Winnipeg: Alive with Opportunity

City Profile

Winnipeg is the capital city of the province of Manitoba, Canada
Population: 793,400

  • Good to grow: Winnipeg is stable, diverse and alive with big business opportunity
  • From nearly 400 submissions worldwide, the Intelligent Community Forum has twice named Winnipeg a ‘Top 7 Intelligent Community’ (2014 and 2016)
  • Winnipeg was recently ranked among the top five best places to live in Canada (large cities) by MoneySense

Key Advantages

  • Winnipeg boasts the lowest overall business costs in Western Canada, and every U.S. city surveyed. (KPMG Competitive Alternatives 2014)
  • Winnipeg has among the lowest published electricity rates in North America for small, mid-sized and large consumers
  • Winnipeg is home to CentrePort Canada, the only tri-modal inland port in the country to provide foreign trade zone advantages
  • Winnipeg is one of only two Canadian cities with three Class 1 railways: CN, CP, and BNSF
  • Winnipeg is at the hub of several major continental and global transportation routes, and it’s situated within a 24-hour drive to a population of 100 million
  • Winnipeg is a one-hour drive from the U.S. border

Sector Strengths

  • Advanced Manufacturing

    Winnipeg is one of North America’s most cost-competitive locations for manufacturing, supported by a highly skilled and hardworking labour force, among the lowest published electricity rates in North America, competitive manufacturing tax credits, the elimination of tariffs on the import of manufacturing inputs, and a robust and cost-competitive transportation and logistics infrastructure.

    Advanced manufacturing is Winnipeg’s largest industrial sector, representing 13 per cent of the city’s GDP and 11 per cent of all employment. In 2014, manufacturing sector wages in Winnipeg were 16 per cent lower than the Canadian average. Winnipeg has one of the highest internal rates of return in North America for a new investment by a manufacturing firm.

  • Aerospace

    The home of Western Canada’s largest Aerospace hub, Winnipeg is the most cost-effective city for aerospace manufacturing among Western U.S. and Canadian cities. The city has experienced more than $800 million in aerospace and aviation-related investment in recent years, with strong growth expected to continue into the future.

    Winnipeg’s aerospace industry currently employs a labour force of nearly 4,300 highly skilled workers, which grew by 30 per cent between 2009 and 2014. More than 60 aerospace firms are either headquartered or have major centres of operation in Winnipeg, including Boeing Canada, StandardAero, Magellan Aerospace and Cormer Aerospace. Winnipeg’s aerospace companies produce and sell products and services valued at nearly $2 billion per year.

  • Agribusiness

    Agriculture nourished Winnipeg’s initial growth and continues to feed its success. James Richardson & Sons, the Canadian Grain Commission and ICE Futures Canada (Canada’s leading agricultural exchange) are rooted in the city. Prairie headquarters and thriving agribusinesses—including farm equipment manufacturers, transportation and logistics firms, food processing companies and agri-marketing organizations—make Winnipeg a global agricultural powerhouse.

    While commodity markets like grain and livestock are substantially mature, extraordinary potential for growth exists with functional foods, biocomposites and biofuels. R&D efforts are fertilizing innovative new products for the agri-food and fibre industries, for value-added food processing firms, for manufacturing and technology companies, and for the life sciences and biotech industries.

  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

    Winnipeg’s large and small ICT firms contribute to a vibrant, entrepreneurial and diverse sector serving growth markets throughout the world. The city’s low business costs help ICT companies competing in these global markets achieve better profit margins. Major ICT firms—including IBM and HP Enterprise Services—have operational hubs in Winnipeg. The city is also the headquarters of MTS, one of Canada’s largest telecommunications providers.

    A highly innovative, entrepreneurial and expanding developer community exists here as well, with many high-tech start-ups recognized for providing world-class products and top-quality service. There are 90 head offices in Winnipeg, giving developers opportunities to serve a diverse client base boasting worldwide networks.

  • Transportation & Distribution

    Parked at the intersection of key trade and transportation corridors heading in all directions, Winnipeg is home to CentrePort Canada. The only inland port in the country to provide foreign trade zone advantages-and North America’s largest this 20,000-acre initiative expedites the movement of goods economically and efficiently to North American, Asian and European markets.

    More than 45,000 people are employed in Winnipeg’s transportation and distribution sector, which is comprised of 5,900 business establishments. Winnipeg is the only major city between Thunder Bay and Vancouver with direct rail connections to the United States, and it also features access via rail to the northern seaport of Churchill. The city also boasts a celebrated new airport that continues to win accolades, and some of Canada’s biggest trucking firms are headquartered here.

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