Confederation date: July 15, 1870
Population (2006): 1,148,401
License plate: Friendly Manitoba
Capital: Winnipeg

Name Origin:

The name Manitoba originated in the languages of the Aboriginal people who lived on the Prairies and travelled the waters of Lake Manitoba. At the Lake Manitoba Narrows a strong wind can send waves washing against the limestone rocks of an offshore island. The unique sound from the waves is said to be the Manitou, or Great Spirit (in Ojibway, “Manito-bau“). The legend survives in the Province’s name – Manitoba.

In early May 1870, Sir John A. Macdonald announced that a new province was to enter Confederation under the Manitoba Act. He said the province’s name had been chosen for its pleasant sound and its associations with the original inhabitants of the area.

The Manitoba Act received royal assent on May 12, 1870 and took effect July 15th of that year.

Both the Cree and Assiniboin terms, and the legends and events associated with their use, are preserved forever in the name Manitoba. A plaque commemorating its origin is located on the east side of the Lake Manitoba Narrows.

Province’s Motto:

GLORIOSUS ET LIBER – Glorious and free

Province’s Symbols:

Tree: White Spruce [Chosen because of its extensive use by early and modern cultures. It’s easy to recognize and looks good. It’s worth a lot, and can be found around most of Manitoba. The white spruce is also capable of growing in most climatic and environmental conditions of the province]
Bird: Great Gray Owl [Adopted on July 16, 1987. They live year-round all over Manitoba and has a wingspan of up to 1.3 metres – that’s 51.8 inches!]
Floral: Crocus [Adopted on March 16, 1906. It’s an early spring flower, also known as the “Prairie Crocus”, and was chosen by school children as the floral emblem of the province.]

Average Temperature:

Brandon: July (18˚ C/64.4 ˚F) January (-18.4˚ C/ -1.12 ˚F)
Thompson: July (15.7˚ C/60.26 ˚F) January (-25˚C/-13 ˚F)
Churchill: July (18.8˚ C/65.84 ˚F) January (-26.9˚C/-16.42 ˚F)

Population of Canada in 2006: 31,612,897
Population of Manitoba in 2006: 1,148,401
Population of Winnipeg in 2006: 633,451

Manitoba has quite a population mix: People from every continent and virtually every country in the world provide a wide variety of cultures. The Aboriginal people were joined by the Scottish Selkirk settlers in 1811, English and French Canadians after confederation in 1870, followed by Russian Mennonites, Icelanders, Ukrainians and Germans in subsequent years. Post World War 2 saw more immigration from Europe and most recently from the Caribbean, South America, Africa and Asia.

Latest Provincial Parks:
Criddle / Vane Homestead, Manitoba’s 79th provincial park was designated on February 24, 2004.

The park is located in southwestern Manitoba about 40 kilometres southeast of Brandon, and is composed of a 130 hectare area that preserves and protects the heritage value of the former homestead of the Criddle/Vane family. The park also protects representative features of the Assiniboine Delta Natural Region including mixed-grass prairie. The Park accommodates nature-oriented recreational and educational opportunities and experiences that are respectful of the natural setting and historic environment.

Manigotagan River Provincial Park, Manitoba’s 80th provincial park was designated on December 1, 2004. It was initially established as a Park Reserve in March 1997 and renewed in 2002 to enable additional community consultation.

The park is located in southeastern Manitoba about 150 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, and displays all the spectacular vistas and uniquely Canadian settings of the bedrock-controlled forests of the Canadian Shield. The Manigotagan is a challenging whitewater river just hours by road from the population centre of the province. The community of Manigotagan sits at the river’s mouth, on the shores of magnificent Lake Winnipeg.

Still on the Books – can you believe it?
In Winnipeg, it is illegal to provoke an alligator in a fight. Although apparently,
you have to poke it, sit on it, and pull its tail before it is considered “illegally

It is an offence to reside live in a bus, railcar, streetcar, or truck in Thompson.


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