Bordered by Ontario to the east, Saskatchewan to the west, and the USA to the south, Manitoba is located on the stunningly beautiful and evocative area known as the prairies. It's a predominantly agricultural region steeped in history and culture, with locals and visitors enjoying an active outdoor lifestyle centred on fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing.
Manitoba's capital and largest city is Winnipeg. It's a fantastic place to explore and located close to its eponymous lake, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. But for those wanting to escape the city, this province boasts a rich cultural history and exciting attractions.
Manitoba is believed to have been first inhabited shortly after the last glaciers melted away, as a large amount of petroforms, also called boulder mosaics, and medicine wheels can be found near Turtle Mountain in the southwest. North American aboriginals went on to inhabit the land before Henry Hudson sailed into what is now known as Hudson Bay in 1611.
The winter months in Manitoba provide perfect conditions for tobogganing, skating, and snowmobiling, although heavy snowstorms are common and those unfamiliar with the terrain should beware of plummeting temperatures, which can drop as low as -40°F (-40°C). Manitoba compensates with equally extreme summers and plenty of sunshine year-round.
During the summer months, a trip out to Oak Hammock Marsh, Riding Mountain National Park, or Churchill, known as the polar bear capital of the world, will reward visitors with an incredible array of wildlife viewing opportunities.
Visitors will savour polar bears and beluga whales in Churchill, black bear and bison in Riding Mountain National Park, and moose in Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Park. All in all, fascinating Manitoba is a nature lover's paradise.
Winnipeg's humid continental climate produces warm summers from late May to late September, and around 20 inches (50.8cm) of rainfall throughout the year. With an average of 2,727 hours of clear skies and around 2,372 hours of sunlight throughout the year, Winnipeg claims to be one of Canada's sunniest cities. That said, winter lasts from late November to early March and can have minimum temperatures as low as -9°F (-23°C) in the depths of the cold season. Summer heats up to 79°F (26°C) at the height of the warm season.
Winnipeg has a comprehensive public transport system that consists of buses, cycling routes, trains, and taxis.
Local bus services are run by Winnipeg Transit, which operates over 80 fixed routes throughout the city. Buses generally run from 6am to around midnight and can be halted between stops after 7pm, provided the driver is given advance warning. There is also a Rapid Transit route in the southwest of the city, as well as a free bus service in the city centre called Downtown Spirit.
The city has a network of cycling lanes, including lanes reserved for buses and cyclists, as part of an effort to decrease commute times. Trains are primarily used for travel to surrounding cities and are run by VIA Rail.
Taxis are widely available and can either be hailed in the street or called in advance. Reputable taxi companies will use a meter which should be switched on at the beginning of the journey. Uber also operates in Winnipeg.