As the largest city in the Canadian Prairies, Winnipeg is often affectionately referred to as the Heart of the Continent. Winnipeg’s long, cold winters mean that the city of almost one million people is also home to the slightly less-charming moniker of “Winterpeg”. However, despite the harsh winters that Winnipegers endure, their spirit and hospitality remains strong. This friendly and welcoming reputation is one of the main reasons why an increasing number of newcomers to Canada have chosen to make Winnipeg their Canadian home. So, let’s learn more about living in Winnipeg, Canada’s most centrally-located city.
Where is Winnipeg, Manitoba?
Winnipeg is the capital of Manitoba. The city is located towards the eastern end of the Canadian Prairies. As far as Canadian cities go, Winnipeg is about as central as it gets, and the city sits at the meeting point of the Red and Assiniboine rivers.
Population and immigrant communities
Winnipeg was recently ranked as the third-fastest growing economy among Canada’s major cities, and is also considered to be one of the most diversified across the country, but that’s not the only thing attracting newcomers to live in Winnipeg, which has been a magnet for immigrants to Canada for decades.
The city may be one of the most isolated in North America, but its appeal among immigrant communities from across the world means that it has become a diverse and multicultural place to call home. One of the strongest immigrant communities in Winnipeg is made up of newcomers from the Philippines.
Winnipeg witnessed its first major influx of Filipino immigrants in the 1980s, and the multi-generational community has grown from strength to strength since then.
Today, Winnipeg has the third-largest Filipino population in Canada, as well as the largest in terms of per-capita population, with just under 10 percent. In 2016, there were over 57,000 Filipino citizens living in Winnipeg as either permanent residents or naturalized Canadian citizens. However, it isn’t just the Filipino community that is thriving in Canada’s sunniest city.
In 2019, 14,745 permanent residents were admitted to Canada and settled in Winnipeg. The total figure for Manitoba as a whole was 18,905, meaning that almost 80 percent of all permanent residents who settled in Manitoba in 2019 chose Winnipeg. Furthermore, the 2016 census data indicates that there were approximately 180,000 immigrants based in Winnipeg, representing almost 24 percent of the city’s total population. This is an increase from 20.6 percent in 2011, and 17.7 percent in 2006. As a province, Manitoba was the province with the second youngest population in 2019, thanks in no small part to the many immigrant families who settled in the province through Express Entry, or through the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP), or via the Family Class sponsorship route. Other newcomers to Winnipeg include refugees and some business immigrants, but the majority arrive through Express Entry, the MPNP, or the support of a loved one.
Aside from the established Filipino community in the city, Winnipeg is also home to a growing Indian community, as well significant British and Chinese populations.