Winnipeg surprises. It's a large and cosmopolitan city rising from the vast plains of southern Manitoba, not the regional town some may expect. Winnipeg is home to the world-class Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Blue Bombers football team and many other treasures. Fine museums, good local transit and a stimulating, multicultural atmosphere contribute to the sophistication.

Settlers in Winnipeg have included indigenous aboriginal people, French- and English-speaking Canadians, Germans, Ukrainians, Chinese, Filipinos and others. This mix gives the town its international flavor, which manifests in a wonderful variety of markets, restaurants and cultural centers.

This sophistication is nicely balanced by the town's wide-open, Western feel, its proximity to the surrounding farmlands and by the fact that it's relatively small, as big cities go. Winnipeg is easy to get to know and yet complex enough for an interesting visit.

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