Winnipeg Rankings

Go Ahead: Put Winnipeg to the Test

“Is that true?”

“They’re based in Winnipeg?”

“No. 1 in the world?”

“The first ever?”

“North America’s biggest?”

 “The only one in Canada?”

“That company went to Winnipeg?”

“He’s from Winnipeg?”

“She’s from Winnipeg?”

“One of the world’s oldest firms was headquartered there?”

“North America’s lowest cost?” 

“Winnipeg won the Stanley Cup three times?”

Admittedly, the last one is somewhat misleading: you’d have to go back to 1896, 1901 and 1902 to an amateur team called the Winnipeg Victorias.

However, if you take just a few minutes to peruse the extensive list of current key rankings below, no doubt you’ll find yourself uttering one or more of the above phrases again and again. Winnipeg is a special place, and we’re proud of everything our current and past leaders have accomplished. But if there’s one thing Winnipeggers seem to exude, it’s a sense that the best is yet to come.

And that kind of momentum is evident here in a way that’s stronger than ever. 

Mark Chipman, co-owner of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets and executive chairman of True North Sports & Entertainment, has said of Winnipeg’s indefinable entrepreneurial spirit: “I think it’s in our DNA now.... It’s a gift that’s been given to us.”

Strength in Numbers: Over 160 Reasons to Choose Winnipeg


Boeing Canada Winnipeg currently employs over 1,600 people.


Winnipeg boasts the largest aerospace centre in Western Canada—the third-biggest in the country.


Winnipeg's aerospace companies produce and sell products and services valued in excess of $1.9 billion per year.


Winnipeg is the most cost-effective city for aerospace manufacturing among cities in the North American midwest (KPMG's Competitive Alternatives report, 2016).


Winnipeg has benefitted from more than $900 million in aerospace- and aviation-related investment in recent years.

175,000 TONNES

Winnipeg's James Armstrong Richardson International Airport is one of Canada's most important airports for air cargo activity. More than 175,000 tonnes of cargo came through the airport in 2013.

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Winnipeg's Centre for Aerospace Technology and Training is one of three such facilities on the continent.


More than 5,300 people are employed by the aerospace industry in Manitoba.


Manitoba exported agricultural machinery totalling $537 million in 2015, the second-highest amount among all provinces. Manitoba held the No. 1 spot for the previous six years (2009-2014).


Established in 1857, Winnipeg-based James Richardson & Sons is now one of the largest private companies in Canada, with annual revenues exceeding $9.4 billion.


Manitoba accounts for about 10 per cent of Canada's primary agricultural production each year.


Revenues within Manitoba's food-processing industry increased by 6.2 per cent on average annually between 2010 and 2015.


Winnipeg-based New Flyer Industries is North America's largest bus manufacturer, employing over 1,350 locals.

77 Successes

Since its inception in 2011, YES! Winnipeg has assisted 77 businesses with job-creating projects that established or expanded operations in Winnipeg.


ICT companies in Winnipeg earn revenues in excess of $500 million per year.

13,800 WORKERS

Approximately 1,290 ICT businesses in Winnipeg employ a workforce of 13,800 people.


Employment in the ICT sector increased 15 per cent from 2009 to 2014.


Winnipeg's ICT sector is highly export-focused, with exports of about $360 million in ICT goods per year and additional exports of ICT services.

4,400 STARTS

Winnipeg's housing starts in 2015 totaled 4,400.

1st in 30 YEARS

Upon opening in 2012, IKEA Winnipeg was the first IKEA in a new Canadian city in 30 years (it's part of the $400-million Seasons of Tuxedo development).


Investments totalling $2.8 billion since 2005 have transformed downtown Winnipeg, especially the Sports, Hospitality and Entertainment District (SHED).


At the time of construction in 1968, the Red River Floodway was the second-largest earth-moving project in the world after the Panama Canal.

TOP 16

The International Association of Macro Engineering Societies recognized the Red River Floodway as “one of the 16 engineering achievements that shaped the world since biblical times.” Others on the list include Stonehenge, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Eiffel Tower and landing a man on the moon.


