Winnipeg is Officially a Winter City

It’s official, Winnipeg is now an official winter city! Winnipeg can now own “Winterpeg.”

In a ceremony held at the Assiniboine River on January 30, 2017, the City of Winnipeg and Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) officially announced that Winnipeg is now an accredited member-city of the World Winter Cities Association for Mayors (WWCAM). The association is network of 20 northern cities worldwide dedicated to promoting winter technologies and experiences.

Mayor Brian Bowman:

“Everyone knows that Winnipeg is famous for our cold weather… Today I’m excited to announce that we are making our frosty reputation official.”

Winnipeggers need not to defend the fact that our city is a cold barren place, this city is now recognized as a place to embrace during the frigid and snowy season.

Winnipeg has been embracing winter in fun ways for years, efforts have been made to promote Winnipeg’s winter identity. The city is known for places that highlight winter attractions like The Forks and the Journey to Churchill at Assiniboine Park Zoo and Fort Whyte Alive.   Aside from that, Winnipeggers and a lot of people outside the city look forward to the annual celebration of Festival du Voyageur, Western Canada’s largest winter festival.

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Photo by Von Louie Cruz

Because of the very cold climate in Winnipeg, the city is home to GE Aviation Engine Testing, Research and Development Centre, New Flyer Industries’ manufacturing plant that test its electric buses in cold weather, Red River College’s imminent Motive Lab, and the new MTS Data Centre, where cold weather reduces their cooling costs.

From both a recreation and economic perspective, Winnipeggers are increasingly embracing their winter-city reality with open arms, open minds and open wallets,” said Dayna Spiring, president and CEO of EDW in a statement. “We want to do more to capitalize on these Winnipeg strengths by connecting local ingenuity with like-minded external markets on the lookout for better strategies to address winter living. Becoming an accredited WWCAM member positions Winnipeg on a higher level as a smart city ready to share its know-how and elevates its appeal as a place that owns winter unlike anywhere else in the world.”

Other countries that belong to the World Winter Cities Association for Mayors are Edmonton, Anchorage, Alaska, Rovaniemi, Finland and Sapporo, Japan.

Source:  CBC News Manitoba – Embracing Winterpeg: City joins global group to promote winterretrieved January 30, 2017

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Reasons Why I will Stay in Winnipeg

This post was originally posted at Momsie’s Blog and is being reposted in this website.

I got a chance to catch up with a high school friend through Facebook.  He and his family are based in another country.  When he learned that I am in Winnipeg, he asked a few questions about my location, “Where is Winnipeg? There are a lot of cities in Canada, why did you choose there?”

If these questions were asked to me during my first year here in Canada, I’ll probably have one answer.  “I  came here to Winnipeg because this is where my cousin is,” that simple.

In Winnipeg’s Community Trends Report in April 2012, it was reported that Manitoba has been the most successful user of the nominee system and Winnipeg’s immigration is 5th highest of Canadian cities in 2011 (top 4 cities were – (1) Toronto (2) Vancouver (3) Montreal (4) Calgary.)

To be honest, I didn’t actually like what I saw when I first came to Winnipeg.  The stories from some friends who are in other cities of Canada even added to the pressure that my husband and I felt – we want to move to another city.  The plan was just to establish a little here in Winnipeg and maybe after 2 years we can move to another city.  But we are on our third year now and the thought of moving to another city was put aside.

Why did I put this plan aside?  Here are my  three reasons:

