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. The name “Manitoba”

    • It means “where the spirit lives” in languages of the Indigenous Peoples.
    • Or from “Man-into-wahpaow” which is Cree for “the narrows of the Great Spirit” (
    • The Cree is a First Nations group.

  2. The heart of Canada

    • Manitoba is in the centre of Canada.
    • Its four borders are:
      • 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.

  3. Keystone province

    • Manitoba is called “keystone province”.
    • This is because of its shape and position in the centre of Canada.

  4. Rural and urban municipalities

    • Manitoba has 137 municipalities.
    • The municipalities are divided into urban and rural.
    • Its urban section has 10 cities, 25 towns and two villages.
    • The rural section has 98 municipalities and two local government districts.
    • Manitoba’s cities are:
      • Brandon
      • Dauphin
      • Flin Flon
      • Morden
      • Portage la Prairie
      • Selkirk
      • Steinbach
      • Thompson
      • Winkler
      • Winnipeg
    • More than half of the population of Manitoba lives in Winnipeg.

  5. Provincial symbols

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

  6. Churchill attractions

    • Churchill is a town in Manitoba. It is on the edge of the Hudson Bay.
    • There are no roads that lead to this remote northern town.
    • To go there:
      • Take a two and half hour plane ride or
      • 48-hour train ride from Winnipeg
    • It is the best place in the world to see:
      • Aurora Borealis or northern lights. These are bright, moving lights in various colors. You can see them in the evening sky.
      • Beluga whales.
      • Polar bears. Churchill is the “Polar bear capital of the world”.

  7. Famous Manitobans

    • Neil Young – World renowned musician and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
    • Marshall McLuhan – A communications theorist.
    • Anna Paquin – A Hollywood actress.
    • Randy Bachman – A musician. Member of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
    • Carol Shields – A Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
    • William Stephenson – He is the inspiration for James Bond. He was a spy called “Intrepid” and served British intelligence during WW II.

  8. “Friendly Manitoba”

    • It is called “Friendly Manitoba” because it welcomes newcomers.
    • More than 200 ethnic or cultural origins are declared in the province.
    • It has welcomed immigrants since the late 1800s.

  9. Languages in Manitoba

    • Top languages spoken are:
      • English
      • German
      • Tagalog (Filipino)
      • Punjabi
      • Chinese
      • Spanish
      • French
      • Cree
      • Ukrainian
      • Ojibway

  10. International supporter of human rights

    • The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) is in Winnipeg.
    • The CMHR is the first national museum outside of Canada’s capital, Ottawa.
    • It is the only museum in the world dedicated to human rights.

Article updated July 22, 2021.
Sources: Travel,,, The Canadian Encyclopedia, Virtual Manitoba, and

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