Over the last five years (2011-2015), building permit values increased by 9.1% per year on average, 6 per cent higher than the national rate.


Winnipeg-based Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) is the first national aboriginal network in the world.


Winnipeg is home to a vibrant film and video production cluster that boasts 377 production companies.

863 JOBS

In 2015, YES! Winnipeg helped eight clients make the decision to launch or expand business operations in Winnipeg. A total of 863 jobs are expected to result.

2,000+ ACRES

There are approximately 30 fully serviced industrial areas and parks in the city of Winnipeg, with total acreage well over 2,000.


Leading local CEOs say Winnipeg has unparalleled working relationships between government, business and academia.

70% LESS

Manitoba Hydro Place uses about 70 per cent less energy than similar-sized buildings.


Winnipeg's average summer temperature is 25.8° Celsius (77.7° Fahrenheit).


Winnipeg's Crescentwood area was voted one of North America's most family friendly neighbourhoods of 2013 by This Old House.


Located just outside Winnipeg, world-renowned Oak Hammock Marsh features 300 species of birds.


Bell MTS Place—home to the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets—is consistently ranked as one of the busiest entertainment venues in North America.


Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Chris Rock, Dennis Miller and Denis Leary (among other celebrities) have all played Rumour's Comedy Club in Winnipeg.


Winnipeg's diverse ethnic communities offer diners hundreds of restaurant choices focusing on regional cuisines from around the world.


529 Wellington boasts Manitoba's highest-rated wine list and was a recipient of Wine Spectator magazine's Award of Excellence.

400,000 SQ. FT.

With square footage totalling nearly 400,000, IKEA Winnipeg is one of Canada's biggest-ever IKEA stores.


Winnipeg boasts nine indoor shopping malls strategically situated throughout the city.


The Manitoba Museum is the first planetarium in Canada to offer visitors the Digistar 5 All-Dome digital projection technology.


When Winnipeg's Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art opened in 1972, it was the first institute of contemporary art in Canada.


Ukrainian sculptor Leo Mol, who resided in Winnipeg, is acclaimed worldwide. His works grace sites around the world.


13,000 season tickets celebrating the return of the NHL's Winnipeg Jets sold out in just 17 minutes.


The Pan American Games, second in scale only to the Summer Olympics, have been held twice in Canada—both times (1967 and 1999) in Winnipeg.


International students studying arts pay about $12,700 annually at the University of Winnipeg, thousands less than the U.S. average


The Government of Canada's goods and services tax (GST) credit helps individuals and families with low or modest incomes offset all or part of the GST they pay.


The City of Winnipeg’s only waste disposal site—the Brady Road Landfill—is expected to have an operational lifespan of 100 years.


Tommy Douglas—born in Scotland but raised in Winnipeg—was voted the “Greatest Canadian of All Time” and is regarded as the “Father of Medicare” in this country.


Manitoba Start provides free services to new immigrants, including job-related guidance geared toward aligning clients with an appropriate employment program.


The average commute to Winnipeg's downtown is about 20 minutes.

585 / 5,170

Winnipeg Transit has a fleet of 585 buses that service approximately 5,170 bus stops.


Winnipeg band The Guess Who released “American Woman” in 1970—the No. 1-selling single in the world at that time.


Located in Winnipeg, the Royal Canadian Mint not only produces currency for Canada, but also has minted over 55 billion coins for more than 75 countries around the world.


Competitive operating costs and a favourable tax environment make Winnipeg one of the most attractive places to do business in North America.


Year after year, Manitoba has consistently been at—or very near—the bottom of all Canadian provinces when it comes to workers compensation costs.


Canada's first Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) apprenticeship program produces specialized employees for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft.


Winnipeg Transit carries about 20 per cent of all people travelling to and from work in Winnipeg.


Winnipeg's water is all supplied via the Shoal Lake aqueduct, a modern-day engineering marvel that commenced operations in 1919 at a cost of $17 million.

