Winnipeg: a stable, diverse and innovative city in the centre of North America

Winnipeg continues to grow due to the strength, capacity and diversity of its economy

Winnipeg is the capital of the province of Manitoba and ideally located at the centre of North America. Home to more than 760,000 people, Winnipeg is a culturally diverse and multi-lingual mid-sized city.

An an ordable, vibrant, four-season playground, Winnipeg is known for its friendly spirit, multi-cultural communities and an excellent quality of life.

Diverse and flourishing business sectors, geographic and time zone advantages, a rich natural resource base, and among the lowest published hydroelectricity rates on the continent make Winnipeg an attractive location for business.

Recent investment activity has been strong in Winnipeg. The ten year average for building permit values was $7.9 billion, with phenomenal growth over the last five years.

Why Winnipeg

Situated at the intersection of the Mid-Continent Trade Corridor and Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway, Winnipeg’s ideal geographic location allows for fast, flexible and cost-effective service to all North American time zones – a natural advantage for conducting business across the continent and throughout the world. The city is home to Canada’s only tri-modal inland port and foreign trade zone, CentrePort Canada. With up to 20,000 acres of available land and tax increment financing options, CentrePort is a unique gateway to international markets.

The third largest aerospace centre in the country, Winnipeg is ranked by KPMG and IBM as the most cost-effective city for aerospace manufacturing in North America and is home to a leading-edge GE aircraft engine R&D centre and one of the world’s largest independent repair firms for small turbine engines.

Over 30 R&D institutions and one of the best R&D tax regimes in the world are the foundation of Winnipeg’s life sciences sector. The city boasts cutting-edge R&D centres including the National Centre for Agri-Food Research in Medicine, the National Research Council’s Institute for Biodiagnostics and the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health. This facility is the first one of its kind in the world, and Canada’s only level 4 biocontainment lab.

Agriculture has always nurtured Winnipeg’s growth. As a result of its historical strength in food products manufacturing and commercialization, plus agricultural production and R&D, the city is emerging as a major player in functional foods and nutraceuticals, bio-composites and bio-fuels. The Canadian Grain Commission, the Canadian International Grains Institute, the majority of Canada’s grain handling companies and ICE Futures Canada – Canada’s leading agricultural exchange – are all rooted here.

Business advantage

Winnipeg’s stable and growing economy offers businesses abundant opportunities in a broad range of industries in a low cost, geographically strategic, North American location. The province’s immigration policy - and with it the capacity to target and attract a highly skilled labour force - also sets the city apart.

Embracing collaboration and innovation is an integral part of Winnipeg’s business culture. The Intelligent Community Forum recognized Winnipeg as one of the world’s top 21 Smart Communities of 2011 and 2012 for its use of broadband technology to facilitate social and economic development; chosen from a field of more than 400.

In addition, KPMG’s Competitive Alternatives 2012 ranked the city as having mid-west North America’s lowest overall business costs. Complementing this is the fact that Winnipeg’s virtually carbon-free electricity is provided by Manitoba Hydro and offers among the lowest published electricity rates in North America.

Future plans

Winnipeg continues to grow. Some of the major projects currently planned and underway:

  • The $350 million Canadian Museum for Human Rights is Canada’s first national museum located outside the nation’s capital. Proposed to open in 2014
  • More than $200 million in road and bridge infrastructure is being constructed for Canada’s first inland port, CentrePort Canada
  • A more than $1.2 billion water treatment infrastructure is being developed, important for commercial activity
  • The Winnipeg Convention Centre is planning a significant expansion of more than 23,300 square meters that will see it double its current capacity
  • The Red River Exhibition Association is planning a $140 million expansion that would see it add a 5,000 seat arena and 300,000 square feet of convention space.

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