Winnipeg and Life in the Prairies - Winnipeg Rental Guide
Out in the prairies lives the city of Winnipeg. It is the capital city of Manitoba and the most populated city in the province. Finding a home in Winnipeg is perfect for those with a budget. It offers some of the most affordable housing prices in all of Canada. It’s Exchange District is lined with beautiful historic buildings—some of which have been converted into apartments. For those with children, Winnipeg has events and festivals for the entire family. From indoor play centres and zoos to water parks and playgrounds, it has it all. Winnipeg has an ethnic community that has brought all of their delicious cuisines to the city for you to try. Whether you like tapas, sushi, Greek or fast food—you will find it in Winnipeg.
The climate in Winnipeg is colder than Toronto. However, it is one of the sunniest cities in the country! Summer temperatures range between 19.5 to 25.5 degrees Celsius. From May to August, you can expect pleasant temperatures. For Winnipeg winters, buy a nice parka for yourself. Winnipeg winters are cold and windy. The winter weather spans November to March. Expect temperatures between -22.8 to -12.7 degrees Celsius during this period. If you love snowfall, you’ll love Winnipeg. The average snowfall is 20 cm in the month of January. Put on that parka, a nice pair of wellies and explore Winnipeg in our guide to renting!
Where to live in Winnipeg - The City of the Prairies
Apartments for rent in Winnipeg are generally very affordable and there are over 220 neighbourhoods to choose from allowing you to find the perfect place for your lifestyle. Winnipeg covers 464.1 km 2 of land which offers a lot of space for you to explore. To help you navigate your way around the various neighbourhoods, here are three to consider when moving to Winnipeg:
Beaumont finds itself nestled in between University of Manitoba and the downtown core. This is a perfect location for both families and students. There are a wide range of Beaumont apartments for rent including homes, condominiums and apartments. There are 6 elementary schools in the area and 2 secondary schools for those with children. Recreation in the area is also extensive—there are golf courses, soccer complex and the Pan Am pool. Additionally, you can find 3 outdoor rinks, 1 indoor arena, 2 tennis courts, an outdoor pool and skiing trails. Shopping in the area is also convenient. Residents head to the shops by Pembina Highway or head north to Grant Park Shopping Centre. Beaumont provides residents with the tons of convenience and proximity to downtown.
Centered around Portage and Main sits the beautiful downtown core. Due to its convenient location, apartments for rent in Downtown Winnipeg are typically more expensive. It features historic sites in the Exchange District and the Forks Historic Site communities. Downtown Winnipeg is a favourite for singles, newlyweds or professionals without children. There’s tons on shopping, culture and entertainment in the area to enjoy. The Forks Market is a local favorite shopping destination where you can find fresh produce, meats, wine and flowers as well as handmade jewellery. Stores along Portage are connected by indoor walkways making shopping a pleasant experience no matter what the weather. Franky, there are many paths connected with indoor walkways in Winnipeg. It makes walking during the winter is a cinch! For those who like to brave the cold, there is ice skating on the Assiniboine and Red River.
The Fort Richmond community is propped up on the sides of the Pembina Highway. It is also in proximity to the University of Manitoba making it a great place for students. Here you’ll find lots of open space, parks and recreational areas. Apartment rentals in Forth Richmond include bungalows, town homes and high rise apartments. If you have kids, there are 5 elementary schools in the area as well as a secondary school. Shopping is abundant along the Pembina Highway and close to residents in this area. As for recreation, the community has beautiful riverfront parks, rinks, arenas, tennis courts and an outdoor pool.
Want to know more about
neighbourhoods in Winnipeg
? Check out our neighbourhood rental guides which will provide you more in-depth demographic information.
How do I Get Around in Winnipeg?
Winnipeg’s transit system is simply called Winnipeg Transit. It offers public bus services along 84 routes. Hour of operations are generally 6am to midnight. A one-way fare for an adult is $3.00.
For those of you looking to travel internationally, there is the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport. It’s just 15 minutes from the downtown core.
Driving in Winnipeg is common and snow tires are a must in the winter. In terms of storing your vehicle, a parking spot ranges around $100/month. Compared to Toronto’s prices, this is very affordable. Residents can also apply for resident street parking with a maximum of 3 permits per household. Resident non-reserved parking costs $25.00 annually.
