Manitoba is one of the most beautiful provinces in Canada. Winnipeg, Manitoba’s largest city, is a fun and exciting place to visit. Did you know that Winnie the Pooh was named after Winnipeg? Or that Manitoba is the fifth province to join the Canadian Confederation? If not, then you’ll learn all sorts of fun facts about Manitoba in this post!
Manitoba is home to the world’s longest freshwater lake, and it is the polar bear capital of the world! We are sure you will put Manitoba on your Canada bucket list after reading all the interesting facts! Keep reading to learn more!
45 Fun facts about Manitoba Canada that are worth knowing
Manitoba is located at the center of Canada
Manitoba, a Canadian province, is located at the centre of the country. It is bordered by Saskatchewan to the west, Hudson Bay and Ontario to the east, Nunavut to the north, and North Dakota and Minnesota (United States) to the south.
Manitoba is one of the Prairie provinces in Canada
Manitoba is one of the three Prairie provinces in Canada, the other two being Saskatchewan and Alberta. Prairie means “plains” in French and refers to the fact that most of the province consists of vast, flat plains with very few trees or hills.
Origins of the name – Manitoba
Manitoba derives its name from a native Cree word that means “the narrows of the Great Spirit,” originating from the word “Man-into-wahpaow”. This describes Lake Manitoba and its narrowness.
Home to Hudson Bay Company
Manitoba is located at the heart of the giant Hudson Bay watershed. This area was of importance to the Hudson’s Bay Company, and it provided excellent opportunities for the lucrative fur trade.
Manitoba joined the Canadian Confederation in 1870
The province entered the Canadian Confederation in 1870 following the Manitoba Act.
Historical fact: Manitoba became the fifth province of Canada, when Métis leader, Louis Riel advocated guarantees for their land, language, and political rights. His leadership inspired the creation of Manitoba.
Manitoba then and now
The original province of Manitoba was one-eighth of its current area and was known as the “postage stamp province.” In 1881, its borders were significantly expanded by taking land from the Northwest Territories.
Manitoba is bigger than England: By area
Manitoba is a vast, virtually endless prairie province that covers 649,950 square kilometers (250,900 sq mi). From the northern arctic tundra and the Hudson Bay coast to dense boreal forest, lakes, and farmland in the centre and south.
England is smaller than Manitoba by 519,671 sq km.
Here are the provincial symbols of Manitoba,
- Coat of arms (adopted in 1905)
- Flag (adopted in 1961)
- Mammal: Plains bison (adopted in 2014)
- Bird: Great grey owl (adopted in 1987)
- Tree: White spruce
- Flower: Prairie Crocus (adopted in 1906)
Manitoba Coat of Arms features a beaver
The Manitoba coat of arms features a beaver in its design. The center begins with a crown, followed by a beaver serjeant holding a prairie crocus (flower), red and silver mantling, and the shield of arms; with a unicorn and a white horse supporting the left and right sides.
The Coat of Arms also features maple leaves, the wheel of a Red River cart, and Prairie Indian beadwork and bone decorations. The bottom shows a banner bearing the provincial motto in Latin.
Official Motto of Manitoba
The provincial motto is Gloriosus et liber, meaning Glorious and free. It was taken from the Canadian National Anthem (8th line, ‘O Canada’).
Flag of Manitoba
The flag of Manitoba was adopted on June 12, 1961. The flag is a Red Ensign, featuring the Union Jack and the Coat of Arms on a red background.
Demography of Manitoba
Details from the 2006 Canadian census revealed that the largest ethnic group in Manitoba is
- English (22.9%)
- followed by German (19.1%), Scottish (18.5%), Ukrainian (14.7%), Irish (13.4%),
- It has 10.6 % Indigenous (10.6%), and Métis (6.4%) population
- Gimli, Manitoba is home to the largest Icelandic community outside of Iceland (2.4%).