38.4 YEARS

Manitoba's median age is 38.4, more than two years younger than the national average of 40.6.


In 2012, StandardAero partnered with General Electric to open a cold-weather testing facility at the airport. Total investment in the facility to date exceeds $75 million.


Since its inception in 2003, Winnipeg's Composites Innovation Centre has completed projects totalling more than $50 million and transferred over 180 technologies to industry.


Since its inception in 2011, YES! Winnipeg has assisted 77 businesses with opening or expanding operations here, representing a projected investment of over $560 million and employment of nearly 4,500 staff at maturity.


Investors Group Field, home of the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers, opened in 2013 at a cost of $204 million.


The University of Winnipeg is responsible for $217 million in new investment within both downtown and West End neighbourhoods in recent years.


Manitobans pay the fourth-lowest combined sales tax rate in Canada (RST and GST).


Total merchandise exports from Manitoba in 2015 were $13.9 billion, of which $9.5 billion was U.S. bound (68.3 per cent).

$1.58 Billion

Local economic confidence remains positive: in 2015, total building permit values reached $1.58 billion.


Manitoba’s total capital expenditures were $12.4 billion in 2014 and increased by 5.6 per cent per year on average over the last five years.


“YES! Winnipeg is a great initiative because it coordinates the leadership that exists in the private sector around business attraction and investment. Winnipeg has a tremendous story to tell and is a great investment destination.” – Riva Harrison (Vice President, Marketing & Communications, CentrePort Canada)


Full-time student enrollment in Winnipeg's post-secondary institutions exceeds 42,000 annually.


Manitoba Hydro, a provincial Crown Corporation, employs more than 6,000 people.

844,492 CLIENTS

Manitoba Hydro currently serves 567,634 electric customers and 276,858 natural gas customers throughout Manitoba.


Manitoba Hydro generates approximately 97 per cent of its electricity from self-renewing water power, so its carbon footprint is minimal.


Among 21 major cities surveyed, Winnipeg has the lowest published electricity rates in North America for small, midsized and large consumers.

20% +

In 2015-16, Manitoba Hydro's export sales represented over 20% of their overall electricity revenues.


Manitoba boasts one of the most reliable electrical grids in North America.


More than 20,000 workers are employed within Winnipeg's financial services sector.


Winnipeg's financial services sector contributes over $2.9 billion annually to the provincial GDP.


Winnipeg is just 62 miles (about 100 kilometres) from the U.S. border and is the major Canadian centre closest to Mexico.


Winnipeg is at the hub of four major continental and global transportation routes.


More than 300 acres of industrial land at CentrePort Canada are now in various stages of development by over 49 different companies.


Winnipeg is a 24-hour drive to a population of 100 million.

11.7% LOWER

Average wages for manufacturing employees in 2015 were 11.7 per cent lower in Manitoba than the Canadian average ($22.40/hour versus $25.02/hour).


Wages in Manitoba are approximately seven per cent lower than the average weekly earnings nationally ($889/week versus $957/week).


Winnipeg's metropolitan population increased by eight per cent or 57,000 individuals between 2010 and 2015.


Employment growth within Winnipeg's creative industries jumped 12 per cent from 2009 to 2014.


Winnipeg's retail sales grew over 14 per cent between 2010 and 2015.


Capital investment in Winnipeg increased by 5.6 per cent each year on average from 2009 to 2014.


In 2015, the average home in Winnipeg was priced at $278,270; compare that to the Canadian average of $443,004 (Source: CREA)


The Manitoba Technology Accelerator assists small science or technology-based business and currently works with about eight firms.


Winnipeg's Composites Innovation Centre recently received $2.9 million in federal funding to enable it to continue its ground-breaking work.


Winnipeg’s Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals is one of the world’s most advanced bioprocessing and product-development facilities.


Innovation is built on a solid research foundation comprised of the University of Manitoba and about 30 R&D institutions.