Walking & Biking
Making Winnipeg walking and cycling friendly has been an area of focus in recent years. Winnipeg has a number of bike lanes along across the city making it accessible by foot and bike. There are also four streets in Winnipeg that are designated as Sunday and holiday bike routes. This includes Lyndale Drive, Scotia Street, Wellington Crescent and Wolseley Avenue.
What’s the Cost of Living in Winnipeg?
For a large city, Winnipeg has a low cost of living and is one of Canada’s most affordable places to live. Winnipeg has some of the most affordable housing costs, auto insurance, electricity, university and college in the country. It allows its residents to live better for less. Here’s a breakdown of the standard monthly expenses you would expect to pay in Winnipeg:
Rent & Utilities
Winnipeg has a range of apartments to fit your lifestyle. As with any city, the ritzier the area, the more expensive a place will be to rent. The cost of a 900-square foot one bedroom apartment in Downtown Winnipeg will cost you approximately $1,300. The same apartment in a less expensive area will cost you $1,000. For a smaller apartment with around 480 square feet, it will cost you around $900.
Basic utilities including heating, electricity and gas for a single person will cost approximately $84/month. Internet will cost about $55/month and your mobile will cost $60/month. In total your monthly housing expenses in Winnipeg will cost you at least $1,200.
If you’re on a budget, you’ll likely be relying on transit. A monthly pass on the Winnipeg Transit will cost you $102/month. Alternatively, a one-way ride will cost $3.00.
Whether you like to admit it, you’re going to eat out, so may as well budget for it. Once a week you will find yourself at your favourite fast food restaurant chowing down a $10 meal. Once a month you’ll find yourself having a nice lunch in the business district—set aside $18. Mid-day when your fatigue kicks in you’re going to want a coffee at $3.50/cup. Let’s be realistic and say this will happen 4 times a week. Lastly, one a month be a gem and take you and your significant other on a nice date. It will only cost you $65 if you pick up the tab. Your total cost for dinning out per month is $179.
In terms of monthly groceries, you’re still going to have to buy them. If you like a well-balanced meal you’re looking to spend about $200/month. Your monthly total for food is $379/month
While Winnipeg’s night life is not comparable to that of Toronto or Montreal, you’ll still find yourself out and about. A beer in a neighbourhood pub will cost you approximately $6. On average, you’ll probably have 4 per month. Two tickets to a good movie with you pal will cost approximately $23. A good film comes out about once a month. Whatever it is that you like to do, set aside approximately $47/month for entertainment.
Health & Fitness
Pumping iron is affordable in Winnipeg. Now you have no excuse for not going to the gym. A gym membership will cost you approximately $45/month.
In sum, your monthly costs of living in Winnipeg will be approximately, $1,500/month.
Crime in WinnipegWhile Winnipeg’s cost of living is cheaper it does come at a cost. That cost is crime. Crime rates in Winnipeg are 42% higher than the Canadian average. However, remember choosing specific neighbourhoods that have lower crime rates within the Winnipeg is still feasible. To get an in-depth look at neighbourhood dynamics, take a look through our Winnipeg neighbourhoods.
How to find the Perfect Winnipeg Apartment - The Winnipeg Rental Guide
In love with the prairies? Before you pack your bags, read some next steps in our guide to renting in Winnipeg:
Create a list of things you need and things you want in an apartment:
Your needs should act as a guide to your general search. Use your list of wants to decide amongst a few final apartment contenders. It will make the decision-making process a whole lot easier.
Use our rental calculator:
Budgeting is important no matter what your income. AreaVibes has a rental calculator to help you create a monthly budget.
Do your homework:
Finding the right place requires research. Understand the rental costs of comparable apartments, get to know the neighbourhood and demographics. Thankfully we have neighbourhood guides for all of your research needs.
Meet and Greet with Apartments and Landlords:
This is what some people call the fun part of home hunting. Once you’ve created a short list of apartments that fit your budget, get out there and visit them. Try to get the opportunity to meet the landlord. Ask questions and treat your interaction like an interview—there are other tenants out there.
Prepare your paperwork:
AreaVibes makes this step a walk in the park. AreaVibes makes it easy to send a detailed renter application with credit checks to streamline your application process.
Now you should be well on your way to find your perfect home in Winnipeg. Happy home hunting!