Manitoba Canada
Manitoba Canada

Manitoba, Canada
Welcomes you

Truly Canadian

The province of Manitoba, short MB, is the easternmost of the three Prairie Provinces and the fifth largest province of Canada. Manitoba is bounded by Saskatchewan to the west, Ontario to the east and Nunavut to the north. The southern half of the province is quite level. Northern Manitoba features rocks, hills, forests and an abundance of lakes. The province’s name derives from the Algonkian Indian word for Great Spirit - ‘Manito’, referring to a strait in Lake Manitoba. The Native Indians called it ‘Manito Waba’, which means Manito Strait. Later it became Manitoba.

Manitoba is a province of majestic rivers, arctic coastline, lakes, forests and desert dunes. The western edge features blue skies as far as you can imagine with as sea of rolling waves of golden wheat, lavender flax and yellow canola. Two-thirds of Canada's 500-plus species of birds come to Manitoba, drawn by more than 100,000 lakes and countless rivers and marshes. Manitoba is a premier wildlife-watching destination with among the highest densities of moose, elk and black bear. You will also find wolves, fox and beaver. Near Hudson Bay, a marine frontier showcases animals in white - polar bear, beluga whale, arctic fox, ptarmigan and more.

Winnipeg is the capital of Manitoba having the sunniest winter seasons with 358 hours of sunshine. More than half the population of the province of Manitoba lives in Winnipeg. The city is widely known as the Christmas Capital of Canada. Winnipeg derives from the Cree word ‘Winnipee’ meaning "muddy waters". The city is situated in Canada’s geographical centre and makes a pleasant stopover while crossing Canada.

Winnipeg is home to 'Winnie the Pooh'. In 1914 a WWI Winnipeg Captain, Harry Colebourn, took a black bear cub to England as his Regiment's mascot. When Colebourn shipped out for France, he donated the bear named "Winnipeg", after his hometown, to the London Zoo. Author A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin loved "Winnie" and his father later crafted stories about a boy and his bear, "Winnie the Pooh".

Winnipeg has some fascinating history that can be explored in museums and various other sites. Winnipeg's Exchange District has been designated as a National Historic Site by the Canadian government due to its rich collection of turn-of-the-century terracotta and stone cut buildings, unrivalled in the world. The Winnipeg Music Competition is one of the world's largest music festivals with over 30,000 competitors each year. The Winnipeg Art Gallery has the world's largest collection of contemporary Inuit art, including over 9,000 works from sculpture, prints, and textiles to paintings. Winnipeg has over 100 kilometres of navigable waterways.

Manitoba in Figures
Manitoba has a population of about 1,113,898 people (1996).

Manitoba covers an area of 649,950 sq km, 15 per cent of which is covered by water.

The province of Manitoba is about 449 kilometres (279 miles) from east to west and 1225 kilometres (761 miles) north to south.

Manitoba features 645 kilometres (400 miles) of coastline.

Winnipeg is the capital of Manitoba with about 667,209 inhabitants (1996).

Baldy Mountain, at 831 metres (2,727 feet), marks the highest elevation in Manitoba.

Overseas visitors arrive by air via Winnipeg.

The Winnipeg International Airport offers service to both local destinations and US cities. There are flights to Churchill. There is a $10 Airport Improvement Fee (AIF). Winnipeg International Airport is located 7 km from downtown Winnipeg.

