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Overview

Thompson is a growing, dynamic city in the heart of Canada’s northern wilderness, an outdoor oasis of boreal forest and pristine lakes and waterways. Though inhabited by Cree and Ojibway peoples for thousands of years, Thompson was put on the map only in the 1950s after the discovery of nickel ore. Today, Vale Inco’s mine operation produces more than a million pounds of pure nickel annually. While the population is only 15,000, the city serves 60,000 in the region. Industry diversification has led to unique monikers, such as the winter testing capital of North America. Thompson is becoming known as the wolf capital of Canada, with posted ...

Thompson is a growing, dynamic city in the heart of Canada’s northern wilderness, an outdoor oasis of boreal forest and pristine lakes and waterways. Though inhabited by Cree and Ojibway peoples for thousands of years, Thompson was put on the map only in the 1950s after the discovery of nickel ore. Today, Vale Inco’s mine operation produces more than a million pounds of pure nickel annually. While the population is only 15,000, the city serves 60,000 in the region. Industry diversification has led to unique monikers, such as the winter testing capital of North America. Thompson is becoming known as the wolf capital of Canada, with posted wolf sightings, a live wolf exhibit in the local zoo, and 50 wolf statues linking Winnipeg, Thompson and Churchill. An absolute nature haven year round, in summer Thompson draws residents and visitors alike to bike or walk the 15-kilometer Millenium Trail, fish, boat, paddle, or explore the Spirit Way, a two-kilometer “trail” showcasing area history and culture through 16 attractions including a gigantic wolf mural, wolf rockface sculpture and floatplane exhibit. Winter stops no one, and Thompson has the best downhill skiing in Manitoba as well as miles of snowmobile trails, cross-country trails and plenty of ice fishing and curling. As this is as far north as the road goes in Manitoba, some adventurers store their recreational vehicles here and take the train north to Churchill for polar bears or beluga whales.

Catherine Senecal
About the Expert

Catherine Senecal is the author of Pelicans to Polar Bears, a wildlife viewing guide to Manitoba, and has written about Alberta, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and other places for Michelin Guides, Rand McNally, and Reader’s Digest Atlas.

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Catherine Senecal for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Thompson is a city in Northern Manitoba, about 459 miles north of Winnepeg.
  • Language: English
  • Currency: Canadian Dollar
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Fall; winter for snowmobiling and frozen waterfall edges