Winnipeg Manitoba Real Estate & Community Overview
Winnipeg lies at the confluence of the Assiniboine River and the North-flowing
Red River. It is a major transportation hub with its position on the Trans-Canada Highway and cross-country rail networks, and with its access to mid-west US rail and highway routes has become a logistics centre for the Canadian West. The ice age glaciers created large lakes that were used by First Nations and early fur traders, which also forced the railroads through this point in southern Manitoba.
The city has an ethnically-diverse population of 633,000 (with 695,000 in the census metropolitan area) and is Canada's 7th largest city (2006). Winnipeg is a major head-office city, particularly in the financial services sector and is home to Canada's largest life insurance company, Canada´s largest mutual fund company, as well as its only commodities exchange. Winnipeg is home to a number of manufacturing enterprises for buses, furnishings, aircraft, as well as to fashion-oriented manufacturers and retail chains.
Winnipeg is a city of climate extremes. Its proximity to large lakes and wide open prairies as well moist air pushed up from the Gulf of Mexico have it setting summer humidex records (as high as 53, a Canadian record). On the other hand, its long cold Canadian winters, and wind blasts from the Arctic or across the open prairies have earned it the nickname "Winterpeg".
A number of Red River floods over the years (and the Flood of 1950 in particular) have caused the government to build a Floodway, diversionary canal to the east of the city, protecting the city from such catastrophes. That flood destroyed 4 bridges, collapsed eight dikes, and forced the evacuation of 100,000 people.
Winnipeg is a culturally diverse city, with a strong Francophone (French speaking) community of roughly 87,000. There are also strong ethic communities of those from Scotland (114,000), Germany (106,000), Ukraine (96,000), Ireland (86,000), and Poland (50,000). It is also home to Canada's largest Phillipino community, with 38,000 residents of Phillipine decent.
The city has a rich architectural heritage, with many buildings from early 1900s well preserved. So much so, it was the location for the Oscar-winning movie Chicago, set in the 1930s. Winnipeg has a rich sports heritage and is home to the Canadian Football team, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and many were sad to lose the Winnipeg Jets NHL hickey team. It also has many cultural groups and activities, including the famed Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
For over 6,000 years, the area has been settled by aboriginals. Winnipeg's location is at the confluence of the east-west Assiniboine River and the north-south Red River, about 60 kilometres south of Lake Winnipeg. The name Winnipeg has its origin in the Cree Indian name given to the lake 40 miles north, meaning "Win", muddy, "nipee", water.
In 1612, Captain Thomas Button explored the lands along the western shore of the Hudson's Bay for the King of England. In 1670, the lands draining into the Bay were granted to the Hudson's Bay Company for fur trading. The area was explored by fur traders working for the Hudson's Bay Company (who canoed south from the Bay) traders with and the Northwest Company (who canoed west from Montreal), who fought a bitter rivalry. The permanent settlement began as a Hudson's Bay Company trading post (Fort Garry).
When the Dominion of Canada was established in 1867, Britain transferred almost all of the Hudson's Bay lands to it. The Metis feared that they would then lose their traditional lands to the new settlers in a land rush. Louis Riel, a Metis leader staged the Red River Rebellion (so named, even though battles were fought well into Saskatchewan). This caused the Canadian government to create the Northwest Mounted Police (now the RCMP) to make the area safe again. Riel refused to give up until language and property rights were protected in the Manitoba Act of 1870, when the province joined the Confederation. Louis Riel, however, was hung for his rebellion.
The city grew because of its strategic location midway between Lake Winnipeg and the American border, which constricted the path for an east-west railway, and by 1886, the first trasn-continental train arrived from Montreal. These railway connections increased the city's travel and trade and made it important for the prairie grain farmers as a major centre of trade. Winnipeg grew to become the greatest grain centre on the American continent. Because of its excellent rail connections to the US as well as to eastern Canada it also became the financial, commercial, wholesale and manufacturing centre of the new West. The end of the war brought a second wave of immigrants, who settled mainly in the cities , including Winnipeg. Winnipeg grew quickly, benefiting from cheap Manitoba hydro-electric power and plentiful fresh water, and its location close to the geographical centre of North America.
In 1950, the Great Red River Flood caused 80,000 to be displaced while the surging Red River overflowed its banks. This caused the political impetus to build the great Spillway. This construction project moved 76 million cubic metres of earth along a 47 kilometre path, an amount greater than the St Lawrence Seaway or the Panama Canal. Ever since, Winnipeg has been safe (though not farmlands to the south) from the annual Red River Floods
Moving to Winnipeg
Winnipeg has a mix of older and newer homes, though its population has remained steady over the past several decades. The city has excellent shopping, well-treed suburbs, and has excellent highway access east & west via the Trans-Canada, south the United States, and north to the beaches and boating along Lake Winnipeg.
Winnipeg City Hall