Top 10 Manitoba facts

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You’ve probably heard a lot about Manitoba’s intense winters, or that it is a prairie province. But did you know that Manitoba is the “heart” of Canada? Or that its area is almost 650 square km (250,946 square miles) which means it is larger than Japan and twice the size of the U.K.?

Here are a few other amazing and wonderful facts about the great province of Manitoba:

  1. Where the Great Spirit lives

  2. The word “Manitoba” means where the spirit lives (in languages of the Aboriginal people who first lived in the region). It could also have been derived from “manitou bou” which is Cree for strait of the Great Spirit.

  3. The heart of Canada

  4. The province’s tagline, “Where Canada’s heart beats” is a smart play on the fact that Manitoba is located at the heart of Canada. It is bordered by Saskatchewan to the west, Ontario to the east, Nunavut Territory to the North, and the US states of North Dakota and Minnesota to the south.

  5. Keystone province

  6. It is called a keystone province because of its shape and position in the centre of Canada.

  7. Rural and urban municipalities

  8. Manitoba is made up of 137 municipalities, divided into urban and rural. Its urban section is composed of 10 cities, 25 towns and two villages, while 98 are rural municipalities and two are local government districts (list of municipalities in Manitoba, Wikipedia). Its cities are Brandon, Dauphin, Flin Flon, Morden, Portage la Prairie, Selkirk, Steinbach, Thompson, Winkler, and Winnipeg, where over half of the population of Manitoba lives.

  9. Provincial symbols

  10. Flower: Prairie crocus
    Animal: Bison
    Tree: White Spruce
    Bird: Great Grey Owl

  11. Northern lights, polar bears and beluga whales

  12. The best place in the world to see Aurora Borealis or northern lights (bright dancing lights in various colors that light up the evening sky) is in the town of Churchill, on the edge of the Hudson Bay. You can also see beluga whales and polar bears there (it is known as the “Polar bear capital of the world” by the way). However, there are no roads to this remote northern town. It is only accessible by a two and half hour plane ride or a 48 hour train ride from Winnipeg.

  13. Coolest Manitobans

  14. Did you know that famous singer Neil Young is from Manitoba? Aside from the great musician (and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), there are many other world famous writers, activists, artists and athletes that were born in Manitoba. Among them are Marshall McLuhan (communications theorist), Anna Paquin (actress),Randy Bachman (musician, of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive), Carol Shields (Pulitzer Prize-winning author), and many others. Winnipeg native William Stephenson, who served the British intelligence during WW II as “Intrepid” (code name) is the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s James Bond.

  15. Diverse Manitoba

  16. Manitobans are not only cool, they’re also very friendly. You will find that there are more than 200 ethnic or cultural origins declared in the province. Since the late 1800s, it has welcomed immigrants from all parts of the world and continues to do so. For its warmth towards newcomers, the province has earned the moniker “Friendly Manitoba”.

  17. Mother tongues

  18. Based on the 2011 census, the top languages spoken here are: English, German, French, Tagalog (Filipino), Cree, Ukrainian, Chinese, Punjabi, Spanish and Ojibway.

  19. International bastion for human rights

  20. You will find the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) here. The CMHR is the first national museum outside of Canada’s capital, Ottawa and is the only museum in the world solely dedicated to human rights.

    Sources: Travel,,, The Canadian Encyclopedia, Virtual Manitoba, and

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Community Resources

Want to know more amazing facts about MB? Read the article 33 fun facts about Manitoba that will blow your mind from Manitoba

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Top 10 Manitoba facts

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