What attracts people to Winnipeg?
Whether it’s the cost of living, a new career, or simply looking for a better life, Winnipeg has many aspects that make it attractive.
Housing In Winnipeg
Like all other areas of North America, housing in Winnipeg has been on a significant rise, making it very difficult for first-time homebuyers. However, even with prices soaring, Winnipeg housing is still much less than in other major cities in Canada. Winnipeg is one of the few cities where you can find a livable home for $200,000-$300,000. Something that may cost $900,000 in Toronto could be $400,000 in Winnipeg. Although more complex, the dream of owning your own home is still possible in Winnipeg.
Winnipeg is a melting pot of cultures. With its affordable living and welcoming of newcomers, you have cultures and ethnicities of people from all over the world. Not only does it make the city unique, but the spices and foods available, one can find any country’s famous dishes and recipes. Winnipeg is well known for its diverse and delicious restaurants, often making it difficult to choose just one.
What is life like in Winnipeg?
What is life like in Winnipeg? Let’s go over some truths and myths about Winnipeg. The truth is Winnipeg is a major city with a small-town feel. Some love it; some will hate it. It has all the big city amenities, entertainment, schools, and sports teams, but it still feels like a small town. It has a more relaxed vibe, which may be why it lacks the big city feel. Winnipeg has two degrees of separation, meaning you’ll usually know someone that knows someone. Some want Winnipeg to make the leap to a big city, while others are happy with the way it is. No one complains more about Winnipeg than Winnipeggers, but they’ll also fight to the death defending it if an outsider pokes fun of it.
It gets cold here, freezing, at times unbearably cold. In the winter, temperatures can often reach -35 to -40 degrees Celsius. The real cold starts in December and usually lasts until February, then slowly starts to warm up. There will be warmer days mixed in there, so it’s not always cold. But you dress for the occasion, and you get used to it.
Driving in Winter
Driving in winter can be extremely difficult for someone who has never driven in snow and ice. However, it is manageable if you are patient and give yourself plenty of room between the car in front of you. When driving in winter, you can expect it to take 10-20% longer to reach your destination than in summer.
Walking in Winter
It is challenging if you’ve never walked on an icy pathway. You can severely injure yourself with a tiny slip and be on a long road to recovery. A good pair of winter boots help, but even the best ones won’t always prevent you from slipping on the ice. When possible, go around icy areas. If not, walk like a penguin. Although it may sound silly, it helps you maintain your balance. See this video below:
With the great cold comes excellent summers. Winnipeg has some of the best summers in North America. With some of the longest days with the most, Winnipeg summers are where memories are made. A long cold winter makes one appreciate the hot summer days. The daylight will often last past 10 pm in the summer.
The great summer weather and nearby lakes make for an excellent day trip or short weekend vacation.
As fantastic as the summers are in Winnipeg, mosquitoes are one downside. Every year is different; sometimes, they are terrible, and other times they are barely noticeable. If it’s sweltering, they are often hiding, but when the sun goes down, you better have bug spray or be prepared to take cover.
Sadly, Winnipeg is known for it’s crime, and one of the main concerns for newcomers is their safety. Although there is a lot of crime in Winnipeg, it is usually congested in a small area north of downtown Winnipeg. The truth is that most of Winnipeg is safe, if not safer, than other major cities. In some areas, you may not want to be walking alone at night, but for the most part, Winnipeg is relatively safe, with friendly, amazing people.
The license plates say “Friendly Manitoba,” and it is true. Winnipeg has a small-town feel, meaning people are generally friendlier and willing to help. Walking down the street, it’s not uncommon for people to smile and say “hello.”
In most major cities, downtown is where all the action is. But Winnipeg, it lacked that for decades. Due to crime, poor housing options, and a lack of grocery stores, there wasn’t much going on downtown. However, with the return of Winnipeg’s NHL hockey team, the Jets, downtown has seen significant improvement. Downtown Winnipeg has started revitalizing with new condos, accessible groceries, and many new restaurants, and it is now quite safe. Rather than avoiding downtown, people are now looking forward to the entertainment and events there.
With the Winnipeg Jets returning to Winnipeg, Winnipeg has become a sports town.
In the summer, Winnipeggers can enjoy the Goldeyes, a minor-league baseball team who plays out of Shaw Park. Shaw Park is a beautiful baseball park located downtown near the Forks Market. Tickets are affordable, there is a ton of entertainment for the kids, and food choices galore.
Winnipeg has a Canadian Football League team, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The Blue Bombers play out of IG Field near the University of Manitoba. Although it is in southern Winnipeg, the city provides multiple options for transportation. Winnipeg has been the top team in the CFL for the last few years, and they hope to continue that going forward.
In 2017, Winnipeg added Valour FC, a local soccer (football) team that also plays out of IG field. The popularity of soccer has grown significantly over the past few years in Winnipeg.
As you can see, like every major city, Winnipeg has its ups and downs, but there is a lot to love. People will often leave thinking things are better elsewhere but return to the place they call home.