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Winnipeg at night

28 Weird & Interesting Facts About Winnipeg

Winnipeg is a city that Canadians love to hate. It’s rare that you hear a kind word spoken about the place. When I told my brother-in-law, who was born and raised in Winnipeg, that I was heading off to visit Winnipeg in January he said REALLY? In January? Are you nuts? Maybe I am but I plan to discover the charms of the city and see what keeps the 730,000 residents from leaving.

28 Fun, Weird and Interesting Facts About Winnipeg
Winnipeg looks beautiful lit up on a winter night

So here are 28 fun, weird and interesting facts about Winnipeg.

Winnipeg is the capital of Manitoba – and the geographical center of North America. It was incorporated as a city in 1873.

There are 730,018 people living in Winnipeg according to the 2011 census.

The city sits at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers – a place referred to as The Forks.

Read: A Winter Visit to the Forks in Winnipeg

28 Fun, Weird and Interesting Facts About Winnipeg
The Forks in Winnipeg is a great place to eat – year round

The closest city to Winnipeg with a population of over a million is Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota – 700 kilometres away.

The coldest temperature ever recorded in Winnipeg was -47.8°C (-54°F) in December 1879. For a long time Winnipeg was the coldest city in the world with a population of 600,000 or more. Ulan Batar in Mongolia has moved into first place. Winnipeg – because of its geography – is susceptible to polar highs which are in effect Arctic high pressure systems bringing in lots of cold air.

28 Fun, Weird and Interesting Facts About Winnipeg
What a view of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights from the Ice Castle

Winnipeg is covered in snow 132 days of the year.

Winnipeg averages 27 thunderstorms per year.

There is measurable sunshine on an average of 318 days of the year.

The hottest temperature ever recorded in Winnipeg was 42.2°C (108°F) on July 11, 1936.

Winnipeg has been called the Windy City but that is incorrect. It is the 12th windiest city in Canada. Hamilton is first.

On the shortest day of the year the sun rises at 8:24 AM and sets at 4:29 PM. On the longest day of the year the sun rises at 5:20 AM and sets at 9:41 PM.

Winnipeg on a cold January day
Winnipeg on a cold January day

Famous people who hail from Winnipeg include Carol Shields, Clara Hughes, Cindy Klassen, Phil Fontaine, Fred Penner, Monte Hall and Izzy Asper.

Winnipeg’s train station was designed by the same architects who designed New York City’s Union Station.

Winnipeg was the first city in the world to develop the 911 emergency number.

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet is Canada’s oldest dance company. It’s also the longest continuously operating ballet company in North America.

The Winnipeg Art Gallery has the biggest collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world.

Winnipeg has four major rivers – the Red, Assiniboine, La Salle and Seine. The city is extremely flat and is at risk for major flooding. In April and May of 1997 the biggest flood since 1826 occurred. Although the flood affected Winnipeg it was Grand Forks and East Grand Forks that were most affected.

The LONGEST skating rink in the world – that freezes naturally is found in Winnipeg – and not in Ottawa as was recently reported in Outside Magazine. The skating takes you along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers over a length of 8.5 kilometres.

Read: Skating at The Forks in Winnipeg

28 Fun, Weird and Interesting Facts About Winnipeg
It’s great fun skating on the world’s longest natural outdoor rink

Curling is big – so big it might be the curling capital of Canada.

Winnipeg was the first city in North America to build a stand-alone ice tower. Its 20 meters high and within sight of downtown Winnipeg. Its open to experts and novices alike.

The Festival du Voyageur celebrates Canada’s fur trading past and French heritage and culture. It’s the biggest winter festival in western Canada. Every year it takes place over 10 days in February.

Winnipeg is the headquarters for Canada’s grain industry. It is home to the only commodity exchange in the country – the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange.

The Winnipeg Jets – one of the professional hockey teams in the NHL – has an amazing fan base. Although they have the smallest market of all the NHL teams they sold more merchandise than any others.

