43 fun facts about Manitoba that will blow your mind
October 01, 2015
| Author Breanne Sewards
Most of what the world knows about Manitoba is based on movie mentions, Winnipeg’s reigning title of Slurpee Capital of the World, or the fact that we have been colder than Mars.
NASA has even named a plot of land on the red planet after our capital city. But beyond these intergalactic accolades, Manitoba is actually a pretty nifty place here on Earth, with contributions to the world’s wildlife wonders, outdoor phenomenons, first-class festivals and yes, even Hollywood. Here are 43 fun facts about Manitoba that will blow your mind...
Meet our wildlife wonders
1) Manitoba has the biggest mating dens anywhere in the world – that is, for red-sided garter snakes. They come out in the thousands in early May to the Narcisse Dens to mix, mingle and mate. Writhing balls of snakes make for great viewing right around Mother’s Day, so be sure to bring Mom!
2) The Hudson Bay has over 25,000 beluga whales, 3000 of which visit the Churchill area from mid-June to mid-August. And we kayak with them!
14) Manito Ahbee is the largest Pow Wow gathering in Canada, and the second largest in North America.
Take a glimpse into yesteryear
15) The earliest inhabitants of the area were Indigenous peoples from two nations: the Ne-hiyawak (Cree) and the Nakotas (Assiniboin). They were later joined by the Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) and the Dakota (Sioux). Winnipeg is the Cree word for Muddy Waters.
16) The Exchange District is a National Historic Site spanning 30 blocks in Winnipeg's downtown, showcasing turn-of-the-twentieth-century architecture that is unrivaled in Canada.
17) The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden has the largest collection of prehistoric marine fossils in North America, including the world’s largest publicly displayed Mosasaur. We call him Bruce!
18) The world’s largest trilobite known as Isotelus rex was discovered in northern Manitoba can be seen at the Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg.
31) Manitoba has more curling clubs than Ontario and Quebec combined and it is often referred to as the "Curling Capital of the World".
32) The world’s largest curling rock resides in Arborg, Manitoba, located outside of the Arborg-Bifrost Curling Club, the rock measures 4.2 metres.
33) Winnipeg boasts one of the longest skating trails in the world. Starting downtown at The Forks, the trail leads skaters down the Red and Assiniboine Rivers over a length of between 6 and 9 km and features warming huts designed by architects from all over the world.
Meet the characters of Manitoba
34) Manitoba has produced famous musicians such as Neil Young, Burton Cummings/The Guess Who, Randy Bachman/Bachman Turner Overdrive, Chantal Kreviazuk, The Weakerthans, Crash Test Dummies, Tom Cochrane, Bif Naked, Fred Penner, Bob Rock and Al Simmons.
35) The big screen has been graced by Manitoba-born actors such as Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Adam Beach (Flags of Our Fathers, Suicide Squad) and Anna Paquin (X-Men, True Blood). Guy Maddin is arguably our most famous contribution to the directing/producing realm.
36) Olympians? Yep, we have them. The world knows Susan Auch (speed skater), Clara Hughes (cyclist and speed skater), Cindy Klassen (speed skater), Jennifer Jones (curling) and many more – all from Manitoba.
37) We have literary talent too. Manitoba boasts authors Carol Shields, Margaret Laurence, Miriam Toews, Patrick Friesen and Gabrielle Roy.
38) The inspiration for James Bond was famous WWII spymaster Sir William Stephenson, who happened to be born and raised in Winnipeg.
39) Bobby Hull of the Winnipeg Jets was hockey’s first million dollar player.
40) St. Laurent has the largest concentration of Métis people in North America.
41) The character of Winnie-the-Pooh was inspired by a black bear named Winnie, who was named after Manitoba’s capital city, Winnipeg.
42) Paul Faraci invented Pizza Pops in Winnipeg in 1964.
43) Snow White illustrator Charles Thorson grew up in Gimli. It is widely believed that the Snow White character created for Disney Studios was based on a waitress Thorson met at a diner in the West End of Winnipeg.
About The Author
Hey! I'm Breanne, Editorial Content Specialist for Travel Manitoba. First to jump in the lake and last to make it down the River Trail. Lover of croissants, cats, and croissant-shaped cats. Got a story idea? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.