The City of Winnipeg is located at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, almost at the geographic centre of North America. With an ethnically diverse population, Winnipeg is characterized by slow but steady growth. It is the eighth largest city in Canada and dominates the Manitoba economy.
Though there have been fur trading posts on the site since 1738, the first permanent settlement of the area occurred in 1812 when a group of Scottish crofters arrived. Winnipeg was incorporated as a city in 1873 with a population of 1,869 people. The arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885 brought a 30-year period of growth and prosperity unequalled in Canadian urban development. A flood of immigrants, high wheat prices, plentiful capital, and improved farming techniques contributed to making Winnipeg the wholesale, administrative, and financial centre of western Canada. Following World War I, economic stagnation due to low wheat prices and the Depression lasted well into the 1940s.
Since 1945, Winnipeg has grown steadily, based on its position as a major grain, financial, manufacturing, and transportation centre.
Manitoba is a province at the longitudinal centre of Canada. It is one of the three prairie provinces (with Alberta and Saskatchewan) and Canada’s fifth-most populous province with its estimated 1.3 million people. Manitoba covers 649,950 square kilometres (250,900 sq mi) with a widely varied landscape.
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