Facts about Winnipeg*

  • Winnipeg is the capital of Manitoba – and the geographical center of North America. It was incorporated as a city in 1873.
  • There are 730,018 people living in Winnipeg according to the 2011 census.
  • The city sits at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers – a place referred to as The Forks.
  • The closest city to Winnipeg with a population of over a million is Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota – 700 kilometers away.
  • The coldest temperature ever recorded in Winnipeg was -47.8 C (-54 F) in December 1879. For a long time Winnipeg was the coldest city in the world with a population of 600,000 or more. Ulan Batar in Mongolia has moved into first place. Winnipeg – because of its geography – is susceptible to polar highs which are in effect Arctic high pressure systems bringing in lots of cold air.
  • There is measurable sunshine on an average of 318 days of the year.
  • The hottest temperature ever recorded in Winnipeg was 42.2 C (108 F) on July 11, 1936.
  • Winnipeg has been called the Windy City but that is incorrect. It is the 12th windiest city in Canada. Hamilton is first.
  • On the shortest day of the year the sun rises at 8:24 am and sets at 4:29 pm. On the longest day of the year the sun rises at 5:20 am and sets at 9:41 pm.
  • Famous people who hail from Winnipeg include Carol Shields, Clara Hughes, Cindy Klassen, Phil Fontaine, Fred Penner, Monte Hall and Izzy Asper.
  • Winnipeg’s train station was designed by the same architects who designed New York City’s Union Station.
  • Winnipeg was the first city in the world to develop the 911 emergency number.
  • The Royal Winnipeg Ballet is Canada’s oldest dance company. It’s also the longest continuously operating ballet company in North America.
  • The Winnipeg Art Gallery has the biggest collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world.
  • Winnipeg has four major rivers – the Red, Assiniboine, La Salle and Seine. The city is extremely flat and is at risk for major flooding. In April and May of 1997 the biggest flood since 1826 occurred. Although the flood affected Winnipeg it was Grand Forks and East Grand Forks that were most affected.
  • The LONGEST skating rink in the world – that freezes naturally is found in Winnipeg – and not in Ottawa as was recently reported in Outside Magazine. The skating takes you along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers over a length of 8.5 kilometers.
  • Curling is big – so big it might be the curling capital of Canada.
  • Winnipeg was the first city in North America to build a stand-alone ice tower. Its 20 meters high and within sight of downtown Winnipeg. Its open to experts and novices alike.
  • Winnipeg is the headquarters for Canada’s grain industry. It is home to the only commodity exchange in the country – the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange.
  • The Winnipeg Jets – one of the professional hockey teams in the NHL – has an amazing fan base. Although they have the smallest market of all the NHL teams they sold more merchandise than any others.
  • Other professional sports teams include the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (football) and the Winnipeg Goldeyes (baseball).
  • Winnipeg has mosquito issues in the summer (that’s why I’d rather visit in the winter) and in fact boasts 51 insect management areas on their public works website.
  • Universities in Winnipeg include the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, the Canadian Mennonite University and the University of St. Boniface.
  • Canada’s newest National Museum – the Canadian Museum for Human Rights – is the first national museum to be located outside of the capital region. It is expected to open in 2014.


universities & colleges in winnipeg

Facts about Vancouver*

Named after Captain George Vancouver, the city has a population of just over a half a million people. It has been voted twice (in 2005 and 2006) as the best city for quality of life, and why not? Its beautiful, has a mild climate and there is plenty to see and do.

Where is Vancouver?

Vancouver is situated in South Western Canada in the province of British Columbia and lies on the coast of the Pacific Ocean where it is sheltered from any extreme weather by Vancouver Island.

What’s the weather like in Vancouver?

Vancouver is renowned as being quite a wet city, though in actual fact out of all the major Canadian cities, it is the second driest (after nearby Victoria)! Compared to the rest of Canada, Vancouver has a very mild climate, year round, and rarely drops below freezing. Snowfall is also quite a rare occurrence in the city. The typical daytime high temperature in the summer is a pleasant 25C (77F) and during the height of summer rain is uncommon, not really starting until around October.

The geography of Vancouver

Known for its amazing scenery, Vancouver is a city which certainly takes advantage of its great location. Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Coastal Mountain range gives the city a stunning backdrop, whilst on the North Shore just minutes from Downtown Vancouver is the North Shore Mountain range with ski resorts and spectacular views back towards the city and beyond.

The North Shore also has areas of temperate rain forest, which years ago covered the whole of this area before Vancouver was developed into the city that it is today.

A short history of Vancouver

Vancouver was named after the British explorer, Captain George Vancouver, who sailed into the area in 1792. However, the region had been inhabited for thousands of year prior to that by Canada’s indigenous peoples (now commonly known as First Nations).

The city of Vancouver was officially incorporated in 1886 after it had become an important port for shipping lumber out around the world, particularly to China. The first settlement on the downtown peninsula was called Granville, where today you’ll find the historic Gastown district. When the transcontinental railway arrived in the city a few years later, the population began to boom.

Vancouver Demographics

Because of Vancouver’s position on the Pacific Coast, the city has long been a magnet for immigrants, particularly from Asia, and the fact that Vancouver now has the second largest Chinatown in North America is testament to this.

Vancouver actually has one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the world, which is constantly maintained by the thousands of immigrants who come here every year, attracted by the famous quality of life in this city, which is repeatedly voted one of the best in the world to live!

The population of Vancouver City is nearly 612,000, whilst the Metro area as a whole has a population of over 2 million, making this the third largest city in Canada after Toronto and Montreal.

Languages spoken in Vancouver

Vancouver is English-speaking on the whole, though as mentioned above it is a very ethnically rich city and therefore you’re bound to hear all different kinds of languages being spoken around you!

In fact, 52% of the city residents, and 43% of Vancouver Metro residents have a first language other than English!


universities & colleges in vancouver