Winnipeg is one of Canada's social and cultural capitals that overlooks the majestic Canadian prairies and is nestled in between the Red and Assiniboine Rivers in the heart of the province of Manitoba. Winnipeg is one of the most exciting, friendly and unified Canadian cities - it is home to such fundamental institutions as the Royal Canadian Mint, the Winnipeg Art gallery and the Canada Life Centre.
For a city with so many fantastic highlights, what are the daily constants that will define your life in Winnipeg, Canada? Well, in this Winnipeg city guide, we'll give you a clear picture of what to expect from the fantastic city of Winnipeg.
About Winnipeg, Canada
Winnipeg is the capital and largest city in Manitoba. For centuries, it was a trading post for the indigenous peoples of Canada before French settlers built the first fort in the region in 1738. It was later established as a settlement by the Selkirk Settlers in 1812 before being incorporated into the City of Winnipeg in 1873.
Like many of Canada's major cities, Winnipeg is a multicultural community. However, what makes Winnipeg different from other Canadian cities is the large portion of First Nations people that comprise the city's population. Over 11% of Winnipeggers are of First Nations descent and more people speak the Filipino language, Tagalog in Winnipeg than French. This is a huge rarity for a Canadian city, as French and English are Canada's only official languages.
As of the latest census, 59% of the population of Winnipeg is of European descent, and a further 28% is made up of ethnic minorities originating from places like China, Japan, Korea, the United Arab Emirates, India and several African nations.
Regarding religion, 63% of Winnipeggers identify as Christian, with other prominent religions being Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Buddhism.
Where is Winnipeg on the Map?
Winnipeg sits towards temperate south of Manitoba. The city sits at the bottom of the Red River valley, giving the city a flat terrain and relative protection from the extremities of Canada's weather.
Climate/Weather in Winnipeg
In Winnipeg, Canada, summers are long, warm and rainy, and the winters are snowy and windy. Despite its varying temperatures, Winnipeg is well-known for its constant cloud cover.
Winnipeg's warm season generally lasts around four months, from May to September, with temperatures between 16°C and 26°C.
Conversely, the cold season lasts just over three months, from the end of November to the beginning of March. Temperatures during this time remain continuously below zero, with an average daily high of -3°C and the average temperatures during the coldest month between -10°C and -18°C.
Most of Winnipeg's rainfall occurs during the summer, but Winnipeg's winters tend to be far drier, making it a perfect city for winter expeditions.
Work and Jobs in Winnipeg
The Canadian industry is at an all-time high. Canada has over a million vacancies that need to be filled due to the exploding tech and manufacturing industries nationwide, combined with an ever-growing population.
Winnipeg is no exception. Its key industries are aerospace engineering, advanced manufacturing, creative industries, agribusiness and information and communications technology (ICT), so there is significant demand for both technical and creative workers.
However, the most in-demand jobs in Winnipeg and Manitoba, as a whole, are constantly changing and evolving. If you want to see if your job is currently in-demand in Manitoba, look at this page.
Suppose you would like to start your journey to Canada in Winnipeg or if you have landed a job in Winnipeg and want to ensure you get your work permit quickly and easily; however, with the help of a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). Our RCICs can give you a complete evaluation and help you find which of Canada's many visa and immigration programs will work best for you.
Cost of Living in Winnipeg
Winnipeg is a massive, vibrant city and one of the least expensive Canadian cities to live in. According to Numbeo.com, the monthly cost of living in Winnipeg for a single person is$1,170 and the cost of living for a family of four (excluding rent) is $4,180.06. This is around 10.48% lower than Toronto and 11% lower than Vancouver.
Rent, however, is the most considerable in saving in Winnipeg. Rent in Winnipeg is almost 47% lower than in Toronto and nearly 53% lower than in Vancouver. These are both highly conservative estimates. According to Numbeo.com, the average monthly rent for a single room in Winnipeg's city center is $1,057.52. In Toronto, that same room would cost$2,358.83 per month.
With the average income for a single person sitting at around$2,908.72, the salaries may be lower in some of the larger Canadian cities. However, with the low cost of living, Winnipeggers have some of the highest purchasing power in Canada.
Look at this handy guide for a full breakdown of how Canada's cost of living works.
Neighborhoods in Winnipeg
Due to the low housing costs in Winnipeg, Manitoba, has some of the safest, most beautiful neighborhoods that are highly accessible. In Winnipeg, you can get a house or apartment that is easily affordable compared to the larger Canadian cities. As a result, Winnipeg has many fantastic neighborhoods for people of all ages and walks of life.
A few prime examples of the fantastic neighborhoods in Winnipeg are as follows:
Famous for its luxury housing and proximity to downtown Winnipeg's top shopping destinations, Tuxedo is widely regarded as one of the best neighborhoods in Canada for young professionals and families due to its high-quality housing and easy access to the city and safety of the area.
This area is best for those looking to get on their next step on the property ladder.
Westdale is one of Winnipeg's most exciting up-and-coming neighborhoods. In recent years, young professionals have flocked to the area due to the low housing costs and the massive influx of new building developments. This has made the neighborhood perfect for young professionals seeking the property ladder.
