Province of Manitoba, the best province/country for your vacation
Manitoba is one of Canada's 10 provinces, with a population of 1,190,400 (2007). It was officially recognized by the Federal Government in 1870 as separate from the Northwest Territories, and became the first Province created from the Territories. It is the easternmost of the three Prairie Provinces. The word "Manitoba" is etymologically related to the native word "manitou" which means spirit. Manitoba, in the Red River area, contained the first western colony and settlement area of Canada. Manitoba is the only Canadian Province with an Arctic deep water sea port at Churchill, along Hudson Bay. Manitoba's northern sea port is the only link along the shortest shipping route between Canada and Asia.
Its capital and largest city (containing over one half the provincial population) is Winnipeg, with a population of over 698,000. Other cities with more than 10,000 people are Brandon (over 41,000), Thompson (over 13,000), Portage la Prairie (over 12,500), and Steinbach (over 11,000). A person from Manitoba is called a Manitoban.
Manitoba is located at the longitudinal centre of Canada, although it is considered to be part of Western Canada. It borders Saskatchewan to the west, Ontario to the east, Nunavut and Hudson Bay to the north, and the American states of North Dakota and Minnesota to the south.
The province has a lengthy coastline along Hudson Bay, and contains the tenth-largest fresh-water lake in the world, Lake Winnipeg, along with two other large lakes: Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipegosis. Manitoba's lakes cover approximately 14.5% or 94,241 km² of its surface area. Lake Winnipeg is the largest lake within the borders of southern Canada, and the east side has some of the last remote and intact watersheds left in the world. The large rivers that flow into the east side of Lake Winnipeg's basin are pristine, with no major developments along them. The most southern herd of woodland caribou in Canada are along the east side of Lake Winnipeg. Many uninhabited islands can be found along the eastern shore of this lake. There are thousands of lakes across the province. Important watercourses include the Red, Assiniboine, Nelson, Winnipeg, Hayes, Whiteshell and Churchill Rivers.
Most of Manitoba's inhabited south lies within the prehistoric bed of Glacial Lake Agassiz. This south-central part of the province is flat with few hills. However, there are many hilly and rocky areas in the province, along with many large sand ridges left behind by glaciers. Baldy Mountain is the highest point at 832 m above sea level (2,727 ft) and the Hudson Bay coast is the lowest at sea level. Other upland areas include Riding Mountain, the Pembina Hills, Sandilands Provincial Forest, and the Canadian Shield regions. Much of the province's sparsely-inhabited north and east lie within the irregular granite landscape of the Canadian Shield, including Whiteshell Provincial Park, Atikaki Provincial Park, and Nopiming Provincial Park. Birds Hill Provincial Park was originally an island in Lake Agassiz after the melting of glaciers.
Due to its location in the centre of the North American continent, Manitoba has a very extreme climate. In general, temperatures and precipitation decrease from south to north, and precipitation also decreases from east to west. As Manitoba is far removed from the moderating influences of both mountain ranges and large bodies of water (all of Manitoba's large lakes freeze during the winter months), and because of the generally flat landscape in many areas, it 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. Southern Manitoba is also prone to high humidity in the summer months with the extreme of 50.3°C in Carman, Manitoba, which over took Canada's old record set in Windsor, Ontario. There are three main climatic regions.
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