Manitoba is a bilingual province
Manitoba was established as an officially bilingual province under section 23 of the Manitoba Act, 1870. And there are four languages spoken in Manitoba: English, French, Cree, and Ojibwe (Anishinaabe).
Winnipeg is Manitoba’s capital and largest city
Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba. It has a population of 749,534 (2017).
It was actually one of the 3 largest Canadian cities, up until the First World War.
War efforts in Winnipeg
Winnipeg was one of the major commands for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan to train fighter pilots, and there were air training schools throughout Manitoba during the second world war.
The province and city were both named after the indigenous groups (Cree and Assiniboine) that lived in the area
The capital city, like the province itself, derives its name from a Cree word that translates to muddy or murky waters. Winnipeg was named after nearby Lake Winnipeg but its name means “muddy waters.”
The longest skating trails are in Winnipeg
The longest skating trails in the world are located in Winnipeg. Starting downtown at The Forks, this trail leads skaters down the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.
Emergency calls and Winnipeg
Winnipeg was the first city in the world to develop a 911 emergency number.
Winnipeg has a French Quarter
St. Boniface is the French Quarter of Winnipeg. It is located on the east side of the Red River and is across the magnificent pedestrian bridge, Esplanade Riel, as well as a nearby suspension bridge.
St. Boniface was established in 1818 with the establishment of a Catholic mission. The Festival du Voyageur is an annual ten-day event held in Winnipeg’s French Quarter, which is also Western Canada’s largest winter festival.
One of the two Royal Canadian Mint is located in Manitoba
There are two Royal Canadian Mint locations in Canada, and one of them is situated near Winnipeg. It produces all of Canada’s circulating coins and currency for 60 governments around the globe.
You can go on a guided tour at the Mint, and learn about its history and processes.
Manitoba is one of the sparsely populated provinces in Canada
Manitoba has a population density of just 2.2 people per square kilometer, making it one of the low populated provinces in Canada (Ontario’s population density is 14.1 people per square kilometer).
National and provincial parks in Manitoba
Manitoba is home to 92 provincial parks, and 2 Canadian national parks, namely Riding Mountain National Park and Wapusk National Park.
Chasing northern lights in Manitoba
The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, are visible primarily in northern parts of the province between November and April each year.
Arctic’s deep-water port and the shortest shipping route
The Port of Churchill is Canada’s only Arctic deep-water port and the shortest shipping route between North America and Asia.
World’s largest freshwater lake
Lake Winnipeg is the tenth-largest freshwater lake in the world.
World’s largest bay
The Hudson Bay is the world’s second-largest bay.
Flooding is a natural hazard in Manitoba
Manitoba’s biggest natural hazard is spring flooding, particularly around Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin. Add to that, thunderstorms and tornadoes can occur anywhere. All regions are vulnerable to wildfires.
Temperatures in Manitoba
The province has very cold winters and short, mild summers that are typically not too humid. The northern part of the province is usually colder than the rest.
Coldest day in Manitoba
The coldest temperature ever recorded in Manitoba was − 47.8°C (−54 °F) on December 24, 1879, in Winnipeg.
Warmest day in Manitoba
The warmest temperature for the province is 44.4 °C (112 °F), which occurred twice on July 11 and 12, 1936.
Manitoba has a saltwater coastline + 110 000 small and large lakes
Manitoba has a saltwater coastline bordering Hudson Bay. With more than 110 000 lakes, it covers an area of 101,593 square kilometres (39,225 sq miles).
Manitoba’s major lakes are Lake Manitoba, Lake Winnipegosis, and Lake Winnipeg, the tenth-largest freshwater lake in the world.
The highest point in Manitoba
Manitoba’s highest point is located in Duck Mountain Provincial Park. It stands at 831 metres – Baldy Mountain.
The lowest point of Manitoba
Mostly flatlands, the lowest point of Manitoba is the Hudson Bay (at 0 metres).