The Conference Board of Canada predicts Manitoba will be the leader in GDP growth among all Canadian provinces in 2017.


Winnipeg ranks No. 1 as the lowest-cost location for select businesses—including manufacturing, digital, and R&D and corporate services—out of 27 cities in the entire U.S./Canada midwestern region (KPMG's Competitive Alternatives report, 2016)


Winnipeg is home to CentrePort Canada, the largest inland port in North America (at 20,000 acres). It's also the only trimodal inland port in Canada.


Folklorama is the largest and longest-running multicultural festival in the world.


Winnipeg’s French theatre company, Le Cercle Molière, is Canada’s oldest continuously running French theatre.


Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet is the nation's premier ballet company and one of the oldest ballet companies in North America.


The Manitoba Museum is the recipient of the Michelin Green Guide's top award.


The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the first national museum in Canada's history to be located outside the National Capital Region.


Founded in 1912, the Winnipeg Art Gallery is Canada's oldest civic art gallery. It boasts the largest collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world.

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Winnipeg was one of only 20 destinations chosen by National Geographic Traveler magazine for its 'Best Trips 2016' feature.


The Conference Board of Canada considers productivity to be the single most important determinant of prosperity over the long term. From 2010 to 2015, on average, Manitoba ranked No. 2 among Canadian provinces in labour productivity growth.


Winnipeg's 'Class A' Net Rental Rate of $17.58 per square foot in 2015 was the lowest rate among major metropolitan centres.


Manitoba Hydro's business consumers enjoy the the lowest hydroelectricity rates among surveyed cities in Canada and the U.S. (Source: Hydro-Québec, 2016).


The Intelligent Community Forum has twice named Winnipeg a Top 7 Intelligent Community (2016 and 2014).


The Winnipeg-based National Microbiology Lab is the only Biological Safety Level 4 containment lab in Canada.


Winnipeg is the leading pharmaceutical manufacturing centre in Western Canada.


Winnipeg has the highest concentration of life sciences talent in Canada.


Winnipeg boasts the lowest overall business costs in Western Canada and ranks lower than all U.S. municipalities surveyed (KPMG's Competitive Alternatives report, 2016).

26.5 VS 40

Canada's combined federal-provincial general corporate income tax rate in 2016 averages 26.5 per cent—13.5 percentage points less than the average U.S. rate of 40 per cent (KPMG).


Total business tax costs in Canada average 46 per cent less when compared against the U.S. (KPMG's Competitive Alternatives report, 2014).


Winnipeg ranks No. 1 as the lowest-cost location in midwest North America for 17 of the 19 industries studied (KPMG's Competitive Alternatives report, 2016).


Winnipeg's manufacturing base is highly diverse: more than 1,300 businesses employ over 45,000 workers.

13% of GDP

Advanced manufacturing is Winnipeg's second-largest industry sector, representing 13 per cent of the city's GDP and 11 per cent of all employment.


Winnipeg-based New Flyer Industries or its subsidiaries built nearly 50 per cent of the heavy-duty transit buses and motor coaches now on U.S. and Canadian streets.


Canada/Manitoba tax incentive programs rebate R&D investments up to 55 per cent.


Winnipeg boasts one of the best R&D tax regimes in the world.


Winnipeg's four large outdoor reservoirs can hold up to 8.8 billion litres (1.9 billion gallons) of water.


Winnipeg's water supply comes from the Shoal Lake aqueduct, which can carry 386 million litres (85 million gallons) of water daily.


Manitoba has 11 different economic sectors that each make up at least 5 per cent of the provincial GDP.


“It’s helpful to have a resource to assist you in the trials and tribulations of potential expansion...someone who focuses on you. Through its knowledge and contact with other businesses in Winnipeg, YES! Winnipeg bridges the gap that exists for potential new industries or businesses wanting to grow.” – Earl Barish (President & CEO, Salisbury House of Canada Ltd.)


Winnipeg was ranked third among the best places to live in Canada (large cities) by in 2016.