  1. The cost of housing and other necessities  are significantly lower. One good example is that people here are able to buy their own house – even big houses! I know some friends and distant relatives who have been in Canada (in another city)  longer that we did,  but they have been renting their place since they came, because they cannot afford to buy a house.  They may have higher salary in Vancouver or Toronto than we do here in ‘Peg, but we are making  more of our salary than them because living in those cities are more costly.
  2. I believe that the degree of de-professionalization is very low in Winnipeg than in other cities.  Normally, immigrants who came to Toronto and Vancouver have come through the live-in care program, while some of those who came to Calgary with working visa work in hotels, restaurants or coffee shops.  I do not have problems with these kind of jobs, in fact, I also worked for a coffee shop here in Winnipeg for more than 1 year.  My point is, it is better to get the job in the same field that you are in.  Here in Winnipeg, it is not impossible, I know a lot of people here in Peg who are still on their chosen fields and I myself know this for a fact. I first thought of just pursuing a labor job, but a part of me will always want to do the kind of job that I know.
  3. Despite being a small city (of a small province) and the very cold climate, I find Winnipeg to be a very welcoming place, Winnipegers are very warm people – and by saying that I don’t just mean Filipino people, Canadians are indeed very friendly. And ofcourse you who wouldn’t feel at home when you know that you will arrive in a place where there are a lot of your fellowmen (kababayan, as we Filipinos call it) – yes, there are  more than 36,000 Filipinos in Winnipeg.

For someone who came from a place where it never snows, I must admit that -42 C in winter is quite shocking.  Canada is very far from Philippines  and for an ordinary employee like me I cannot afford to travel to the Philippines as much as I want to.  That is why the large Filipino community here in Winnipeg makes it easy for  immigrants, like me to adjust.  If you are a Filipino immigrant, it’ll be  easy for you to find  support system from the large Filipino community in this city.

It can’t be denied, Filipinos are already a big part of Winnipeg, in fact, Tagalog is considered as the second language in Winnipeg.  The presence of Filipino culture is very evident in Filipino food, services, music and news  that you can find around the city.  Some streets in Winnipeg are even named after our Filipino heroes like Jose Rizal.  These and many other reasons made more Filipinos like me feel that indeed, Winnipeg is a place which we can also call HOME.

How about you why did you choose Winnipeg?

Peggo: Winnipeg Transit’s Electronic Fare Card

The new electronic fare system of Winnipeg Transit’s is now available to all bus riders. The electronic reloadable microchip-enabled fare cards, called Peggo cards were adopted by Winnipeg Transit buses and was introduced in phases – Winnipeg senior riders started using the cards on July 4, while full-fare riders and youth riders started to use them on August 8.

winnipeg-transit-peggo-cardsToronto, Ottawa, Vancouver and Minneapolis have all adopted electronic payment systems for public transit, however, transit director Dave Wardrop said that Winnipeg’s system is more advanced, based on the way it functions.

Peggo card is easy to use, when the card is tap against a farebox smart card reader, a single fare is deducted from stored value on the card.

A Peggo card, which may last up to 4 years, can be purchased in person at all 7-Eleven stores and all Shoppers Drug Mart stores across Winnipeg , it can also be bought online or by calling 311. Cards purchased online will be mailed, at no cost, within 14 days.

A peggo card can be purchased for $5. A minimum of $5 e-cash or any e-pass must be purchased with the card in order to validate your peggo card. For a limited time, after you register your peggo card and use your card for two separate trips on two different days the $5 you paid for the card will be refunded to your card as e-cash within 48 hours.  After the launch period the $5 cost for a peggo card will not be refunded.

There are 2 types of fares that can be loaded into Peggo card:

  1. e-passes – replace paper passes and are valid for an unlimited number of trips during a set number of consecutive days. Card can be loaded with e-passes good for 24 hours, three or five days and one to four weeks, as well as on a monthly or annual basis.
  1. e-cash – replaces paper tickets, the card can be loaded with cash in increments of $5, $10, $15, $20, $30 and $50, up to a maximum of $200. When paying using e-cash, a 75-minute transfer is automatically loaded on each electronic fare, eliminating the need for paper transfers.

Fares loaded online or by phone can take up to 48 hours before the fares become active in the card, to load the fares and use the Peggo card right away, it has to be loaded in person through the retail sales agent.

During the Peggo card launch, the existing paper-based bus passes and tickets can still be used, a public service announcement will be released regarding the discontinuation of the sale of paper-based bus tickets and passes. Cash fares will still be accepted, however, it will be the most expensive fare option.

For easy identification, Peggo cards will come in 2 colors. The green card will be available for passengers paying a reduced fare, such as seniors and youths while a white card is for all full fare paying passengers.

For more details regarding peggo, visit About peggo website.