History Winnipeg is located at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, almost at the geographic centre of North America. While there have been fur trading posts on the site since 1738, the first permanent settlement of the area took place in 1812 when a group of Scottish crofters arrived. Winnipeg was incorporated as a city in 1873 with a population of 1,869 people. The arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885 stimulated a 30-year period of growth and prosperity unequalled in Canadian urban development.
A flood of immigrants, high wheat prices, plentiful capital and improved farming techniques contributed to making Winnipeg the wholesale, administrative, and financial centre of Western Canada. Following World War I, economic stagnation - due to low wheat prices and the Depression - lasted well into the 1940s.
Since 1945, Winnipeg has grown steadily based on its position as a major grain, financial, manufacturing, and transportation centre. It is the eighth largest city in Canada and dominates the Manitoba economy.
Portrait Winnipeg is Manitoba’s vibrant capital city, located at the centre of Canada and North America. With a population of more than 778,000 culturally diverse people, the city has a cosmopolitan, international flair and a warm, welcoming spirit.
Described as the “cultural cradle of Canada,” Winnipeg offers a variety of arts, culture, sports, recreation and entertainment to satisfy every taste. It’s a creative, four-season city that celebrates its rich culture through many historic sites, exhibits, attractions and yearly festivals. There are opportunities year round to get swept up in the excitement at Winnipeg’s many festivals. Whether kicking back outdoors to live folk music at the Winnipeg Folk Festival or watching cutting-edge theatre at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, there are plenty of ways to discover something new. Winnipeg’s dynamic festivals highlight live music, theatre, multicultural eats and more.
From the architecturally distinctive Exchange District to the joie de vivre of Winnipeg’s French Quarter, to the heart of our past at The Forks, Winnipeg is a striking blend of old and new, traditional and avant-garde - a cultural oasis without pretension. Take advantage of our great shopping, spectacular attractions, exciting casinos, vibrant nightlife, and serene parks and nature walks.
Winnipeg is home to a great array of universities, including the University of Winnipeg, the University of Manitoba, Red River College and Universite de Saint Boniface.
Winnipeg has a tremendous amount of recreation, sports and entertainment for a city of its size. Our city has 40 soccer (football) pitches, 26 golf courses, 24 curling rinks, 30 indoor hockey arenas, casinos, a race track, professional teams in hockey, football and baseball, and world-renowned performing arts.
Winnipeg has the only 24-hour airport in Western Canada, located just 15 minutes from downtown.
Must-visit sights Winnipeg is a city with a story to tell at just about every street corner. Discover ancient Masonic mysteries with a Hermetic Code Tour at the Manitoba Legislative Building or get spooked on a bus tour of Winnipeg’s most haunted spots. One of the best ways to explore and discover the city is through the many historical guided walking tours, river boat excursions and interpretive tours.
Opportunities abound to experience the great outdoors and wonders of nature in Winnipeg throughout the year. The city has several breathtaking parks and urban forests, such as Assiniboine Park and Zoo, Kildonan Park and The Forks National Historic Site.
- The Forks is found at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, featuring a nine-acre park; a plaza with fountains, open performance spaces, patios; a world-class skateboard park, and an array of shops and dining.
The world-class Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) is more than just a building at The Forks. This iconic facility is an “idea” museum dedicated to the past, present and future of human rights, as it explores its evolution in Canada and abroad through dialogue, technology and interactive experiences. A must-see for all, visitors will be captivated by the stories heard and encouraged to participate in discussion, offering an unforgettable and moving experience.
- Fort Gibraltar is a re-creation of a North West Company trading post from 1815 located in Winnipeg’s French Quarter. A blacksmith shop, trading post and costumed interpreters bring the Fort to life.
- Assiniboine Park is one of North America's largest urban parks, serving as a lush and popular gathering space for more than 100 years. Today, the park is entering a new chapter of development - a $200 million investment into Assiniboine Park and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is underway. Within the park, hot new attractions include the Qualico Family Centre and the children’s Nature Playground. Inside the Assiniboine Park Zoo, construction continues on the new Journey to Churchill, set to become the world’s most comprehensive polar bear exhibit when it opens in 2014. Portions of the exhibit are open, including the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre—a transition centre for rescued polar bear cubs—along with Tundra Grill and Polar Playground.
- The Children’s Museum boasts a recent $10-million renovation with 12 exciting new galleries.
- The Winnipeg Art Gallery is Canada’s oldest civic art gallery and houses the world’s largest collection of contemporary Inuit art, some which is always on display
- The Exchange District is a National Historic Site home to gorgeous Chicago-style architecture, trendy boutiques and eateries, and art galleries.
- Nine permanent galleries can be found at The Manitoba Museum. Visitors can step aboard a full-size replica of the 17th century ship, 'The Nonsuch'; travel back in time to Winnipeg during the roaring 1920s; watch a digitally animated, 450-milllion-year-old underwater world brought to life on three jumbo-sized screens and view treasures from around the world. Located in the museum’s lower level, the Planetarium invites families to gaze at the night sky or journey into space, while the Science Gallery has more than 100 educational hands-on exhibits that explore scientific principles.
Football Winnipeg has hosted a number of international soccer competitions, including Men’s FIFA World Cup qualification matches, men and women’s National Team exhibition matches. Winnipeg was also host of the 1967 and 1999 Pan American Games, in which nations from the Americas participated in the male and female soccer competitions.
In 1986, Winnipeg hosted the first Canadian Women’s National Team camp, from which 16 players were selected for a series of international matches in USA. Four years later, Winnipeg hosted Canada’s first home Women’s International Friendly match.
Soccer is a huge part of the fabric of the community that includes many participants from around the world that enjoy playing and watching the beautiful game. We have over 250 club/association members that comprise of over 16,300 registered players.