Housley and Keith Tkachuk. The Jets were sold to a Phoenix, AZ, USA based ownership group in 1996. There is considerable optimism that the city may once again host an NHL franchise.

Since 1996, Winnipeg has been home to the minor league Manitoba Moose, currently a member of the American Hockey League. The Moose are the farm team to the NHL's Vancouver Canucks. Winnipeg has produced Hall of Fame hockey players Andy Bathgate, Billy Mosienko, Art Coulter, Ching Johnson, Frank Fredrickson, Jack Ruttan, Kenny Reardon, Fred Maxwell, and Terry Sawchuk.

Winnipeg also has a team in the Canadian Football League, the Blue Bombers, who have won 10 Grey Cups, the league's championship trophy. Winnipeg has a long history of minor league baseball, including the Winnipeg Maroons of the Northern League, which existed from 1902-1942, Class A Winnipeg Goldeyes, an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, from 1953-1964, the AAA Whips, Montreal's farm team in 1970-1971, and since 1994, the Goldeyes, a franchise in the independent Class AA-quality Northern League. Winnipeg hosted the 1967 and 1999 Pan American Games. In addition, the University of Winnipeg's women's basketball team won 88 consecutive games during the 1990s, a college sports record. Winnipeg is also home to many of the world's best curling teams and hosted the 2003 World Championships.

Other notable sports figures include Olympic Taekwondo athlete and bronze-medalist Dominique Bosshart, and Toronto Blue Jays third-baseman Corey Koskie, Canadian Olympic Women's Hockey Gold Medalist Jennifer Botterill, and Philadelphia 76'ers Center Todd MacCulloch.

Arts and culture

Winnipeg is well known for its arts and culture. Among the popular cultural institutions in the city are: the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG), the Manitoba Opera, the Manitoba Museum (formerly the Museum of Man and Nature), the Manitoba Theatre Centre, the Prairie Theatre Exchange, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. The city is home to several large festivals. The Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival is North America's second largest Fringe Festival, held every July. Other festivals include Folklorama, the Winnipeg Jazz Festival, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Winnipeg Music Festival, the Red River Exhibition, and Le Festival du Voyageur.

Winnipeg also has a thriving film community, which is bolstered by migrating film companies from the United States, especially in the summer. Winnipeg was the site of the recently-released Hollywood movie Shall We Dance, starring Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere. The Guy Maddin film The Saddest Music in the World was set in depression-era Winnipeg.

Winnipeg has a community college, Red River College. Winnipeg's three universities are the University of Manitoba (undergrad and grad, medical), College universitaire de Saint-Boniface and the University of Winnipeg (undergrad).

Winnipeg is also known for its host of independent music acts. Among the most notable are Propagandhi, the Weakerthans, Venetian Snares, Greg Macpherson, Christine Fellows, Fermented Reptile, Mood Ruff, and many more.


St Boniface Cathedral, Winnipeg, Manitoba
St Boniface Cathedral, Winnipeg, Manitoba

The Exchange District Historical site is the original site of commerce in Winnipeg. After the railroads came to Winnipeg, this area was developed with many fine warehouses, offices and banks. Many of these remain and are unrivalled in Canada.

On September 27, 1997, the original core of the city of Winnipeg, the Exchange District, was declared a National Historic Site by the federal Minister of Canadian Heritage. The Historic Sites and Monuments board recommended that Winnipeg's Exchange District be designated an historic district of national significance because it illustrates the city's key role as a centre of grain and wholesale trade, finance and manufacturing in two historically important periods in western development: between 1880 and 1900 when Winnipeg became the gateway to Canada's West; and between 1900 and 1913, when the city's growth made it the region's metropolis.

Areas include Downtown/Exchange District, The Forks, Fort Rouge/Crescentwood, River Heights, Tuxedo, Charleswood, St. James/Assiniboia, The West End, Weston, Wolseley, The North End, Elmwood, East, West, and North Kildonan, St Boniface, St Vital, Fort Garry, St Norbert, and Transcona.

Archiseek: Winnipeg (

Local media

Daily newspapers

Ethnic media

Weekly newspapers

  • Uptown - found at various downtown locations


Television stations

Locally based national cable television channels

All of these stations are owned by Global, except for APTN.

Radio stations



Personalities born in Winnipeg

Personalities raised but not born in Winnipeg

Personalities who achieved fame while living in Winnipeg

Neighboring communities


See also


Template:Canada capitals Template:Manitobada:Winnipeg de:Winnipeg es:Winnipeg fr:Winnipeg ja:ウィニペグ la:Winnipeg nl:Winnipeg nds:Winnipeg



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