Manitoba. It’s a cold and snowy province but it’s also rich with culture, nature and incredible sights. We’re proud to live in Canada but even prouder to be a Manitoba business.
To share the joy, we wanted to highlight 20 facts about Manitoba that showcase the province’s beauty and activities it offers. Whether you live in Manitoba or hope to visit someday, this list should give you an idea of what to expect and what to look forward to.
20 interesting facts about Manitoba
Manitoba has a lot to offer. While the pandemic has put a halt on many of the province’s events and festivals, we look forward to the day we can partake again!
In the meantime, let’s get into some interesting facts.
1. Keystone province
Manitoba is considered a “keystone” province because of its shape and position in the centre of Canada.
2. Geographic centre of Canada
Winnipeg, Manitoba’s capital, is the geographic centre of Canada. You can even visit the site and snap a photo while you’re there.
3. Slurpee Capital
Winnipeg has been voted the Slurpee Capital of the World 20 years in a row. For those who’ve never had a Slurpee, it’s a frozen, sugary slushie drink that can be ordered in “Big Gulp” size for an extra cool treat. Manitobans enjoy Slurpees during summer and winter alike – it’s truly become a year-long favourite.
4. One of the coldest cities in the world
Winnipeg has been deemed one of the five coldest cities in the world, alongside Yellowknife, Duninka and Yakutsk (both in Russia) and Harbin, China.
5. Over 100,000 lakes
Manitoba has over 100,000 beautiful lakes, perfect for canoeing, kayaking, fishing and swimming during the hot summer months.
6. Home to Riding Mountain National Park and Wapusk National Park
The province is home to two national parks: Riding Mountain National Park and Wapusk National Park. If you’re looking to get lost in wildlife, go camping or hike the trails, these parks are the perfect destination. There are many parks within the city limits as well, like King’s Park, Kildonan Park and Assiniboine Park (to name a few of many).
7. Explore Churchilll
The town of Churchill is the place to experience nature. Take a guided polar bear or beluga tour, explore the tundra on a dog sled and spot the aurora borealis at night. Churchill has been named the polar bear capital of the world.
8. Home to oldest dance company in Canada: Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Winnipeg is home to Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the oldest dance company in Canada and second-oldest in North America.
9. Spuce Woods Provincial Park
You can check out the closest thing to a desert in Spruce Woods Provincial Park, near Brandon, Manitoba. Hike the sand dunes in the Spirit Sands and Devil’s Punch Bowl trail – some of the dunes reach 30 metres in height.
10. Plethora of festivals
Manitoba has a plethora of festivals that are fun for the whole family. While these events usually take place in person, many are hosting virtual events and live streams.
- Winnipeg Folk Festival. Experience outdoor music (not just folk) and camp under the stars in Birds Hill Provincial Park.
- TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival. Take in a jazz concert at one of Winnipeg’s local venues, including free daily live shows at the cube in the heart of the Exchange District.
- Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival. Every summer, Winnipeg’s local actors showcase their theatrical talent in two weeks of performances and live music.
- Folklorama. For 40 years, Winnipeg has hosted Folklorama, a festival that promotes the cultural diversity of Manitoba. Visit different pavilions to experience the food, music and entertainment of a country that’s new to you!
- Festival du Voyageur. Festival is the ultimate celebration of French Canadian culture. Experience the music, cuisine and shows that showcase the Voyageur, Metis and First Nations history.
- Northern Manitoba Trappers’ Festival. Held in The Pas, this festival celebrates the heritage of pioneers with activities related to the fur trade and trapping.
- Manito Ahbee Festival. This festival celebrates Metis, Indiegneous and Inuit art and culture. Experience a Pow Wow, watch a dance competition or participate in an art challenge.
11. Home to the Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg is home to the Jets, a team in the National Hockey League. You can normally cheer them on from the stands at Bell MTS Place, but in the meantime you can watch games from the comfort of your home.
12. Home to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Winnipeg is also home to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the first national museum outside Canada’s capital city. The museum was built to showcase and educate people on human rights issues while minimizing the structure’s impact on the environment. The rotating exhibits have featured stories on war, women’s rights and truth and reconciliation, among many others.
13. Largest Icelandic community outside of Iceland
If you’re looking for a day trip, take the drive out to Gimli, the largest Icelandic community outside of Iceland. Located along the shores of Lake Winnipeg, tourists (and residents) can enjoy the beaches, local shops and eateries as well as the iconic Gimli Pier. During the summer, you can catch a movie on the beach during the Gimli Film Festival.
14. Narcisse Snake Dens
The Narcisse Snake Dens are a major mating ground for garter snakes. In May, at mating season’s peak, you can see thousands of snakes in the pits. This is a great day trip for nature lovers!
15. First city in North America to create and use a central emergency system
In 1959, Winnipeg became the first city in North America to create and use a central emergency system. What was once “999” became “911” and the number has been used ever since.
16. The Forks
The Forks, a historic meeting place in the heart of downtown Winnipeg, paves a skating trail over the Red and Assiniboine Rivers during the winter. The Centennial River Trail varies in length, but has spanned up to 9 kilometres.
17. Canada’s longest-running outdoor theatre
During the summer, you can catch an outdoor theatre performance at Rainbow Stage, Canada’s longest-running outdoor theatre. Experience a musical under the canopy as the sun sets – you won’t be disappointed!
18. Sir William Stephenson
Sir William Stephenson, the man who inspired spy character James Bond, was born and raised in Winnipeg.
19. Exchange District, Winnipeg
Nestled in downtown Winnipeg, the Exchange District is home to many local restaurants, shops and entertainment centres. In normal times, there’s something going on year-round, but many restaurants are offering curbside pickup and takeout so locals can still support.
20. Winnie the Pooh!
Disney’s beloved character Winnie the Pooh was actually named after Winnipeg! During World War I, Winnipegger Lieutenant Harry Colebourn grew fond of a baby black bear, who he purchased and nicknamed “Winnie.” You can check out his commemorative statue at Assiniboine Park.
Manitoba has some great destinations and events year-round. While many of these attractions have changed this year due to the pandemic, there are still ways you can participate and enjoy the province safely.
Jump in the car and check out some of the best day trips from Winnipeg. These are sights you can see safely and distanced from others in the outdoors. There are even hikes and walks you can do during the winter! Another way you can support is by ordering from local restaurants and businesses. Check out these delivery options and see how you can do your shopping while helping out our local community.
We encourage you to support local when you can and hopefully we can get back to exploring our province soon!
If you’re looking for a quick getaway, Manitoba provincial parks are your answer. To help you decide your next adventure, we’re going to highlight 10 of the top provincial parks and what you can do when you visit.
Whether you’re planning a cross-country road trip or just want to see another one of Canada’s beautiful provinces, Manitoba Tourism has more to offer than you may think!
We researched the best camping in Manitoba, so whether you’re a rookie camper or just want to try somewhere new this summer, this list has got you covered to find the best camping in Manitoba.
Our offices are open though if you’d prefer to shop from the comfort of your home, you can with our Buy From Home program. Your entire buying experience will be 100% contactless from the loan approval and vehicle shopping to the test drive and delivery. You’ll even get a $1000 rebate and other added benefits. Visit our Buy From Home page for details.