The Province of Manitoba
Manitoba is the most easterly of the three Prairie Provinces. The other two are Saskatchewan and Alberta. The capital, Winnipeg, in the south along the USA border houses 60% of the population in the province.
Manitoba borders Ontario to the east, Hudson Bay and Nunavut to the north, Saskatchewan to the west and the states of North Dakota and Minnesota in the USA to the south. See our map of the Province of Manitoba.
Manitoba has some of the best farm land in Canada in the southern part of the Province. The north is a rich wilderness and with over 110,000 lakes, fishing and boating is a favourite past time.
Here are some quick facts.
- Total land area – 649,964 km²
- Population – 1,232,654
- Coastline – 917km
- Capital – Winnipeg
- Language – English (see below)
If you compare the size of the Province of Manitoba to the country of Sweden, Manitoba is 1.4 times larger then Sweden, 16 times larger then Switzerland, 2.8 times larger then Great Britain and about the same size as the State of Texas in the USA.
Population wise, Sweden has 7.5 times more people, Switzerland has 6.3 times more, Great Britain has 50 times more people and the State of Texas 20 times more. Sure must be crowded in some of these places
Manitoba was populated by First Nations people starting about 10,000 years ago after the last ice age. The Ojibw, Cree, Dene, Sioux, Mandan, and Assiniboine peoples founded settlements, and other tribes entered the area to trade. In Northern Manitoba, quartz was mined to make arrowheads.
For many years First Nations people lived in the Manitoba areas depended on the herds of buffalo providing them with food, shelter and tools. The Europeans started to come in the 1600, by the end of the 1800s the buffalo was almost hunted to extinction. Many different nationalities settled to this area.
Henri Hudson was one of the first European who came to Manitoba in the early 1600. Great Britain secured the territory in 1763 as a result of their victory over France in the Seven Years War. In 1870 Manitoba was brought into Canada as a province. But the Red River Rebellion of the Métis under Louis Riel is still not forgotten.
The original Province of Manitoba was a square, one 18th of its current size. Manitoba was known as the "postage stamp province". Manitoba´s borders were expanded in 1881, but Ontario claimed a large portion of the land. This disputed portion was in 1889 awarded to the Province of Ontario. Manitoba kept on growing and absorbed land from the Northwest Territories until it attained its current size, reaching 60°N in the year 1912. More information on Manitoba´s History.
English is the official language in Manitoba. However, in the the legislature and the courts of Manitoba both French and English are official languages. According to a study done in 2006 almost 90% speak English, 0.2% speak only French and 0.9% speak neither. St. Boniface in Winnipeg is a large French speaking community.
Manitoba is home to a wide range of ethnic groups. Here are the approximate numbers, English 23%, German 19%, Scottish 18.5%, Ukrainian 15%, Irish 13%, North American Indian 10.5%, Polish 7%, Métis 6.5%, French 5.5% Dutch 5% and Russian 4%.
Manitoba Tourist Information
Being a tourist in Manitoba is great. There is something to do for everyone, we mentioned fishing, boating of all kinds, bird watching, hiking, camping, polar bear watching, whale watching and more. Take in the Winnipeg Art Gallery, The Central Museum of The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery. Maybe gamble at South Beach Casino and Resort, enjoy hikes and camping in Riding Mountain National Park and the list goes on. More information on Travel Manitoba website