Table of Contents
One of Canada’s Prairie Provinces, Manitoba is located halfway between the Atlantic and Pacific seas. The U.S. states of Minnesota and North Dakota border the province to the north, Nunavut territory to the northeast, Hudson Bay to the east, Ontario to the east, and Saskatchewan to the west. More than 100,000 lakes may be found in Manitoba, one of the biggest inland freshwater bodies in the world being Lake Winnipeg. The province’s land area is made up of more than two fifths forest. The capital of Manitoba is Winnipeg, the biggest city. The name of the province is derived from a Cree phrase that refers to Lake Manitoba’s center narrowing as “the narrows of the Great Spirit.”
When the region that had been the Red River Settlement was accepted to the confederation in 1870, Manitoba became the country’s fifth province. The modern province shares a terrain with Saskatchewan and Alberta and is situated where the Prairie and Central Canadian regions converge. It also boasts a sizable agriculture economy. It is also more like Ontario than the Prairie West in terms of its diversified economy, metropolitan emphasis, and multiethnic makeup.Manitoba’s economy has grown steadily while other parts of the Canadian West have had boom and bust cycles. In a same vein, the extremes that often define western Canadian society have not been present in the province’s political or cultural life. area of 250,116 square miles (647,797 square kilometers), of which inland water makes up roughly one-sixth. 20,21: 1,342,153 people.
Relief, drainage, and soils
The Saskatchewan plain, a region of fertile, level plains and rolling meadows, includes extreme southern Manitoba. The basin that originally housed glacial Lake Agassiz is the Manitoba Lowland to the north. Lake Winnipeg (9,416 square miles [24,387 square km]), Lake Winnipegosis (2,075 square miles [5,374 square km]), and Lake Manitoba (1,785 square miles [4,623 square km]) are the remnants of this glacial lake. The region drained into Lake Winnipeg by the Red River of the North and the Assiniboine River is characterized by upland plateaus, forested river basins, limestone outcrops, forests, and marshes. This river region is mostly made up of a naturally occurring floodplain that is frequently flooded. The issue has been lessened by contemporary flood control techniques, especially the Red River Floodway and the Portage Diversion.
The geologically ancient Canadian Shield, an area of rocks, woods, and rivers, is to the north and east of the lowland. It drains into Hudson Bay through the Nelson and Churchill rivers and makes up around three-fifths of the province. The Hudson Bay Lowland is a level expanse of tundra and bog-like muskeg that stretches about 100 miles (160 km) inland. The Western Upland of Manitoba borders Saskatchewan.
The Manitoba Escarpment is made up of the Riding, Duck, and Porcupine mountains, with Baldy Mountain standing at 2,727 feet (831 meters) as its highest point. From south to north, the properties of the soil vary. Although there are sporadic sizable sandy regions, farming-suitable black soils predominate in the rich zone to the south and west of Lake Winnipeg. Gray woodland soils and lower-quality black dirt can be found north of this area. The soil found in the shield is characterized by podzol, peat, and gray forested areas, making it unsuitable for agricultural use.
The climate of Manitoba is fairly dry with dramatic seasonal variations in temperature. Any portion of the province may occasionally experience winter temperatures of roughly -40 °F (-40 °C), and summer temperatures exceeding 100 °F (38 °C) are not out of the ordinary in the southern regions. In Winnipeg, the typical daily temperature varies from 9 °F (−13 °C) in January to 80 °F (27 °C) in July. January’s average low is -9 °F (−23 °C), while July’s average low is 57 °F (14 °C). The north receives 14 inches (360 mm) of precipitation annually, while the southeast receives 22 inches (560 mm), with almost two thirds of the precipitation falling between May and September. In the south, snow usually covers the ground from November to April; in the north, it lasts even longer.
Plant and animal life
The majority of the open grasslands that formerly occupied the southern portion of the province have been turned into farms. With the exception of the river valleys, which frequently have groves of aspen, oak, willow, and poplar, the southern plains are largely devoid of trees. The more than 148,000 square miles (383,000 square kilometers) of forest in Manitoba are made up of open parklands with ash, maple, elm, and oak in the south; to the north and west, the forest is mixed broad-leaved and coniferous, and at higher elevations, it is a genuine northern coniferous forest.
The northern forests are home to tamarack, white and black spruce, jack pine, aspen, and white birch. The lowlands of Hudson Bay are home to spruce and willow, along with mosses, lichens, and sedges.
The northern forests are home to caribou, Arctic foxes, martens, wolves, otters, lynx, red squirrels, and mink; the more southern regions are home to deer, moose, cougars, elk, black bears, beavers, weasels, raccoons, red foxes, coyotes, and muskrats. Bears that are polar roam the Hudson Bay. The uplands are home to grouse and other game birds, while Manitoba’s ponds and sloughs are home to millions of geese and ducks that breed there. Fish include trout, whitefish, pike, sauger, bass, and pickerel. There are beluga whales in Hudson Bay.
