Manitoba (originally Manit'oba; now usually Manito'ba), a province of Canada, bounded by Saskatchewan, Keewatin, Ontario, and on the S. by Minnesota and North Dakota in the United States. Area, 74,000 square miles; population (1886) 108,640; (1901) 254,947 (65,310 Presbyterians, 44,874 Anglicans, 35,622 Catholics, &c). The chief towns are Winnipeg (42,340), Brandon, and Portage la Prairie. The province is traversed by several rivers, among others the Assiniboine, with its many tributaries, the Souris, Pembina, Red River, etc. The Winnipeg River flows for 60 or 70 miles through the eastern portion of the province into Lake Winnipeg. The principal lakes are Winnipeg, 8500 sq. m.; Manitoba, 1900 sq. m.; and Winnipegosis, 1936 sq. m. The country consists for the most part of a level plain, with occasional undulations. The summer mean temperature is 65° to 70° - nearly the same as that in the state of New York. In winter the thermometer occasionally, but very rarely, sinks to 30°, 40°, and 50° below zero. The atmosphere is bright and dry, and the cold is not so much felt as in many countries with a higher temperature and a more humid atmosphere. Very little snow falls on the prairies, the average depth being about 18 to 24 inches ; the native horses graze out of doors all the winter. The soil is of remarkable depth and fertility, and in favourable seasons the crops are large. Vegetables and roots are unusually prolific and of great size. Wheat-growing was for some few years the staple industry; but the farmers are now engaged more in mixed farming, including dairy-farming and the raising of cattle and sheep. In minerals the province is not very rich,but coal is found in southern Manitoba. Big game is still found in the less accessible parts of the province - moose, bear, and some kinds of deer. Small game is plentiful - principally prairie chicken and wild duck. A considerable fishing industry is carried on in the rivers and lakes. The government is administered by a lieutenant-governor, appointed by the governor-in-council. He is assisted by an Executive Council and a Legislative Assembly of 40 members elected by the people. There is only one House of Parliament in Manitoba. The province is represented by four members in the Dominion Senate, and by seven in the House of Commons. Keewatin (q.v.) is under the Lieutenant-governor.
Manitoba is in communication by rail with the Atlantic seaboard and the Pacific, and with all parts of Canada and the United States. The construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway - completed in 1885 - has naturally been of immense advantage to the province. A railway is projected from Winnipeg to Hudson Bay. Until 1868 what is now known as Manitoba formed a portion of the territory under the control of the Hudson Bay Company, and hither in 1812 the Earl of Selkirk brought a party of Highland settlers. In 1868 the company gave up their rights, on certain conditions - among others a money payment of £300,000 and a considerable grant of land. The province was constituted by an Act of 1870. The Riel rebellion in 1869-70 arose out of a feeling of some of the inhabitants that their rights had not been considered in the transfer. See books on Manitoba by Bryce (1882), Christie (1885), Macoun (1883), and Legge (1893).