Skip links

Facts about Manitoba for Kids

The province of Manitoba, has an area of 250,900 sq mi, has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Manitoba’s capital and largest city, Winnipeg, is Canada’s eighth-largest Census Metropolitan Area, and home to 60 percent of the population of the province.

  • Winnipeg is the seat of government, home to the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba and the highest court in the jurisdiction, the Manitoba Court of Appeal.
  • Four of the province’s five universities, all four of its professional sports teams, and most of its cultural activities are located in Winnipeg.
  • Fur traders first arrived during the late 17th century.
  • A general strike took place in Winnipeg in 1919, and the province was hit hard by the Great Depression.
  • Peter Filder’s map of 1819 has the name “Minetobaw Lake” marked for the lake north of Portage la Prairie.
  • The province has a saltwater coastline bordering Hudson Bay and contains over 110,000 lakes, covering approximately 15.6 percent or 101,593 square kilometres (39,225 sq mi) of its surface area.
  • Manitoba’s major lakes are Lake Manitoba, Lake Winnipegosis, and Lake Winnipeg, the tenth-largest freshwater lake in the world and the largest located entirely within southern Canada.
  • This region, particularly the Red River Valley, is flat and fertile; there are hilly and rocky areas throughout the province left behind by receding glaciers.
  • Riding Mountain, the Pembina Hills, Sandilands Provincial Forest, and the Canadian Shield are also upland regions.
  • Extensive agriculture is found only in the southern half of the province, although there is grain farming in the Carrot Valley Region (near The Pas).
  • Manitoba has an extreme continental climate; temperatures and precipitation generally decrease from south to north, and precipitation decreases from east to west.
  • In Winnipeg on January 13th the average high is -13.2C (8.2F) and the average low is -23.2C (-9.8F).
  • The Nonsuch, a British ship, sailed into Hudson Bay in 1668–1669, becoming the first trading vessel to reach the area; that voyage led to the formation of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which was given absolute control of the entire Hudson Bay watershed by the British government.
  • Rupert’s Land was ceded to Canada by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1869 and incorporated into the Northwest Territories; a lack of attention to Métis concerns caused Métis leader Louis Riel to establish a local provisional government as part of the Red River Rebellion.
  • The Catholic Franco-Manitobans had been guaranteed a state-supported separate school system in the original constitution of Manitoba, but a grassroots political movement among English Protestants from 1888 to 1890 demanded the end of French schools.
  • The federal Conservatives proposed remedial legislation to override Manitoba, but they were blocked by the Liberals, led by Wilfrid Laurier, who opposed the remedial legislation because of his belief in provincial rights.
  • There is a significant indigenous community: aboriginals are Manitoba’s fastest-growing ethnic group, representing 13.6 percent of Manitoba’s population as of 2001.
  • Manitoba has a moderately strong economy based largely on natural resources.
  • Major private-sector employers are The Great-West Life Assurance Company, Cargill Ltd., and James Richardson and Sons Ltd.Manitoba also has large manufacturing and tourism sectors.
  • 17 Wing of the Canadian Forces is based at CFB Winnipeg; the Wing has three squadrons and six schools.
  • Canadian Forces Base Shilo (CFB Shilo) is an Operations and Training base of the Canadian Forces located 35 kilometres (22 mi) east of Brandon.
  • Transportation and warehousing contribute approximately C$2.2 billion to Manitoba’s GDP.