Winnipeg (4953′ N 9709′ W, CST) is a Canadian city and the provincial capital of the province of Manitoba. Located in Western Canada, Winnipeg plays a prominent role in transportation, finance, manufacturing, agriculture and education. It is known as the Gateway to the West.

The city is located near the geographic centre of North America. It lies in a flood plain at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers and started around the point now commonly known as The Forks. It is protected from flooding by the Red River Floodway. Winnipeg is the province's largest city with a population of 619,544 people (2001 Canadian Census). The Winnipeg Metropolitan Area (which includes Winnipeg and the surrounding municipalities including Selkirk, East and West St.Paul, Headingley, Cartier, MacDonald, and Springfield) has a population of 702,400 (Statistics Canada 2004 estimate). The climate in Winnipeg is very extreme; overall, it is one of the coldest large cities in the world, with temperatures averaging below freezing from mid-November through much of March (and most nights below -18C/0F in mid-winter), although from May to September temperatures often reach 30C (86F) and sometimes exceed 35C (95F). The city receives more precipitation in the forms of both rain and snow than other Prairie cities, but the weather is characterized year-round by an abundance of sunshine.

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