Skip to content
  • located at the longitudinal centre of Canada
  • has over 100,000 lakes
  • elevation ranges from 150 to 831 metres above sea level
  • water makes up 16% of the land surface
  • most of the province lies between 150-300 m above sea level
  • record temperature for southern Manitoba is +50°C
  • provincial capital Winnipeg
  • provincial flower Prairie Crocus
  • provincial tree White Spruce
  • provincial bird Great-grey Owl
  • in Central Time Zone, six hours behind Greenwich Mean Time

Manitoba is the easternmost of the the three Prairie Provinces. and borders Saskatchewan on the west, the US states of North Dakota and Minnesota to the south, and Ontario to the east. It is bounded by Nunavut and the Hudson Bay to the north.

Geography – In the northernmost portion of the province, the land is composed of tundra and permanently frozen subsoil – permafrost. The eastern and northern reaches of the province range through boreal coniferous forests, muskeg and the Canadian Shield. Forests make up about 26.3 million hectares (or 48%) of the province.

Southwestern Manitoba is flat prairie land, the north-easternmost extension of the great western plains. Before settlement, a large area of southern Manitoba was flood plain or swamp. An extensive system of drainage ditches was constructed to make the region suitable for agricultural cultivation.

Manitoba is a comparatively level, flat land, with elevations rising slowly to the south and west from sea level at Hudson Bay. Most of Manitoba lies between 150 and 300 m above sea level, but in the Turtle, Riding, Duck and Baldy mountains, heights rise to 700 m or higher.

Climate – Warm, sunny summers and cold bright winters characterize Manitoba’s climate. The average January temperature in Winnipeg is about -20°C; the July average is about 19°C, but wide temperature variations are common in all seasons. The record temperature for southern Manitoba is +50°C.

The extreme climate is due to the location. Manitoba is far removed from the moderating influences of mountain ranges and large bodies of water, as all of Manitoba’s large lakes freeze during the winter. The generally flat landscape is exposed to numerous weather systems throughout the year, including prolonged cold spells in the winter months when Arctic high-pressure air masses settle over the province.

Most of southern Manitoba receives 110-140 cm of snow annually with the heaviest snowfall (160 cm) occurring in the northeast, in the Duck and Riding Mountains.

The central and northern parts of the province feature long and extremely cold winters and brief, mild summers with relatively little precipitation. It is common to have overnight lows as low as -40°C (-40°F) several days each winter and to have a few weeks that remain below -18°C (0°F).

The summer climate is influenced by low-pressure air masses originating in the Gulf of Mexico, often clashing with drier air masses in the north and west. These clashes result in hot and humid conditions, frequent thunderstorms and temperatures exceeding 35°C (95°F) numerous times each summer. More than half the annual precipitation falls in the summer months in the form of brief heavy showers.

National Parks – Manitoba Canada has just two national parks. Riding Mountain National Park is located in the southwestern prairie portion of the province. Wapusk National Park is located along the shores of Hudson Bay in the north, and protects polar bear denning areas.