Assiniboine Forest—287 hectares of aspen parkland—is one of the largest urban forest parks in Canada.


Winnipeg gets 2,353 hours of sunshine annually—second-highest among major Canadian centres.


Winnipeg's Osborne Village was voted Canada's greatest neighbourhood in 2012 by the Canadian Institute of Planners.


Winnipeg has one of the world's longest naturally frozen skating trails.


A 2009 Harris/Decima poll found 82 per cent of Canadians preferred their health care system to the one in the United States.


The gap in life expectancy between Canada and the U.S. continues to widen; Canadians now live three years longer than Americans.


Employment Manitoba's two Winnipeg locations offer a variety of free programs to assist both employers and employees.

5,500+ CARS

CN and CP both operate rail/road intermodal terminals in Winnipeg; together, these two firms can handle over 5,500 cars each day.

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Winnipeg is one of only two Canadian cities with three Class 1 railways.


Winnipeg is the only major city between Thunder Bay and Vancouver with direct rail connections to the United States.


CN Rail opened a Winnipeg-based national training centre in September 2014, affirming the city's role as a key trimodal transportation hub.


The Forks National Historic Site is Winnipeg's No. 1 tourist destination, welcoming more than four million visitors annually.


Festival du Voyageur is the largest winter festival in Western Canada.


The Forks was recently selected as the best public space in Canada in a contest organized by the Canadian Institute of Planners.


The $351-million Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the first new national museum to appear in over 40 years.


There are 5,800 transportation and distribution establishments in Winnipeg, employing more than 45,000 people.

1,000+ RIGS

Over 1,000 for-hire rigs are based right here in Winnipeg, and that means aggressive pricing and great service.


Winnipeg's Exchange District is favoured by Hollywood as a location setting for period movies, including The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford starring Brad Pitt.


Winnipeg filmmaker Guy Maddin produced The Saddest Music in the World and the award-winning My Winnipeg, a docu-fantasy about Maddin's hometown.


“We take care of one another. I feel like we’re a small town. We’re just a big small town that has all the amenities necessary to succeed in business.” – Mark Chipman (Executive Chairman, True North Sports & Entertainment)


“To complete a city, you really need to be working on what makes a city interesting. Why do people want to live here? What do they want? Why do their kids stay here? And that's what The Forks can do—make the city an interesting place.” – Paul Jordan (COO, The Forks Renewal Corporation)


“New people coming into the community are welcomed here. It doesn't take somebody very long to soon belong to this community and have the community belong to them.” – Doug Harvey (President, Maxim Truck & Trailer)


“You don't have to be based in the big cities to be successful. We've got a great workforce here, and we can ship anywhere we need to get to.” – Doug Pollard (Co-CEO, Pollard Banknote)


“Winter, spring, summer and fall, Winnipeg is a four-season playground for you and your family, and a great place to establish and build your career.” – Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman


“In Winnipeg, government, business and academia work together. It’s an incredibly supportive business community. We look forward to working with you.” – Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman

300+ WTCs

Winnipeg is a member of the World Trade Centers Association, a network of over 300 such cities.


Winnipeg's labour force is slightly younger than the national average and can speak over 100 languages.


Manitobans' average job tenure is more than 110 months, consistently ranking among the highest provincial rates.


A main driver of Winnipeg's growth is its annual inflow of approximately 15,000 immigrants, many coming via the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program.


Winnipeg's unemployment rate in 2015 was 6 per cent compared to 6.9 per cent nationally.


The number of people employed in Winnipeg grew by 7 per cent (26,000 new positions) between 2010 and 2015.


Manitoba's celebrated immigration policy added more than 130,000 working-age immigrants to the province over the past 10 years. .

451,507 WORKERS

From 2010 to 2015, Winnipeg’s total labour force grew by seven per cent to 451,507 people.

793,507 PEOPLE

Winnipeg's census metropolitan area (CMA) has a population of 793,507.


YES! Winnipeg's clients have projected nearly 4,500 permanent jobs to date (once all clients' operations reach maturity).