About Winnipeg

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, PLACE and POTENTIAL are the ideal lenses to inform smart city-building.

City of Winnipeg and CMA, 5306.79km squared


Winnipeg Population in 2018 graphic

Winnipeg and CMA area
Our CMA is growing growing slightly faster than the City of Winnipeg.

Sources: see Relevant Links 

Winnipeg population 2035 graphic

Slow and Steady

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

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

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.


Strategic Location

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.

Temperature Extremes

Extreme Temperature Variations

Highest average temperature  JULY +32.9 °C
Lowest average temperature JANUARY −35.2 °C

Six Months of Snow Cover

4-5 Months of Snow Cover

Snow falls on 53 days and lies on the ground for 128 days in an average year

A Flat Prairy City

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.

Low Lying Land

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

Wetlands All Around Us

Development often involves restoring wetlands that were backfilled and converted for farming.


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

Not Part of a Cluster

There are no other large cities nearby that create economies of scale.

One of the Oldest Canadian Cities

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

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.

Now that you’ve learned more about Winnipeg,