Manitoba is a Canadian province located in the centre of the country and bordered by the provinces of Saskatchewan to the west and Ontario to the east, as well as the territory of Nunavut to the north.
The province shares its southern border with the United States (North Dakota and Minnesota).
Manitoba covers 649,950 square kilometres, about 16% of which is water in the form of lakes and rivers.
The province is known for its more than 110,000 lakes, including Lake Winnipeg, which is the tenth-largest freshwater lake in the world.
Manitoba’s population is over 1.2 million people, making it the fifth most populated in the country.
The province’s capital is Winnipeg, which is located in the southern portion, close to the Canada/United States border.
Manitoba has a large First Nations population, as well as a large population of Métis people (those who are a mix of First Nations and original European settler descent).
In fact, the province’s name (which means “straits of Manitou, the Great Spirit”), as well as the names of many places and bodies of water in the province, come from First Nations terms and phrases.
Nickname(s): "The Keystone Province"
Area: 649,950 km2
Land: 552,369.96 km2
Urban: 821.86 km2
Agriculture is one of Manitoba’s largest industries, and farming can be found in rural areas in most of the southern part of the province. Farmland in Manitoba makes up about 12% of all farmland in Canada, and the province is the largest producer of sunflower seeds and dry beans, as well as a major producer of potatoes. Other grains and oilseeds are also produced in the province. Cattle farming is common in rural areas. Natural resources are another important contributor to Manitoba’s economy. The energy, oil, mining, and forestry industries employ many Manitobans. Tourism and manufacturing are also major industries, but the largest employers are government and government-funded institutions (such as crown corporations and services like hospitals and universities). The service and professional industries also provide a number of jobs and economic benefits.
Manitoba has a number of provincial parks, which provide recreational opportunities such as hiking, fishing, camping, biking, and wildlife watching. Larger provincial parks include Birds Hill Provincial Park, near Winnipeg; Turtle Mountain Provincial Park, located on the Canada/United States border in the south of the province; Whiteshell Provincial Park, located near the Manitoba/Ontario border; and Spruce Woods Provincial Park, located west of Winnipeg. The province also has two national parks: Riding Mountain National Park, close to the Manitoba/Saskatchewan border, and Wapusk National Park, located in the northeast corner of the province on Hudson Bay.
Historical sites in Manitoba include The Forks, located in Winnipeg, where the Red River and Assiniboine River meet, which was a significant trade location; numerous forts (Fort Dauphin, Fort Gibraltar, Fort La Reine, and Fort Garry), which were established by European settlers; a number of churches, such as St. Andrews Anglican Church and Rectory; and small museums and preserved properties such as Riel House, which commemorates the life of Métis politician and activist Louis Riel.
Arts and culture activities can be found throughout the province, but especially in the more populated southern area. The Manitoba Museum features exhibits about the natural and social history of the province, while the Canadian Museum for Human Rights focuses on human rights issues in the past and present. Manitoba is home to the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and the Manitoba Opera. The Assiniboine Park Zoo and the Winnipeg Art Gallery are also popular spots. Festivals include the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba, Folklorama (a celebration of various cultures in Manitoba), and the Red River Exhibition (with rides, food, live entertainment, etc.).
Winnipeg, with a population of over 660,000, is Manitoba’s largest city as well as the province’s capital. The city is located in the south of the province, close to the Canada/ United States border. It is home to many of the province’s largest companies, as well as numerous arts, cultural, and recreational activities/events. Brandon has over 46,000 people and is located in the southwest area of the province, closer to the Manitoba/Saskatchewan border. Steinbach, with over 13,000 people, is located southeast of Winnipeg. There are over 12,000 people in Portage la Prairie, which is located between Brandon and Winnipeg. Thompson is farther north than the other more populated cities, with over 12,000 people, and is located in the centre of the province.
The northern part of the province is less populated than the southern part, so there are fewer real estate options in this section. It is often more common to rent in this area of the province than it is to purchase a home. Most single-family homes are in rural areas on very large properties.
In the central section of Manitoba, single-family homes are affordable and are often on larger, more rural-style lots, with most including at least a single garage. Reasonably priced vacant lots and industrial commercial buildings are also available.
Most of the province’s real estate can be found in the more populated cities in the south. Single-family homes in rural areas of this section are often on larger lots, and prices vary depending on whether the homes are older or newer builds. Single-family homes in the capital city of Winnipeg also range in price depending on the home’s age, location, and size, and they tend to be on smaller lots and closer to one another. This part of the province also offers commercial space and multi-family units, with vacant land being more common in the rural areas.
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Source: CREA's National Average Price Map for December 2016.
There are 37 school divisions in the province, which operate both English and French public schools. These schools follow a curriculum developed by the province, and some schools have both English and French classes for students. There are 65 independent schools (including boarding schools) in Manitoba, and these schools are also required to follow the provincial curriculum. The 44 non-funded independent schools in the province are not required to follow the provincial curriculum. The five universities in Manitoba are also regulated by the provincial government. Four of these are located in the province’s capital city of Winnipeg (the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, Université de Saint-Boniface (French), and the Canadian Mennonite University). Brandon University is located in the city of Brandon. A number of other post-secondary options are available through colleges, adult education classes, and private specialty training.