28 Fun, Weird and Interesting Facts About Winnipeg
The polar bears are definitely a highlight at the Winnipeg Zoo

Other professional sports teams include the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (football) and the Winnipeg Goldeyes (baseball).

Winnipeg has mosquito issues in the summer (that’s why I’d rather visit in the winter) and in fact boasts 51 insect management areas on their public works website.

One of the best diners in town according to Debra Smith a Winnipeg born writer – is the White Star Diner in the Exchange District.

Universities in Winnipeg include the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, the Canadian Mennonite University and the University of St. Boniface.

Canada’s newest National Museum – the Canadian Museum for Human Rights – is the first national museum to be located outside of the capital region.

28 Fun, Weird and Interesting Facts About Winnipeg
The Canadian Human Rights Museum

Further reading about interesting facts in Canada

Click on the photo to bookmark to Pinterest.28 Fun, Weird and Interesting Facts About Winnipeg


Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 28 Comments

  1. Leigh – nice timing. I’m headed to Winnipeg in January too – there is a big Inuit art event toward the end of the month. If you are going to be there at the same time, I would love to meet you.

      1. Darn. I don’t get there until the next week.

        Have a great time – I’ll check in to see if you’ve posted anything before I go.

        We have the Canadian Rocky Mountain parks on our list – so hopefully we’ll be up in your part of the world someday soon. And I’m in Minneapolis – so let me know if you ever get down this way!

        1. @Cindy I’m sorry we won’t cross paths. That sound like quite the set of Inuit art on display in Winnipeg. Have fun and should I make it too Minneapolis I’ll definitely look you up.

  2. My fact is about George (Giorgio) Barone. He was born and raised in Italy, but he moved to Winnipeg (Transcona)1949 were he raised his family. George is responsible for creating the majority of the famous statues found across Manitoba. Hi Neighbour Sam (Transcona), The Viking (Gimli), The White Horse (St. Francois Xavior Headingly), Winnie the Pooh (White River Onterio), Turtle in (Boissevain), Ski Bum (McCreary).

    Another site to look into is

    I still keep in contact with his son who grew up with my dad and uncle. My mom (Jean Delorme)was responsible for spearheading to relocate one of the statues, Hi Neighbour Sam closer to Transcona and have him restored back to his original colors as it sat on Canadian Tires lot for a very long period and was painted Canadian Tire colors. Hi Neighbour Sam also represents the mascot of Transcona and the Transcona Hi Neighbour Festival which will be celebrating 50 years running known as one of the biggest outdoor community festivals still running in Winnipeg to this day.
    Winnipeg is a very big volunteer based City in my opinion!!!!

  3. Hey you forgot to mention BTO. They grew up in the river heights area. Bachman even has a rec centre and theatre venue named after him.

  4. Who cares about the “Musuem for Human Rights” which is a thinly veiled holocaust museum which that has no visitors other than school children forced to visit on field trips because it’s too depressing. Now the taxpayers have to foot the bill for this outlandish Jewish propaganda outlet designed to make everyone feel more guilty for Jewish deaths during WW2 than anyone else who died.

    1. @Daniel With your comment it makes me wonder if you’ve ever visited. I know I found the museum fascinating – as has anyone quite literally that I know that has visited.

  5. Thanks for the fun facts! Minor correction – The New York City train station designed by Warren and Wetmore is Grand Central Station, and the one they designed in Winnipeg is Union Station.

  6. It was fun reading your list, but found some errors…

    The windiest city in Canada is not Hamilton. I believe it is St John’s.

    The Winnipeg Jets no longer sell the most merch in the NHL. It was the Las Vegas Golden Knights at one point, but the lead probably went back to the NY Rangers.

    The station in New York designed by Warren and Wetmore is called Grand Central Station, not Union Station.


  7. some inaccuracies. but still a good read. come one come all. FYI. it is one of the most affordable places to live. And its not TORONTO.

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