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Winnipeg
  • $410   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $867   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1387   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of  Canada)

Most errands require a car. 5
severe wind chill
prairie bison 6
Indians and some asians, Indo Tagalog zone, too many stolen cop cars here, polo park, enjoys witnessing income disparity, more asians, granola crunching, the real housewives of Manitoba, bunns creek hood, land of cars broken into, and hip rednecks beard required are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Winnipeg roommate rundown:

Winnipeg is midway on the Trans-Canada Highway, in the middle of the Canadian prairie.

That's the floodplain at the bottom of the Red River Valley, where the wind is severely chill.

And there's a whole herd of prairie bison.

Roaming.

Winnipeg is officially Canada's coldest city (>= 100,000 residents), with winters averaging 16C (2F). Not as snowy as many Canadian cities, only about 20 inches a year. Winnipeg's relative lack of snow compared to Toronto surprises many.

But you should know, even without snow, Winnipeg's severe wind chill can still kill!!!

Winnipeggers cope with substantial stretches of winter where the combined effect of cold and wind can freeze your skin in about 10 minutes. Winter's severity means safety precautions, or . . . !!!

Winnipeg's relative lack of public transit means if you don't already have access to a car, you'll probably need to rent one until you do. And you may need to tuck it in at night too! (plug your car into a block heater at night, depending on weather and your parking situation)

You'll end up driving in a blizzard at some point. And blizzard or not, always bring enough gear to go on an unexpected walk, for car trouble or other unforeseen reason.

Downtown has a network of tunnels and skywalk with protected walkway. Winnipeg Walkway is like "pedestrian place," or retail habitrail for humans who want shopping multiple places, but all climate controlled! Now that's pedestrian accommodation! (It doesn't go forever though.)

For cyclists, Winnipeg provides an official map with suggested routes plus recommendations, and some urban roads have bicycle lanes. However, Winnipeg will remain most enjoyably biked for their scenic river trail routes for seasonal exercise than all-weather transportation.

Additional bicycle lanes of the future, even though appreciated, still won't entirely fix local cycling for all. Because any snow here increases danger. And even when you're not on actual snow, the snow-clearing sand is hard on tires (not as challenging as snow, but still).

Even in Winnipeg weather that's not snowy or freezing cold . . . is it all melted? Melting snow unpredictably creates muddy puddles and potholes. Puddles and potholes are terrible for bikes and bikers.

So other than the car itself plus the block heater and immobilizer required to tell it goodnight, The Peg sports a lower cost of living.

Winnipeg is home to the largest population of First Nations and Metis ancestry (13%) of any city in Canada. Winnipeggers speak over 100 languages, including one of the largest groups speaking Tagalog, along with several native languages including Ojibwe and Cree.

And over a quarter of residents are immigrants from other countries, including about 40,000 students typically downtown, attending colleges and universities.

Winnipeggers are described as unpretentious and sincere, but really into their local multicultural festivals. Here are popular menu items, are these unpretentious? We'll go with yes, if that also equals delicious::-:: goldeye (smoked fish), Winnipeg-style rye bread (using chopped or flaked rye and some white flour), Manitoba maple syrup (likes theirs better than Quebec), schmoo torte (whipped cream, caramel, and nuts on sponge cake), wafer pie (custard and meringue with graham crackers), Bannock-style fry bread, Mennonite sausages, and meat pies.

All significant communities calling Winnipeg home get seen and heard and acknowledged and celebrated. Meanwhile, almost everyone speaks English too?

Your celebrated community may even be awarded its own pavilion!

And if not, you and your roommates would likely be encouraged to tour everyone else's.

The rest of the Winnipeg roommate lowdown:

  • medium-sized capital of Manitoba, about 800,000 residents in the greater metro area
  • in southeastern Manitoba at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, near the longitudinal center of North America
  • Summers are warm and humid with storms at night, and a lot of mosquitoes. Winnipeg does experience serious heat, just for a few to several weeks. Spring and fall are moderate, but each only about 6 weeks.
  • regional center for government and health care, along with education
  • railway hub
  • hosts the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL), Winnipeg Jets (NHL), Valour FC (CPL), Winnipeg Goldeyes (AA), Winnipeg Sea Bears (CEBL), and the Manitoba Moose (AHL)
  • Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg is also at the airport.
  • home to University of Winnipeg, Red River College Polytechnic, and the University of Manitoba
  • Winnipeg Transit offers buses that work well during the day in the city, sometimes less to the suburbs or evenings and weekends.
  • You may need a block heater that plugs in overnight to keep your car from freezing. But there's plenty of free or cheap parking downtown.
  • Winnipeg's crime rate is low overall, and if you stay within well-trafficked areas, you're probably most at risk for car theft. Rental car and insurance companies have forced some to install ignition immobilizers to combat the problem. Never leave a car parked in a public place with anything worth stealing inside, not even coins. Tell new roommates to seriously consider leaving their cars someplace more secure after dark.



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Winnipeg's:

  • Folklorama: Showcasing Winnipeg's diversity with wide ranging delicious dishes and entertainment from many cultures calling Winnipeg home. Each culture gets their own pavilion!
  • Forks Market: Food court and artisanal market on the Red River. In warm weather, you and your roommates could enjoy libations on a patio. In winter, skate down the river.
  • Royal Winnipeg Ballet: Canada's oldest and longest continually operating ballet. Also a school offering "recreational" (beginning) level classes as well as advanced or professional.
  • Assiniboine Park: Includes The Zoo, the Park, and The Leaf, along with conservatories, sculpture gardens, and theatres. Special focus on polar bear care.
  • WAG-Qaumajuq (Winnipeg Art Gallery): One of Canada's oldest art galleries featuring > 27,000 works, including the world's largest public collection of Inuit art.
  • Royal Canadian Mint: Are you into coins?
  • FortWhyte Alive: 640-acre natural preserve with 5 lakes and > 7 kilometers walking trail, featuring bison. That's a whole resident herd of prairie bison roaming Winnipeg. They're legit Winnipeggers too! But park rangers say you must not bring your dog to meet the bison.


Here's the city of Winnipegs's official cycling map, which will help roommates new to Winnipeg plan routes suited to their riding skills and road condition tolerance.





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.