As Winnipeggers, we’re pretty easy targets to make fun of. If you’ve lived here at some point in your life, you’ve likely had someone ask you “but… why?”, followed by a list of reasons why Winnipeg sucks.
Yes, it can be funny to make fun of our climate (as demonstrated by a quick ‘Winnipeg meme’ Google search), our people, our football team, and our politeness. But there are some jokes that have been recycled one too many times.
If us Winnipeggers have to hear any of the following remarks even one more time, I think we might explode in a mess of ‘sorrys’ and slurpees.
1. “You’re so lucky your university went on strike. I’d love to have my classes cancelled.”
Um, no. The month-long University of Manitoba strike in November was the actual worst. Exams were pushed back, the reading week was almost cancelled, and a semester’s worth of workload was crammed into a few short weeks. Next time you call U of M students “lucky” for “being able to sleep in”, shut your mouth and enjoy your stress-free reading week.
2. “Isn’t your city, like, super dangerous?”
Yeah, yeah, in 2011 Winnipeg had the highest violent crime rate and homicide rate of all Canadian provinces. But a recent Maclean’s article shows that the only crime category where Winnipeg topped the list in 2016 is for robbery. Statistically, we’re improving. And as a born-and-bred Winnipegger who’s traveled across Canada, I can assure you that I feel the same whether I’m strolling through downtown Winnipeg, Toronto, Calgary, or Vancouver.
3. “Why don’t you move to Toronto or B.C.?”
Reminding us that there are much cooler places to live in Canada than the prairies is like telling Canadians that our Prime Minister is a straight up babe—trust us, we know. But it’s not that easy to leave the ‘Peg— our families are here, BDI ice cream is legendary, and it’s not as crowded as the east or as expensive as the west. Sometimes, people can even live a happy life in Winnipeg. Mind-boggling, I know.
4. “There’s nothing to do in Winnipeg.”
We definitely have a lot less clubs than T.O. and fewer scenic heights or ski resorts than our western neighbours, but there is always something happening in Winnipeg. We have a thriving music and arts scene— a Maclean’s article about major art cities calls Winnipeg, ‘Canada’s second-hottest art scene’ beating out Montreal and Toronto and just behind Vancouver.
Winnipeg is also becoming a winter-destination city— with incredible skating trails, ice festivals, and Festival Du Voyageur to name a few. From +30 summer days spent on Corydon patios to -30 degree winter days spent huddled in tents drinking caribou at Voyageur park, I challenge you to not find something to do in our city.
5. “Oh wow, you guys actually have _____” (basic chain restaurants, patios, clothing stores other than Wal-Mart).”
Yep, we too buy overpriced cropped tanks from Urban Outfitters and waste all of our money at Steve Madden in Polo Park (followed, of course, by wine night at Earls). Gasp, so civilized.
6. “The Winnipeg Jets have a long way to go to ever make it to playoffs.”
Shut up. We just got them back. Let us have our moment of satisfaction. Plus, our stadium is always packed. Go back to your $150 seats in an otherwise empty section, you goon.
7. “Isn’t there anything open past 2 AM here?”
Well, it’s not Vegas, so chill the F out and go to Johnny G’s or Little Pizza Heaven if you absolutely insist on staying out. Yes, there are exceptions, and extended hours for things like the Grey Cup, Fringe Fest, Jazz Fest, and hockey playoffs. But on a random Monday night? Not here.
8. “Your public transportation system sucks.”
Yeah, we know.
9. “Winnipeg? Haha more like Winterpeg HAHAHAHAHAHA.”
“Haha,” we reply, as our eyes go hollow and the small flicker of light left inside of us finally burns out. Somewhere, a kitten dies.