Many North American aboriginal groups call Manitoba home, including the Inuit (native people of the Arctic and subarctic regions of Canada, Greenland, the United States, and far eastern Russia) on the Hudson Bay coast, the Assiniboin and Ojibwa First Nations in the south, and the Cree and Chipewyan First Nations in the north. Despite significant population migration throughout history, the native peoples have lived in the area for thousands of years.
They also became significantly less in number due to exposure to diseases common in Europe, especially smallpox. A distinctive plains culture was established in the early 19th century by the Métis, a group of people of mixed indigenous and European origin who were officially recognized as an indigenous community by the Canadian government at the start of the 21st century. Between 1870 and 1900, European settlement expanded rapidly due to advances in river and rail transportation, as well as the early agricultural Red River Settlement that drew many Scottish farmers. The majority of the first residents were from other parts of Canada, but starting in the 1870s, Mennonites who spoke German and Icelanders also came. Eastern European immigration started to increase significantly after 1896. Following World War II and the Great Depression of the 1930s, Manitoba’s population steadily increased, mostly as a result of natural increase.
Manitoba is renowned for having a diverse population. Within the city of Winnipeg, there are numerous ethnic communities. Notably, one of the largest Francophone communities outside of Quebec resides in the St. Boniface neighborhood, and the city’s north end still has a strong eastern European feel to it. A large Icelandic community grew up around Gimli, on the beaches of Lake Winnipeg; German settlers moved in south-central Manitoba; and Francophones built several settlements south of Winnipeg. Significant ethnic minorities in the contemporary population include Germans, Ukrainians, French, South Asians, Italians, Filipinos, Vietnamese, and Poles, despite the fact that more than two-fifths are of British heritage. The major religious denominations in Canada are Roman Catholicism and the United Church of Canada, but there are also numerous smaller organizations, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Mennonites, followers of Eastern Orthodoxy, and Ukrainian Catholic (Eastern rite) churches. The largest Jewish community in the Prairie Provinces is found in Winnipeg.
Compared to the other Prairie Provinces, the countryside of Manitoba appears older and more populated in the southern region. The early province was clearly rural due to the growth of the Red River Settlement in the 19th century. Rural dominance was preserved by the quick occupation of agricultural lands between 1870 and 1914, as well as the subsequent growth into the Interlake and northwest regions. However, the rural-urban balance shifted during World War II. Since then, Winnipeg and the province’s network of smaller metropolitan centers have expanded in tandem with the rapid depopulation of rural Manitoba. Almost three-fourths of the province’s inhabitants lived in cities at the start of the twenty-first century. The metropolitan area of Winnipeg is home to more than four-fifths of this urban population (and around three-fifths of the province’s overall population). The major towns in the province, aside from Winnipeg, are The Pas, a hub for trade and communications on the Saskatchewan River; Thompson, a town known for nickel mining and processing in the northern forest; Brandon, an agricultural and industrial hub serving the southwest; Flin Flon, A mining hub close to the border with Saskatchewan; Churchill, a port and transshipment hub on Hudson Bay; Dauphin, a regional service town in west central Manitoba; Selkirk, a hub for commercial fishing and water transportation on Lake Winnipeg; and a number of service towns in the southeast, including Steinbach and Morden.
Young people and professionals have been steadily leaving Manitoba for other provinces, particularly the Canadian West, primarily because the province’s economy collapsed in the late 20th century, at least when compared to the economies of other western Canadian provinces. These days, immigrants to the province are primarily from underdeveloped nations. The population of Manitoba has also steadily aged since the end of World War II. The birth rate in the province is somewhat higher than the average for the country. At the close of the 20th century and the start of the 21st, Manitoba’s population was hardly increasing as a result of all these issues.
Although soil types and climate continue to restrict agricultural production, agriculture nevertheless contributes significantly to the Manitoban economy. In fact, some marginal areas, like the Interlake District, have been cultivated for many generations with little success. With its incredibly short growing season, a large chunk of the province is located north of the 53rd parallel, which marks the beginning of the Canadian Shield. Although the majority of agricultural output is grain intended for export, the areas around the Red and Assiniboine rivers have seen the development of a substantial market gardening industry, which grows flowers and vegetables for local markets. Furthermore, the province’s southern districts are home to the raising of hogs, cattle, and poultry, and the livestock industry has expanded dramatically. The province’s principal crop is still wheat, however additional crops grown there are barley, canola, flaxseed, oats, rye, sugar beets, sunflowers, corn (maize), and vegetables for canning. Potatoes, eggs, and dairy products are also essential. An important aspect of the economy of northern Manitoba is forestry. Valuable timber is found on more than 25% of the province’s landmass, despite significant forest fire destruction. A specialized commercial fishing business is also present in Manitoba, mostly in the area of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Winnipegosis, the three main lakes.