Winnipeg is a cosmopolitan city rich in culture and history: it is a cradle of famous sites, world flavors, and world-class ballet. Historically known as the ‘Heart of the Continent’ and the ‘Bullseye’ of the Dominion, Winnipeg plays important role in Canada’s education, finance, manufacturing, agriculture, and transportation.

The area of the city was first settled by the French in 1738, with the first fur trading post being established under the name Fort Rouge. For several decades, the French continued trading in the area, until the Hudson’s Bay Company set foot on Canadian soil. In 1812, Hudson’s Bay erected Fort Douglas while Fort Gibraltar was built by the North West Company three years earlier. The two companies competed with each other, trying to get upper hand over the trade in the region. The rivalry ended in 1821 when the two entities merged under the leadership of Hudson’s Bay. With the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, Winnipeg faced financial hardships as the canal reduced the reliance of the country on the rail system for its international trade. The Great Depression also cast a heavy blow at Winnipeg, with massive unemployment on the rise. The city headed on the way to sustainable development after the City of Winnipeg Act was passed in 1971. The Act postulated the incorporation of the city, uniting 11 municipalities, among which Transcona, Forth Garry, St. James, St. Vital, and Tuxedo.

Today, Winnipeg is a regional center which boosts a diversified economy. The key sectors represented in the city are tourism, transportation, industry, retail, beverage and food production, manufacturing, finance, government, and culture. The Conference Board of Canada has recognized Winnipeg as the 3rd fastest growing economy among the major cities in the country. Not surprisingly, Winnipeg is the largest city in the province of Manitoba, with a population of close to 700,000 residents. The average age of the population is 38.7 years, with persons nineteen years old and younger accounting for 24.3 percent of the resident population.

Winnipeg lies in the Red River Valley which has a flat topography. Located to the east of the Canadian Prairies, the city is close to many parks and lakes. Four rivers flow through the region: Seine River, La Salle River, Assiniboine River, and Red River. The region has a humid continental climate with temperature extremes. Snow covers the city from November to March, with temperatures during the winter season remaining below 0°C. The summers are humid and temperatures rise above 30°C 14 days of the year.

Visitors of the city should know that the city has claimed a Guinness Record for having the World’s longest skating rink. In terms of entertainment, Winnipeg offers a variety of options such as paying a visit to its public art gallery – the Winnipeg Art gallery – which is the 6th largest in the country. The gallery features photographic, contemporary, and decorative art, together with Innuit works and Flemish tapestries. Other must see places are the largest museum of Winnipeg – the Manitoba Museum, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Manitoba Theatre Center, which is the oldest regional English-speaking Theatre, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra: the oldest and largest musical ensemble in the city.