Charleswood is where city living meets the relaxed, rustic energy of a rural setting. Just outside downtown Winnipeg, Charleswood provides the same quality housing as the city, but away from the often overwhelming hustle and bustle of city living. This area is perfect for those looking to build their own space but still want to be close enough to downtown Winnipeg to enjoy all the city's fantastic aspects.
Despite being one of the great railway cities of Canada, over 65% of Winnipeggers travel by driving. The majority of public transport is the Winnipeg Transit bus service, owned and funded by the city government. The bus service covers 89 routes around the city, ensuring those without personal transport can get anywhere they need to be.
Winnipeg also has multiple taxi and ridesharing services such as Unicity, Duffy's Taxi, Spring Taxi and GoManitoba to help locals and newcomers get around.
Things to Do in Winnipeg
You will never be caught short when looking for things to do in Winnipeg. Winnipeg is a highly sociable city. The people of Winnipeg even host "Socials," where people come together to provide goods and raise money for weddings or other major social events. These socials are often open to the public, and anyone willing to help is welcome. These gatherings are unique to Manitoba and show off the genuinely friendly atmosphere you will come to enjoy in Winnipeg.
Festivals and Events
Due to this amicable community atmosphere, Winnipeg is known worldwide for its massive community events and festivals. These festivals include the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Jazz Winnipeg Festival and the Winnipeg Comedy Festival. All of these attract some of the top performers in the world.
If festivals attract you, you should look at our directory of the top festivals in Canada.
Winnipeg is also a central sporting hub in Canada, thanks to its powerful National Hockey league team, the Winnipeg Jets, whose home is the Canada Life Centre in downtown Winnipeg.
On top of Hockey, Winnipeg's football team, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, is one of the top teams in the Canadian football league.
One of the most exciting things to do in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for newcomers is shopping at Winnipeg's massive underground mall - Winnipeg Square, which boasts one of Canada's most extensive shopping experiences.
Winnipeg also has no shortage of fantastic cultural and natural attractions that bring visitors from all over North America, such as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which documents Canada's long history of fighting for and supporting the rights of its people.
Other fantastic attractions include the Manitoba Museum, showing the province's detailed natural and scientific history. If you're feeling peckish, the Forks Market offers food stalls to give you a taste of all the different influences and cultures that make up Winnipeg. For a more artistic slant, there's The Forks National Historic Site—finally, Winnipeg's pride and joy: Assiniboine Park. Here, you can witness some of Manitoba's most recognizable wildlife, like the Manitoba Moose, Polar bears and the Canadian lynx.
Education in Winnipeg
For a relatively small city, Winnipeg, Manitoba, does more than its fair share to maintain Canada's extremely high education standards. With 78 public schools and a further 39 private schools, primary and secondary education is highly accessible and inexpensive.
If you're unsure how your kids fit into Canada's schooling system, here is a complete breakdown.
On top of its expansive primary and secondary education, Winnipeg also boasts a fantastic array of internationally recognized universities and colleges. With the world-renowned University of Manitoba, one of Canada's top universities, Winnipeg offers many fantastic opportunities for international students looking to get a first-rate education at a fraction of the cost of other nations.
On top of the University of Manitoba, some of Winnipeg's fantastic education centers are St. Paul's College, the University of Winnipeg, Université de Saint-Boniface and the Canadian Mennonite University.
If you're interested in studying in Canada, look at this handy guide to help you pick which University is best for you and how to get your study permit.
However, if you feel ready to start your application process, it’s best to ensure you know exactly how eligible you are and how to get the most out of your application process. The best way to do this is through talking with an RCIC who has years of experience getting applicants like yourself into Canada
Unique Immigration Visas to Winnipeg
Winnipeg and Manitoba generally have a wide variety of immigration programs based on the needs of the provincial economy. Each immigration stream is designed for a different type of applicant and has its own set of requirements and application processes. Most visas unique to Manitoba fall under the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP). The major immigration pathways for people wanting to move to Winnipeg are as follows:
- Career Employment Pathway
- Graduate Internship Pathway
- International Student Entrepreneur Pilot
- International Education Stream
- Business Investor Stream
- Skilled Worker in Manitoba Stream
- Skilled Worker Overseas Stream
- Morden Community Driven Initiative
If you want to know more about Winnipeg immigration programs, here's a handy breakdown.
Pros and Cons
- Amicable and helpful people
- Low housing costs
- Easy to find part or full-time work, even as a student
- Public transit can be slow and problematic, so you may have to buy transportation.
- Relatively high crime rate
- Relatively low minimum wage
Your Future in Canada Awaits
Now that you have an introduction to what life in Winnipeg is like, the next step is to find which pathway will get you there. To be sure which path is best for you, we recommend you talk to an RCIC. They will help you find the right pathway based on your credentials and guide you through every step of your application process to ensure you have the best chance of moving to Canada. If you're unsure how an RCIC can help you, here's a clear breakdown of their services.
Are there unique streams for people looking to move precisely to Winnipeg?
There are numerous streams under the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, specifically for those looking to move to Manitoba. Visit this page to see which programs Manitoba has to offer.
Will I need to speak French to live in Winnipeg?
No. As less than 5% of Winnipeggers are first-language French speakers, English is the primary medium of instruction and you don't need French to get by. However, if you're unsure if your English is where it needs to be, you will likely need to take a language test before you move to Canada. To understand how Canada's language testing systems work, look at this page.