Manitoba is Canada’s fifth-largest province, with about 1.3 million people calling it home. It is the polar bear capital of the world and offers many attractions, such as beautiful lakes, unique festivals, and museums.
Manitoba is also one of the best places to live in Canada, with an affordable housing market and lower than average cost of living.
This article covers the 10 best places to live in Manitoba, including the cheapest places in the province, the best neighbourhoods, and areas you should avoid in Winnipeg.
Cheapest Places to Live in Manitoba
Here are the top ten cheapest places to live in Manitoba, ranging from big cities to small rural municipalities.
Average rent cost: $1,125 for a one-bedroom apartment
Average cost of buying a house: $401,047
Cost of living: $1,160.85 (single person, without rent)
Winnipeg is one of the cheapest and best cities to live in Manitoba. It is the capital and largest city, located at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers.
With a population of over 833,000, Winnipeg is a popular tourist destination with many museums, parks, markets, and festivals.
It is known as the “Gateway to the West,” as it is a railway and transportation hub with a transit-friendly environment.
Winnipeg offers many employment and education opportunities and has a great health care system. For a big city, it has quite a low cost of living (just over $1,000 for a single person without rent).
Average rent cost: $925 for a one-bedroom apartment
Average cost of buying a house: $289,000
Cost of living: $590 (single person, without rent)
One of the largest cities in Manitoba, Brandon is located in the southwest region. Known as the “Wheat City,” it has a mostly agricultural economy and a thriving farming community.
Brandon hosts numerous art festivals throughout the year and is a great place to go if you like museums and galleries.
Brandon has a low crime rate, great education, and cheap rent at only around $900 for a one-bedroom apartment.
Average rent cost: $793 for a two-bedroom apartment
Average cost of buying a house: $3,000
Cost of living: 29% lower than the national average
Located southeast of Winnipeg, Steinbach is the third-largest city in Manitoba, with a population of 17,806. It is the largest city in the Eastman region.
From 2016 to 2021, Steinbach had an 11% growth in population and is recognized as an immigration destination in Canada.
Steinbach became regionally known as the “Automobile City,” as it is a regional service centre with manufacturing, retailing, and trucking in automobile sales.
You can score a two-bedroom apartment for just $800, making Steinbach one of the most affordable cities in Manitoba.
Average rent cost: $1,252 for a one-bedroom apartment
Average cost of buying a house: $459,900
Cost of living: 20% lower than the national average
Springfield is a rural municipality in Manitoba with urban, rural, agricultural, and national landscapes. It got its name from the presence of natural springs within its borders.
Springfield has many popular attractions, including the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Grand Prix amusements, and various parks.
The cost of living in Springfield is 20% lower than the national average, making it onto this list of the best places to live in Manitoba.
Average rent cost: $700 for a one-bedroom apartment
Average cost of buying a house: $267,400
Cost of living: 26% lower than the national average
Winkler is the sixth-largest city in Manitoba, with a population of about 13,745. Located in southern Manitoba, it is a regional hub for agriculture and commerce.
After Morden and Steinbach, Winkler is the third fastest-growing city in the province. It became the entertainment, shopping, and industrial center of southern Manitoba.
The city has several cultural attractions, including Bethel Heritage Park and the Arts and Culture Centre.
Winkler has quite a low cost of living, and you can buy a house for just under $300,000.
Average rent cost: $900 for a one-bedroom apartment
Average cost of buying a house: $269,000
Cost of living: 26% lower than the national average
Selkirk is located on the Red River, just 22 km northeast of Winnipeg. The city is a popular tourist destination as it is the gateway to the Interlake and the last stop before cottage country.
There are many attractions and events in Selkirk, such as a community arts centre, marine museum, the Selkirk fair, and rodeo.
With a low crime rate and an unemployment rate below 6%, Selkirk is one of the best and safest places to live in Manitoba.
Average rent cost: $750 for a one-bedroom apartment
Average cost of buying a house: $259,900
Cost of living: 11% lower than the national average
Located in the Pembina Valley region, Morden is the eighth largest and fastest-growing city in Manitoba. It is beside Winkler and is known as one of Manitoba’s Twin Cities.
Morden is home to the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre, with the largest collection of marine reptile fossils in Canada.
This city was designated a cultural capital due to its emphasis on arts and culture. Morden hosts various festivals, such as the Back Forty Festival.
With the average rent costing around $750, this is an impressive city with cheap rent in Manitoba.
Average rent cost: $1,200 for a three-bedroom apartment
Average cost of buying a house: $200,000
Cost of living: 27% lower than the national average
The largest city in northern Manitoba, Thompson is situated along the Burntwood River. It is called the “Hub of the North,” providing healthcare, retail trade, and more to the neighbouring communities.
With a population under 15,000, many of Thompson’s smaller communities are isolated and only accessible by winter road or air. Despite this, it has many modern amenities and a few shopping malls.
Outdoor enthusiasts have a lot to enjoy in Thompson, like Paint Lake Provincial Park, the boreal forest, and more.
You can get a three-bedroom apartment for just $1,200 in Thompson.
9. St. Andrews
Average rent cost: N/A
Average cost of buying a house: N/A
Cost of living: 18% lower than the national average
One of the best small towns to live in Manitoba, St. Andrews is a rural municipality west of the Red River.
This town is home to St. Andrews Anglican Church, a well-known historical site in Manitoba. It is also home to Captain Kennedy House, St. Andrews Lock and Dam, and River Road Provincial Park.
Though there are not currently any apartments available for rent, the cost of living is 18% cheaper in St. Andrews than in all of Manitoba.
10. East St. Paul
Average rent cost: $1,382 for a one-three bedroom apartment
Average cost of buying a house: $654,900
Cost of living: 12% lower than the national average
East St. Paul is a rural municipality northeast and adjacent to Winnipeg. It lies east of Red River, while West St. Paul is on the opposite side.
With just over 10,000 residents, East St. Paul is the most densely populated rural municipality in the province.
Visitors can enjoy outdoor attractions such as the Silver Springs Park and Hyland Provincial Recreation Park.
Though the cost of buying a house in East St. Paul is above average, the cost of living is 12% lower than the national average.
Safest Neighbourhoods in Winnipeg
The crime rate in Winnipeg is 44% higher than the national average, so it’s important to do your research if you’re thinking about moving to the city.
Consider some of these safest and best neighbourhoods in Winnipeg to rent or buy a house.
Norwood is a quiet and peaceful neighbourhood, with many people referring to it as “home.” It has a favourable atmosphere, which is perfect for raising children.
Crescentwood is an ideal neighbourhood located just 10 minutes away from the city centre. It is attractive to both children and adults alike, with many opportunities for kids to ride their bikes or play a game of hockey.
Linden Woods has the small-town charm with lakes, public parks, and walking trails. Plenty of recreational activities are available, like parks, skating rinks, and tennis courts. There are also a few different public schools in the area.
In eastern Winnipeg, Springfield North is a neighbourhood with many working professionals and young families. It has a lake, walking trails, and parks, with outdoor activities available all year round.
Areas To Avoid in Winnipeg
Most neighbourhoods are relatively safe in Winnipeg; however, these are some of the worst areas in the city that you should avoid. Most of these neighbourhoods have a lower than average income, homelessness, and drug problems.
- North Point Douglas
- Polo Park
- South Portage
- North End
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