For more information call (204) 987-9402

Trans-Canada-Highway leads from Saskatchewan to Manitoba, linking the cities of Regina and Winnipeg with each other. It runs further east to the province of Ontario. Highway 10 runs northwest of Winnipeg to the province’s northwestern region

Calgary, AB to Winnipeg           1328 km (830 mi)
Halifax, NS to Winnipeg            3508 km (2192 mi)
Montreal, PQ to Winnipeg         2306 km (1441 mi)
Ottawa, ON to Winnipeg           2171 km (1357 mi)
Quebec City, PQ to Winnipeg   2535 km (1584 mi)
Regina, SK to Winnipeg             573 km (358 mi)
Saint Johns, NB to Winnipeg     3238 km (2017 mi)
Thunder Bay, ON to Winnipeg     705 km (441 mi)
Toronto, ON to Winnipeg           3087 km (1929 mi)
Vancouver, BC to Winnipeg       2372 km (1482 mi)
Whitehorse, YK to Winnipeg      3380 km (2112 mi)

Summers in Manitoba are warm and usually very sunny with average temperatures of 25ºC in the months of July and August. Winters are long, cold and bright with temperatures generally remaining well below freezing. Most of southern Manitoba receives 110-140 cm of snow annually. All seasons see wide variations from average values.

Means of payment
Besides the most common credit cards (Visa, Master Card and American Express) you might consider carrying some Traveler's Cheques in small denominations. Those are generally accepted like cash and have the advantage of being insured.

However you should always carry some cash, especially if you intend to push forward to more rural areas. Here cash is the only thing that counts, as most of the small shops do not have the equipment to accept credit cards. You should not bring German Marks in order to pay your bills.

All prices are generally subject to applicable taxes, which might be uncommon for European travelers. Taxes are added when you pay. Usually you have to pay 14 per cent taxes (7 per cent Provincial Sales Tax ‘PST’ & 7 per cent Goods & Service Tax ‘GST’).

Waiters in a restaurant generally require a tip, which is added to the bill's total as this is sometimes the only pay they receive. It is up to you, how much you leave, but 10-15 per cent is fairly common. Usually you leave the tip on the table as you go. Tip is also given to cabbies, hairdressers, barbers, hotel attendants and bellhops.

We recommend saving all receipts, as tourists who have their place of residence outside of Canada might be eligible for tax refund. However, this only applies for amounts over CAN $50,00 per receipt (except accommodation receipt where no minimum amount applies) and a minimum of CAN $200,00 in total. Not eligible for tax refund are bills paid for gas or transportation. In any case it might be worthwhile to save receipts for accommodations or larger purchases that are exported. The application for tax refund can be found at the website address shown below. You can file your application up to six months after you have left the country and has to be in writing. A refund cheque will than be mailed to your home address. If you came by plane you are required to send your bording pass with your application. Receipts for goods have to be validated by Canada Customs as you leave Canada.

For further information visit Visitor Tax Refund.

National Parks
Riding Mountain National Park    At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please contact attraction for further details!
Location: From Brandon take Highway 10 to the north (approx. 95 km - 59 miles). From Dauphin take Highway 10 to the south (approx. 13 km - 8 miles).
Riding Mountain National Park covers nearly 3000 sp km of land that rises dramatically from the surrounding plains. It is almost like an island, offering numerous hiking trails, forests, lakes, rivers and meadows, as well as an abundance of wildlife including elk, moose and a small herd of bison. Most of the park is wilderness area with a developed area around Clear Lake.

For more information call (204) 848-7275

Wapusk National Park
Location: As in most remote areas, access to Wapusk National Park is difficult for most visitors. Contact the Churchill Chamber of Commerce (1-888-389-2327 toll free within North America) for information on transportation, accommodation and general tour information.
Wapusk National Park is located in northern Manitoba and protects one of the world's largest known polar bear maternity denning areas. Wapusk is a Cree word for 'white bear'. If you decide to visit the park, please make sure to obey all safety precautions while in polar bear country!

For more information call (204) 675-8863

Historic Sites
Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site    At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please contact attraction for further details!
Location: 32 km north of Winnipeg on the banks of Red River and a few minutes south of Selkirk on Highway 9 (Main Street).
Lower Fort Garry is a restored Hudson’s Bay Company Fort, North America’s only stone fort that is still intact. Step back in time to the fur trading days of the 19th century. View furnished buildings and enjoy costumed interpreters. Being useless as fur-trading post, the fort was used as police training center for some time.

