Electricity & Gas
Winnipeg’s Hydroelectric Advantage
Winnipeg has some of the most affordable electricity rates on the continent. According to Hydro Québec’s 2016 annual comparison of electricity rates within North American cities, Winnipeg has the lowest published electricity rates for small, medium and large power consumers (i.e., across all three categories studied).
Many locations throughout North America face rising power rates, energy shortages, reliability problems and uncertainty with long-term power supplies. For business owners, these problems have a direct impact on their bottom line and may even affect the long-term success of their businesses.
In Winnipeg, businesses benefit from competitive electrical rates, exceptional reliability, an abundant existing generating capacity and a certainty of future power supplies—given the renewable nature of Manitoba Hydro’s hydroelectric infrastructure.
Natural Gas Resources
As with electricity, Manitoba Hydro is the major distributor of natural gas in the province. Yet natural gas may also be purchased from independent natural gas marketers or brokers. These are autonomous companies that arrange alternate rates and terms of service for the supply of natural gas. Keep in mind that they may offer different rates from Manitoba Hydro, they do not deliver natural gas or provide utility services, and their rates and options are not regulated by the Public Utilities Board of Manitoba (contrary to Manitoba Hydro).
Most natural gas is purchased from sources in Western Canada. The cost of natural gas is subject to change; however, prices are typically based on North American market prices.
Named a Top7 Intelligent Community in 2014 and again in 2016 by the Intelligent Community Forum, Winnipeg boasts advanced fibre-optic networking and digital-switching platforms.
Broadband Companies and Services
Winnipeg has an advanced fibre-optic networking and digital-switching platform, providing the highest quality standards in network integrity, flexibility and reliability.
Broadband providers include Bell MTS, Shaw Communications, Telesat and Manitoba Hydro Telecom. Bell MTS is the dominant provider and has an extensive broadband network infrastructure connecting all major communities within Manitoba.
Telecommunications Companies and Services
The state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure in Winnipeg provides access to the Internet in virtually all areas of the city, a particularly important advantage for technology-based businesses. As well, the competitive telecommunications environment, with several alternative long-distance carriers, keeps rates low in Winnipeg. And with a central time zone location, Winnipeg’s business hours are accessible and cost-effective across the continent. Winnipeg-based firms are served by a competitive range of telecommunications providers, including Bell MTS, Telus, Rogers, Shaw Communications and a host of resellers. Corporate alliances with major U.S. companies ensure seamless provision of cross-border products and services.
Winnipeg has been a centre for transportation and logistics across North America for more than a century. A true trimodal city, Winnipeg offers competitive options within its three modes of transport: air, rail and road.
Water & Sewer
The Shoal Lake Aqueduct: An Enduring Testament to Pioneering Winnipeggers
Winnipeg enjoys an abundant supply of some of the purest water in North America via the ingenious Shoal Lake aqueduct, which became fully operational in 1919 and was designed to support a future population of approximately one million Winnipeggers.
The City of Winnipeg can provide up to 386,000 cubic metres of water per day, with a design peak capacity of 351,000 cubic metres per day.
As well, the city has access to a number of large aquifers, which can provide significant supplies of low-cost, high-quality groundwater. The largest of these is the Carbonate Aquifer. In addition to groundwater sources, Winnipeg is located in a province with abundant supplies of surface water (lakes/rivers). Surface water represents approximately 16 per cent of the province’s overall area.
The City of Winnipeg's first sewage treatment plant was opened on October 25, 1937. Winnipeg became the first Canadian city with a population exceeding 100,000 to install sewage treatment. Since that time, the plant has been upgraded and expanded to become the North End Water Pollution Control Centre. It's the largest of three wastewater treatment facilities serving the city. It provides primary and secondary activated sludge treatment, as well as sludge processing.
The North End Water Pollution Control Centre treats about 70 per cent of Winnipeg's wastewater. It services most of the old City of Winnipeg, part of St. Boniface, all of East, West, North and Old Kildonan, Transcona and part of St. James. The rest of the city is serviced by the West End Water Pollution Control Centre in Charleswood and the South End Water Pollution Control Centre in St. Vital.