Top 10 Manitoba facts

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You know that Manitoba is a prairie province and that it has legendary winters. But did you know that Manitoba is the “heart” of Canada? Or that its area is almost 650,000 square km (250,946 square miles) which means it is larger than Japan and twice the size of the U.K.?

Here are 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 Indigenous Peoples who first lived in the region. It could also have been derived from “Man-into-wahpaow” which is Cree for “the narrows 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 centre 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 areas. Ten cities, 25 towns and two villages are classified as urban, while 98 rural municipalities and two local government districts are rural (list of municipalities as of 2020, Manitoba Municipal Relations). Its cities are Brandon, Dauphin, Flin Flon, Morden, Portage la Prairie, Selkirk, Steinbach, Thompson, Winkler, and Winnipeg. More than half of the population of Manitoba lives in Winnipeg.

  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, moving 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”). However, there are no roads that lead to this remote northern town. It is accessible only 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 who were born in Manitoba. Among them are Marshall McLuhan (communications theorist), Anna Paquin (actress), Randy Bachman (musician and member of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive), Carol Shields (Pulitzer Prize-winning author), and many others. Winnipeg native William Stephenson, who served British intelligence during WW II and used the code name “Intrepid”, 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 numerous 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 2016 census, the top languages spoken here are: English, German, Tagalog (Filipino), Punjabi, Spanish, French, Cree, Ukrainian, Chinese, 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.

    Virtual Museum Tour: Amazing Architecture, Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Article updated September 3, 2022.


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

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Want to know more amazing facts about MB? Read the article 43 fun facts about Manitoba that will blow your mind from Manitoba

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Top 10 Manitoba facts

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