Is Winnipeg a Good Place to Live?

Winnipeg in a nutshell? A city with bad weather but a vibrant art and culture scene, low cost of living, and good food. If it were us, good food would have won us over. Nevertheless, let’s get comprehensive and talk about Winnipeg and everything there is to know about it before you decide to move here.

With all its natural beauty and small-town feels, some might call it a winner; however, there’s more to Winnipeg. Here’s a comprehensive guide to Winnipeg so you can decide for yourself. Is Winnipeg an excellent place to live?

The History Of Winnipeg

The eighth-largest city in Canada has quite a history. Winnipeg is located almost at the center of North America geographically and at the junction of the Red River and the Assiniboine River.

Winnipeg’s first settlers arrived in 1812. This was a group of Scottish crofters. Since then, Winnipeg has grown to be big enough to be called a city.

It was incorporated as a city in 1873, and at that time, the city’s population went from a small group of Scottish crofters to 1,869 people. Winnipeg began growing steadily and grew even further when the Canadian Pacific Railway arrived in 1885.

For 30 years, Winnipeg grew and grew. It’s had its ups and downs, but now, it is one of the prime financial areas in central Canada.

The Overall Feel Of Winnipeg

Winnipeg does feel like a small town but isn’t as small as most people think. It has a population of over 700,000. It does offer a lot of the amenities and opportunities that you can’t find in other equally sized cities.

It’s a perfectly sized city with a cost of living that is cheaper than in bigger cities. Because of that, it’s a great place to raise a family. It’s known for its art and cultural scene. It also offers many opportunities for you to immerse yourself in nature.

There are many winter activities you can enjoy and parks you can relax in. Winnipeg, however, is quite far from major metropolitan cities. The closest one is Minneapolis which is about 8 hours away.

The weather, however, is a problem for a lot of people. Winters can be freezing, so you’ll have to prepare for it. As for people, most of them are friendly in Winnipeg.

What You Need To Know About Winnipeg

Diving deep, we’ll discuss crucial factors influencing your decision, including unemployment rates, housing markets, and healthcare.

1. Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate in Winnipeg as of February was 5.5%, an average rate, but it decreased from the February 2020 rate. However, businesses are still struggling with staff shortages. Most businesses are looking to hire again because business is picking back up after the pandemic.

This is a good sign as it means the job market in Winnipeg is pretty good at the moment. Your job or field might be in demand right now.

2. Crime Rate

Unfortunately, Winnipeg has one of the highest homicide rates in Canada. Some even go so far as to say this is one of the murder capitals in Canada. The crime rate was 4.93, resulting from many factors, primarily drugs, gangs, unaddressed mental health issues, and poverty.

Criminologists believe that to address this rate; the government must address those key factors. Nonetheless, the police are working hard to get the crime rate down. Reports and suggestions have been made. Governments are slowly addressing these root causes, which is a good sign.

3. Education

Winnipeg is a stunning city and is home to the University of Winnipeg, a top university featuring smaller classes for more engaging discussions and a diverse student body. Aside from this university, Winnipeg’s school division has 78 schools offering varying education. Some schools are just high, and some are for middle schoolers.

Nonetheless, it is a large school division. To find a school, download the Find a School app and fill in the information the app asked for. You’ll be given choices of schools near you; all you have to do is pick one.

Note that elementary means schools nursery to 6th Grade, junior high means 7th grade to 8th Grade, and senior high school means 9th Grade to 12th Grade. For more information, visit the Winnipeg School Division website.

4. Housing Cost

Housing costs have decreased this year. Winnipeg has one of the cheapest housing markets, with the average price being $401,047. This stunning city is underrated, but most locals prefer it that way.

After all, higher demand for homes means higher prices. Prices for homes have also decreased this year. Detached homes are priced at an average of $440,000, and the attached homes are priced at an average of $349,000.

Finally, condominiums are priced at an average of $261,000. Now, let’s take a quick look at the cost of living. The cost of living without rent for a family of 4 is around $4,000, while a single person’s monthly cost without rent would be around $1,000.

5. Healthcare

Like places in Ontario, Winnipeg residents may avail of the Manitoba Health Services Insurance Plan or the MHSIP. This means that residents of Manitoba, including those of Winnipeg, will be able to avail of this. The plan will cover certain physician services, including doctor visits, prescriptions, and specific tests that need to be done.

Those eligible for coverage are Canadian citizens with a permanent residence in Manitoba and who physically resided in Manitoba for at least six months. Those who have immigration status by either being permanent residents or having work permit holders may also be eligible for coverage. You’ll need to visit the Manitoba Government website for more information on this plan.

Let’s Summarize these Stats

Unemployment RateCrime RateEducationHousing CostsHealthcare
The unemployment rate in Winnipeg is 5.5%One of the highest homicide rates in CanadaHome to the University of WinnipegDetached homes are priced at an average of $440,000Residents can avail of the Manitoba Health Services, which covers doctor’s visits, prescriptions, tests, etc.
Businesses are struggling with staff shortages and are looking to hire again.Key factors that add to this rate are drugs, gangs, unaddressed mental health issues, and poverty.Winnipeg has 78 schools.The attached homes are priced at an average of $349,000Those eligible are Canadian citizens and those with immigration status as long as they live in Manitoba
   Condominiums are priced at an average of $261,000 

Pros Of Living In Winnipeg

Let’s tackle some pros to living in Winnipeg.

1. Great Cultural Scene

The first pro is its great cultural scene. Winnipeg has tons of culture and vibrant art. The city and its infrastructure will show you how beautiful and culturally integrated this city is. It is also home to many art galleries, including the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

2. Affordable Homes

Winnipeg’s homes are incredibly affordable. Just looking at the average prices of homes will prove my point. While the average home in Winnipeg costs a little over $400,000, others, such as Hamilton, will have an average of over $1 million, which is incredibly high and very different from Winnipeg’s.

Locals enjoy how affordable Winnipeg is. Some will be earning money just enough to buy an apartment in bigger cities like Toronto, but in Winnipeg, they’ll be able to buy a home. It’s drool-worthy for a lot of people.

Because of how affordable it is to live in Winnipeg, it’s also a great place to raise a family. The educational system isn’t too bad as well. After all, the city does have a great university.

Cons Of Living In Winnipeg

Balancing it out, we’ll list down a few cons as well.

1. Intense Weather

What most locals complain about is the weather. The weather in Winnipeg can be extreme, and the cold in winter can stay until March, so be sure to wear a coat until then. Winters are freezing and is the ‘infamous’ season in Winnipeg, and it’s the source of most complaints.

2. Far From Big Cities

Another con is its distance from big cities. Most people prefer living in a small city close to a big, metropolitan one because those big cities often have better healthcare, opportunities, and the like. Unfortunately, the closest big city is Minneapolis, about 8 hours away from Winnipeg.

The Final Verdict

Winnipeg is a great city overall, with beautiful people and stunning surroundings. You’ll feel like living in a small town with big-city opportunities. Winnipeg also has an affordable housing market which is very appealing to many people.

Not to mention they have great art and cultural scenes. Artsy kids rejoice! Despite the rough winters and the distance from any big city, Winnipeg is a loved city, and tons of locals recommend living in it. If you don’t want to move to the city, give it a visit.

Check Out: Is Nanaimo a Good Place to Live? and Is Ottawa a Good Place to Live?

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