For more information call (204) 785-6050 or toll-free at 1-888-748-2928.

Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site
Location: Accessible from Churchill, Manitoba. You can reach Churchill by air or train via Winnipeg. There is no road access to Churchill.
Prince of Wales Fort encompasses a massive fortification along with installations at Cape Merry and Sloop Cove. Experience the diverse history of the Hudson’s Bay Company and the fur trade of the 1700s. Visit the exhibits and presentations at the Visitor Centre in Churchill.

For more information call (204) 675-8863 or toll-free at 1-888-748-2928.

Riel House National Historic Site    At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please contact attraction for further details!
Location: Nestled in a quiet, residential area in South St. Vital, Winnipeg. The site is located on the east side of the Red River at 330 River Road.
Riel House is a restored and furnished traditional French-Canadian-style log house from 1881. This home belonged to the parents of Metis leader Louis Riel. The house has been restored to the spring of 1886. The staff offers information on the Riels and on the Metis in general.

For more information call (204) 257-1783 or toll-free at 1-888-748-2928.

St. Andrew's Rectory National Historic Site
St. Andrew’s Rectory makes a great example of mid-19th century Red River architecture. Visit exhibits on the main floor to learn about Red River architecture and the roles of the Church Missionary Society and the Church of England in the settlement of the Red River and Western Canada.

For more information call (204) 785-6050 or toll-free at 1-888-748-2928.

The Forks National Historic Site    At least partly wheelchair accessible. Please contact attraction for further details!
Location: In the centre of Winnipeg. You can get there by turning south from Pioneer Avenue or Water Avenue onto Pioneer Boulevard.
The Forks, located at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, is a very successful redevelopment project of historic significance. Native people started using the area some 6000 years ago, followed by explorers and fur traders. Later, Metis and Scottish pioneers settled The Forks. The Forks was the site of Fort Rouge, Fort Gibraltar and the two Forts Garry. Today, a riverside park provides a path with historic notes.

For more information call (204) 983-6757 or toll-free at 1-888-748-2928.

York Factory National Historic Site
Location: accessible both by air and water. Charter air transportation is available from various points in northern Manitoba. York Factory is located about 250 km southeast of Churchill.
York Factory, one of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s most significant trading posts was in operation for more than 250 years. The remaining wooden building of this former fur-trading post is quite spectacular and provides an insight of the diverse history of the Hudson's Bay Company and the fur trade of the 1600-1800s.

For more information call (204) 675-8863 or toll-free at 1-888-748-2928.

The Assiniboine and Cree First Nations inhabited the region before the arrival of European fur traders. In 1612, the first Europeans set foot in Manitoba. It was Captain Thomas Button who wintered two ships at Port Nelson, near the mouths of the Nelson and Hayes Rivers. Settlement did however not occur in the more hospitable south as in other parts of the country but along the remote coasts of Hudson Bay.

In 1670, King Charles II of England grants sovereignty over large part of Manitoba to the Hudson’s Bay Company that was first called Rupert’s Land. Fort Prince of Whales was built at the mouth of the Churchill River. Fort Churchill was constructed by the Hudson’s Bay Company and was used by the company until 1933. In 1812, Lord Selkirk established the first agricultural settlement in an area that is today known as Winnipeg.

In 1869, the Hudson’s Bay Company relinquishes Western Canadian territory to Canadian Government for $300,000. Dispute over farm expansion plans and land rights of the Metis resulted in two major rebellions against the federal authorities. Louis Riel was the leader of the Metis and led the uprisings. Louis Riels established a provisional government in December 1869.

Manitoba entered confederation on July 15, 1870. The late 19th century saw British settlers arriving to grow wheat. Winnipeg began to grow becoming a major centre of the province. In 1912, the final boundary change completed the current size of Manitoba. The province’s north has been opened up since the 1950s adding mining and hydro-electricity to the provincial economy.

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