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Feb 23 2011

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Manitoba

Manitoba, a prairie province in the heart of Canada, is called the “Land of 100,000 Lakes.” Manitoba has a diversified economy, led by manufacturing, then agriculture, hydroelectricity and mining. The province has a saltwater coastline bordering Hudson Bay and contains over 110,000 lakes, covering approximately 15.6% of its surface area.

Interesting facts about Manitoba:

  • Manitoba is the only Canadian province with over fifty-five percent of its population located in a single city. Yes, most of the Manitoba’s population is in the Capital city of Winnipeg and its suburbs.
  • Thirty-seven percent of Manitoba is covered with forests
  • Hydroelectric power is a very important industry. Manitoba sells hydroelectric power to other provinces and to the US.
  • Manitoba lies in the Canadian Shield where Minerals and metals such as nickel, gold, copper, zinc, cobalt, gypsum are found
  • Manitoba is a world leader in the production of nickel.
  • One-third of the farmland is used for growing wheat.
  • Industries include manufacturing (farm equipment, buses, clothing, and furniture), food processing, aerospace and transportation.
  • Churchill in northern Manitoba is “the polar bear capital of the world”. Polar bears make their dens near the town.
  • Wapusk National Park (Wapusk is a Cree word meaning “white bear”) located in Northern Manitoba protects one of the world’s largest known polar bear denning areas
  • Extensive agriculture is found only in the southern half of the province. The most common agricultural activity is cattle farming (34.6%), followed by assorted grains (19.0%) and oilseed (7.9%). Around 12% of Canadian farmland is located in Manitoba.
  • Manitoba basks in more than 2,300 hours of bright sunshine each year.
  • Winnipeg has held the “Slurpee Capital of the World” title for six years in a row, gulping 400,000 of the semi-frozen soft drinks per month.
  • Lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba are all that is left of glacial Lake Agassiz that once covered most of the province
  • There are more than 120 public and private golf courses in Manitoba, with some of the most scenic found in Hecla, the Whiteshell and Riding Mountain National Park.
  • Winnipeg was the first city in the world to develop the ‘911’ emergency phone number.
  • In addition to producing coins for Canada, Winnipeg’s Royal Canadian Mint has minted currency for 60 countries around the globe.

Time Zone

Manitoba is in the Central Standard time zone and lies six hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.

Climate

Manitoba’s winters are bright and harsh, while summers are warm and sunny. It has a continental climate, with great temperatures extremes. The mean January temperature in Winnipeg is about -20oC; the July average is about 19oC. Wide variations from average values are common in all seasons. More than half of the annual precipitation falls in the summer months in the form of brief heavy showers. Most of southern Manitoba receives 110-140 cm of snow annually with the heaviest snow falls occurring in the northeast, in the Duck and Riding Mountains (160 cm).The northern part of Manitoba, which is more remote and is often best accessed by float plane, according to the Rough Guide to Canada, can be extremely cold, and the entire province receives a great deal of snow throughout the winter, which can last from October to March.

According to Environment Canada, Manitoba ranked first for clearest skies year round, and ranked second for clearest skies in the summer and for sunniest province in the winter and spring.

Southern parts of the province, located just north of Tornado Alley, experience tornadoes each year, with 15 confirmed touchdowns in 2006.

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