Manitoba is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in Central Canada.
It is bordered by the provinces of Ontario to the east and Saskatchewan to the west, the territories of Nunavut to the north, and Northwest Territories to the northwest, and the US states of North Dakota and Minnesota to the south.
As of April 2019, the population of Manitoba was estimated to be almost 1.3 million people. It is the 5th most populous province in Canada.
Manitoba is the 12th largest province in Canada in terms of total area with 649,950 square kilometers (250,950 square miles).
Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba. The city is named after the nearby Lake Winnipeg; the name comes from the Western Cree words for muddy water.
Manitoba is mostly flat land, with some hills and small mountains southwest.
Baldy Mountain is the province’s highest point at 832 meters (2,730 feet) above sea level.
The province has a 645-kilometer (400-mile) saltwater coastline bordering Hudson Bay and more than 110,000 lakes, covering approximately 15.6 percent of its surface area.
Manitoba’s major lakes are Lake Manitoba, Lake Winnipegosis, and Lake Winnipeg [photo below], the tenth-largest freshwater lake in the world.
More than two-fifths of the province’s land area is forested.
Manitoba has 2 national parks and 54 provincial parks.
Riding Mountain National Park is the most popular park in Manitoba. The park sits atop the Manitoba Escarpment. Consisting of a protected area 2,969 square kilometers (1,146 square miles), the forested parkland stands in sharp contrast to the surrounding prairie farmland. It was designated a national park because it protects three different ecosystems that converge in the area; grasslands, upland boreal and eastern deciduous forests.
The Forks, located at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers near Winnipeg’s downtown core, is the place to be in summer and equally fun in winter. Restored historical buildings now house a lovely market area with unique shops, restaurants, and casual food stalls. Some restaurants feature outdoor patios overlooking the river and walkways that run along the river.
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) is a Canadian Crown Corporation and national museum located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, adjacent to The Forks. The purpose of the museum is to “explore the subject of human rights with a special but not exclusive reference to Canada, in order to enhance the public’s understanding of human rights, to promote respect for others and to encourage reflection and dialogue.”
Churchill is a town in northern Manitoba. It is most famous for the many polar bears that move toward the shore from inland in the autumn, leading to the nickname “Polar Bear Capital of the World” that has helped its growing tourism industry.
Assiniboine Park is a park in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Winnipeg Public Parks Board was formed in 1893, and purchased the initial land for the park in 1904. The park covers 450 hectares (1,100 acres), of which 160 hectares (400 acres) are designed in the English landscape style.
Assiniboine Park Zoo is a zoo that was established in 1904 at the West end of Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg. The Zoological Society of Manitoba was formed in 1956 to provide the vision and funding for the zoo.
Aboriginal peoples have inhabited what is now Manitoba for thousands of years.
In the late 17th century, fur traders arrived on two major river systems, what is now called the Nelson in northern Manitoba and in the southeast along the Winnipeg River system.
A Royal Charter in 1670 granted all the lands draining into Hudson’s Bay to the British company and they administered trade in what was then called Rupert’s Land.
During the next 200 years, communities continued to grow and evolve, with a significant settlement of Michif in what is now Winnipeg.
The resolution of the assertion of the right to representation led to the Parliament of Canada passing the Manitoba Act in 1870 that created the province.
The name “Manitoba” is believed to be derived from the Cree, Ojibwe or Assiniboine languages. The name derives from Cree manitou-wapow or Ojibwa manidoobaa, both meaning “straits of Manitou, the Great Spirit”, a place referring to what are now called The Narrows in the center of Lake Manitoba.