The Forks: A heritage of over 6000 years
The Forks, located in downtown Winnipeg is a historic site, meeting place, and green space, which is located at the confluence of the Red River and the Assiniboine River. It is believed that Indigenous Peoples lived and occupied the Forks for at least 6,000 years.
Archeologists have discovered remains to indicate that bison hunters were at the site around 4,000 BCE.
The Manitoba Children’s Museum at The Forks has exhibits for children that are worth checking out!
It is cold, but it is also sunny
Winnipeg has the sunniest winter season in Canada with 358 hours of sunshine.
Polar Bear Capital is in Manitoba
Northern Manitoba is home to polar bears. You can find them in Churchill, which is also Canada’s most northerly port. It’s nicknamed the “Polar Bear Capital of the World” and is a great spot to visit in Canada in winters.
To get to Churchill, there are no roads, so you have to either go there by air or train.
Icelandic festival in Manitoba
Manitoba celebrates the Iceland Festival of Islendingadagurinn every summer. It is held in the town of Gimli, located on the west shores of Lake Winnipeg.
Gimli is home to the largest Icelandic community outside of Iceland. Gimli is located only an hour away from Winnipeg, and it makes for a great day trip option all year round!
The largest collection of marine reptile fossils in Canada
The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden, Manitoba, houses the largest collection of marine reptile fossils in Canada.
The first Canadian National Museum (outside of NCR)
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, located in Winnipeg is the first Canadian national museum outside of the National Capital Region.
The Curling Capital of the World
One of the fun facts about Manitoba is that it is home to many curling rinks and clubs. In fact, Manitoba has more curling clubs than Ontario and Quebec combined and it is often referred to as the “Curling Capital of the World”.
The oldest curling club in western Canada
The Granite Curling Club in Winnipeg is the oldest curling club in western Canada.
Canada’s oldest dance company is in Manitoba
The Royal Winnipeg Ballet is Canada’s oldest dance company, and one of the longest operating ballet companies in North America.
Canada’s oldest outdoor theatre is in Manitoba
Rainbow Stage is Canada’s oldest outdoor theatre. It has been showcasing Broadway musicals since 1955.
The largest winter festival is in Manitoba
Manitoba’s Festival du Voyageur is Western Canada’s largest winter festival.
The oldest folk festival is in Winnipeg
The Winnipeg Folk Festival is one of the oldest and largest folk festivals in the world.
Winnie-the-Pooh was inspired by Winnipeg
Winnie-the-Pooh was inspired by a black bear named Winnie. This bear was named after Manitoba’s capital city, Winnipeg.
One of the most famous quotes by Winnie-the-Pooh is, “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think” is my favorite.
So is “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
Many famous musicians, actors were born in Manitoba
Actors like Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Adam Beach (Flags of Our Fathers, Suicide Squad), Anna Paquin (X-Men, True Blood), and musicians like Neil Young were born in Manitoba!
Professional sports teams in Manitoba
Manitoba has four professional sports teams: the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Canadian Football League), the Winnipeg Jets (National Hockey League), the Manitoba Moose (American Hockey League), and the Winnipeg Goldeyes (American Association).
Bobby Hull of the Winnipeg Jets was hockey’s first million-dollar player!
Manitoba and James Bond Connection
The inspiration for James Bond was famous WWII spymaster Sir William Stephenson, who happened to be born and raised in Winnipeg.
So there you have it. These were some of the fun facts about Manitoba!
If you haven’t had the chance to visit Manitoba yet, we highly recommend adding it to your Canada bucket list.
Winnipeg is a vibrant and exciting city with plenty of activities and attractions to keep you busy. Plus, Manitoba is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country.
We hope you enjoyed learning about all that Manitoba has to offer – thanks for reading!
More fun facts about Canada’s provinces
- Interesting facts about Alberta
- Interesting facts about British Columbia
- Interesting facts about Ontario
- Fun facts about Saskatchewan
- Fun Facts about Quebec
- Interesting facts about Canada