Manitoba is known for its high population of polar bears and extreme winter weather. However, do not let that scare you as there are lots of people moving there through the various immigration routes. It is home to the University of Manitoba & the University of Winnipeg. Are you considering moving to Manitoba and you are wondering what life is like there? Toyin of ThrivingAsACanadianImmigrant has shared her experience of living in Manitoba in the last 5 years.
Tell me a bit about yourself
My name is Toyin. I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba! I am currently the Director of Project Management Office (PMO), at an IT firm. I also run a platform called ThrivingAsACanadianImmigrant (TAACI) on Instagram, and a podcast under the same name. Through these platforms, I share valuable information with fellow Immigrants on career tips and related information around settling and thriving in Canada. Moving to a new country, especially in adulthood can be incredibly challenging and rewarding if done right, so encouraging and motivating other immigrants is absolutely fulfilling for me.
What was your immigration journey to Canada like?
I moved to Canada in 2016 as a Permanent Resident.
Why did you choose to move to Manitoba?
I chose Winnipeg, Manitoba for a number of reasons.
- .It’s a family-friendly city, and I’ve got young kids.
- It’s not too quiet and not too busy, so I find that ideal in my case.
- I wanted a city where I could avoid the kind of traffic I experienced growing up while living in one of the largest cities in West Africa.
And I didn’t choose the cold, but hey, that comes with the packaging! To be fair, these past winters have been bearable. With the last one, we got the really cold spell in between here and there for about 1-2 weeks, and not the overly stretched out weeks of end bone-chilling cold, so that was nice!
As someone who lives there, what is life In Manitoba like?
I love it in #ThePeg.
Winnipeg gets a really bad rap for being chillingly cold. It is cold for most of the winter, but if you dress appropriately, and plan your stops, you’d be fine. For folks with families, it’s better to have a car, because moving around with kids, without a car can be challenging especially in the cold.
The transportation system is not the same as major big cities, mostly buses and taxis here, no city trains/trams/tube. If you live in the major areas, finding a bus on a schedule will not be a problem. During winter, there may be bus delays and it’s very hard being out for even less than 5 mins in -30C weather!
Cost of living
I consider the cost of living as fair and reasonable, compared to other major Canadian cities.
You can’t compare the variety you have here to that of the US, but there are options. Many major Canadian stores exist here, and if you are on the lookout, you can also find deals to fit your budget. There are also several boutique stores.
For Grocery Shopping: Walmart, Canadian Superstore, Save on Foods, Sobeys, Safeway, also there are a number of stores that carry international products – African, Indian, Chinese, etc.
Where are the must-see places in Manitoba?
One of the main attraction sites in Winnipeg & Canada because of its long history – It’s a significant site where Indigenous peoples met for many years and named “the Forks” because it’s the junction where the Red River and Assiniboine River meet.
- Churchill: The home of Polar Bears
- Assiniboine Park and Zoo
- The Royal Canadian Mint – where Canada’s coins are produced and have produced over 55 billion coins for more than 75 countries around the world.
- Canadian Museum for Human Rights – situated close to the Forks, the CMHR is an amazing building full of so much information, from Mandela to Malala, to Viola Davis, to Canada’s Indigenous peoples, to information on the many genocides that happened in the past! The building is also known as the “beacon of hope”, reminding all who visit, of the struggle to achieve equal rights for all humans. And bonus, the structure is just amazing! Google it!
Keep in mind that, all the above spots (with the exception of Churchill) are all in Winnipeg, which is just one city in Manitoba.
Also, Manitoba has many camping sites and beautiful provincial parks that one can explore.
Where are the best places to live in Manitoba?
I’d take Winnipeg, which is the most populous city in Manitoba. Other cities can speak for themselves 🙂
How easy is it to secure a full-time job in Manitoba?
On how easy it is to secure a full-time job in Manitoba, keep in mind when making applications, it’s about quality over quantity for sure! Also, some people fail to use a tailored resume when making applications which do not play to their advantage. I have shared some good career-related episodes on my podcast and IG, check those out for more! Major places to look when trying to confirm what is available is on Indeed, and on LinkedIn jobs (search by location)
What do you love the most about Manitoba?
I’d say what I like about Winnipeg is the laid-back nature of the city compared to where I lived for most of my life!
Winnipeg is not too busy and not too quiet, IMO! Just great! It’s also got an artsy feel to it! And hey, Winnipeg made Time’s list of The World’s 100 Greatest Places for the Year 2021.. that says something about #ThePeg!
What is the least thing you like about Manitoba?
Take a wild guess!