Winnipeg is distinctly different from other cities in Canada and the U.S. in many pivotal ways.
Looking at growth from a Winnipeg perspective can help us identify the unique challenges, opportunities and considerations that influence how we as a city can approach planning and development.
PEOPLE POPULATION & HOUSING
Slow & Steady
Winnipeg’s growth is slow and steady.
We’re expected to grow by about 8,200 people per year between 2015-2040.
We are growing steadily and consistently. It’s often been said that ‘we don’t bust, and we don’t boom’.
We Love Our Homes
59% of Winnipeggers of occupied households are single-family dwellings. Our average household size is 2.5 people.
Occupied dwelling units: 281,050
Single family: 166,955
A Mid-sized City
In 2016 we were the 8th largest CMA* in Canada.
*CMA – or Census Metropolitan Area – includes the City of Winnipeg and the municipalities of: West St. Paul, East St. Paul, Headingley, Macdonald, Richot, Tache, Springfield, Rosser, St. Francois Xavier, St. Clements, and Brokenhead First Nation.
PLACE GEOGRAPHY, LOCATION & CLIMATE
Winnipeg is strategically located at the geographic centre of North America. We’re at the hub of established international trade corridors, connecting us to major markets across the globe.
Latitude 49.8951° / Longitude N 97.1384°
Historically a direct producer of wheat and other crops, we grew quickly as the western extension of the transcontinental railways.
Extreme Temperature Variations
Highest average temperature JULY +32.9 °C
Lowest average temperature JANUARY −35.2 °C
4-5 Months of Snow Cover
Snow falls on 53 days and lies on the ground for 128 days in an average year
A True Prairie City
We’re prone to flooding due to our very flat topography and substantial levels of annual snowfall. Our soil is loamy clay, which is great for farming, but is underpinned by clay ‘gumbo’ that poses a host of construction and drainage challenges.
At the Forks
Winnipeg is in a large river valley at the confluence of two large meandering rivers – the Red and the Assiniboine – with the Seine and La Salle rivers also contributing to their waters.
Wetlands All Around Us
Development often involves restoring wetlands that were backfilled and converted for farming.
POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES
Unique Constraints on Development
We’re geographically isolated, but we’re not an island. There are also no mountains, oceans or encroaching cities nearby, which are contraints faced by many other large North American cities.
Not Part of a Cluster
There are no other large cities nearby that create economies of scale.
One of the Oldest Canadian Cities
We have the second oldest housing stock in Canada, after Halifax.
Large portions of Winnipeg’s sewer system were built nearly a century ago.
Much of our infrastructure is more than 100 years old, including the Louise (1911) and Arlington (1912) bridges which are still used today.
A Stable Economy
Winnipeg has one of the country’s most diversified economies.
Canada’s largest mutual fund company and largest insurance company are the cornerstones of our financial services sector.
Our unemployment rates are typically lower than the national average.