All You Need to Know About Living in Winnipeg, Manitoba

As the biggest city in the world-renowned Canadian Prairies, Winnipeg is often fondly referred to as the Heart of the North American Continent.

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Winnipeg’s lengthy winter means that the city of nearly a million people is also home to the slightly less-charming tag of Winterpeg. 

However, in spite of the harsh winters that residents have to endure, their spirit and hospitality remain strong. 

This warm reputation is one of the major reasons why a rising number of newcomers to Canada have chosen to take Winnipeg as their Canadian home.

Let’s tell you more about living in Winnipeg, the heart of Canada.

Where is Winnipeg, Manitoba?

Winnipeg is the capital city of Manitoba. The city is situated towards the eastern end of the Canadian Prairies.

As far as Canadian cities go, Winnipeg is about as median as it gets, and the city is planted at the meeting point of the Red and Assiniboine rivers.

Population and immigrant communities in Winnipeg

As regards employment, recently Winnipeg was rated the third-fastest growing economy among all major cities in Canada and is also considered as one of the most diversified across the country. 

However, that’s not the only thing enticing newcomers to the heart of the Canadian Prairies.

Winnipeg has been a magnet for immigrants to Canada for many years. The city’s appeal among immigrant communities globally means that it has grown into a diverse and multicultural place to call home.

One of the strongest immigrant communities in Winnipeg is the Philippines.

Winnipeg experienced its first big inflow of Filipino immigrants in the 1980s, and the community has since grown from strength to strength. 

Now Winnipeg has the third biggest Filipino population in Canada, in addition to the largest in terms of per-capita population with just a little below 10%.

In 2016, there were over 57,000 Filipinos living in Winnipeg as either permanent residents or naturalized citizens of Canada. Nonetheless, it isn’t only the Filipinos that are thriving in Canada’s sunniest city.

In 2019, 14,745 permanent residents who were admitted to Canada, settled in Winnipeg.

The entire figure for Manitoba was 18,905, which means almost 80% of all the permanent residents who settled in Manitoba chose Winnipeg. 

Additionally, the data from the 2016 census shows that there were almost 180,000 immigrants settled in Winnipeg, representing almost 24% of the total population. This increase went from 17.7% in 2006 & 20.6% in 2011. 

As a province, Manitoba is the province with the second-youngest population as of 2019, thanks to the plenty of immigrant families who settled in the province via Express Entry, the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP), or the Family Class sponsorship pathway.

Winnipeg also has other newcomers like refugees and business immigrants, but the greater number arrive via Express Entry, the MPNP, or through the support of a loved one.

Apart from the established Filipino community, Winnipeg also houses a growing Indian, British and Chinese communities.

Housing in Winnipeg

When picking a Canadian city or town to call your home, the price of rent and owning properties are vital considerations.

Bearing this in mind, you’ll be happy to know that the price of rent in Winnipeg is arguably the lowest in Canada, making the city perfect for newcomers who need to find their own place shortly after arriving in Canada without needing to share an address with roommates.

See our Article on how to get accomodation in Canada
  • a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Winnipeg costs around $1,068 CAD monthly, and about 57 dollars less at $975 CAD monthly in the suburbs. 
  • If you need a larger place for your family, then expect to pay about $1,642 CAD monthly for a three-bedroom apartment in Winnipeg’s city centre and $1,518 CAD monthly when you move further out. 

In contrast to Hamilton, Ontario. Winnipeg’s cost of rent is around 12% cheaper. This comparison was done to squash the myth that the outer cities of the GTA, and also other urban centres elsewhere in Ontario, are the only options for affordable city living in Canada.

If you are financially able when moving to Winnipeg, it’s advisable to buy a home, as the price per square metre to buy an apartment in downtown Winnipeg is about $3,133 CAD, and around $2,793 CAD in the suburbs.

This is amazing, mostly when compared with other cities. In fact, in Calgary, the cost to purchase an equivalent property is 32% more expensive than in downtown Winnipeg.

Transport in Winnipeg

Like many Canadian Prairie cities, Winnipeg is not famous for its public transport system.

The fact is that the cold winters and spread-out landscape of the city mean that lots of residents pick a car before the bus. To that end, in 2021 a liter of gasoline costs $1.13 CAD.

If you do pick using the public transport service in the city, it’s important to know that the Winnipeg transit system offers extensive bus service and a monthly transport pass will cost about $100 CAD.

Lastly, if you are into cycling, then you will be happy to know they’ve got an extensive bike path network covering huge sections of the city.

Education in Winnipeg

One underrated fact about education in Winnipeg, especially for those moving with young children to the city, is it has one of the most affordable childcare options and Kindergarten services in North America. 

Other great news for families in Winnipeg is there is a comprehensive primary and secondary school system, with a wide variety of public and independent schools to pick from.

Public schools function directly under the Minister of Education. These schools are regulated by locally elected school division/district boards.

Every Canadian citizen and legal immigrant living with a parent or legal guardian in Manitoba are eligible to attend public school depending on provincial regulations.

The functionality of independent schools differs. Some schools are associated with a specific religious or denominational group. They possess their own governing bodies or boards.

Independent schools qualify for provincial funding if they use the Manitoba curriculum and meet a number of additional conditions. 

Non-funded independent schools can choose not to follow the provincial curriculum but must meet the standard of education provided in a public school.

As regards university education in Winnipeg, the two most reputable institutions are the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba.

The former has a dynamic campus situated across Winnipeg’s downtown core and its international student population is more than 10% of the whole student body. 

The University of Manitoba is situated primarily in Winnipeg’s Fort Garry neighborhood, it was founded in 1877 making it the oldest university in Western Canada.

It also is Manitoba’s sole research-intensive university, and one of the country’s top research institutions. The university boasts of alumni of over 145,000, living across 140 countries.

Living in Winnipeg

Despite many submissions to the contrary, Winnipeg is indeed one of the most culturally rich cities in Canada.

It houses the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, as well as the Centennial Concert Hall, and also the ever-popular Winnipeg Folk Festival. 

As regards sport, living in Winnipeg means you’ll be living in the same city with the 2019 Canadian Football League (CFL) Gray Cup champions, named Winnipeg Blue Bombers, meanwhile, the city’s adored Jets represent the city and broader region in the National Hockey League (NHL).

Finally, food lovers can check out the culinary bliss provided by the city’s immigrant communities in one of the multiple great Filipino, Indian, Japanese, and Scandanavian restaurants dotted across the city.

If you plan on moving to Canada, see the cost of living in Canada

Immigrating to Winnipeg, Manitoba

If you’re interested in moving to Winnipeg, there are some options you might need to consider for immigration to Manitoba. If you’re unsure of where to begin, enlist the help of an immigration consultant.


And that’s it, our Winnipeg destination ultimate guide. If you are new in Canada and want to live in a diverse Canadian city full of culture, sports, and job opportunities, and yet not spending excessively on rent or mortgage repayments monthly, then Winnipeg might just be the perfect place for you.

Finally, for the most recent information on anything immigration visit our website.

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