|City of Steinbach|
|Nickname(s): The Automobile City|
|• City Mayor||Chris Goertzen|
|• Governing Body||Steinbach City Council|
|• MP (Provencher)||Ted Falk (CPC)|
|• MLA (Steinbach)||Kelvin Goertzen (PC)|
|• City||25.57 km2 (9.87 sq mi)|
|Elevation||253.6 m (832 ft)|
|• City||13,524 (3rd)|
|• Density||528.9/km2 (1,370/sq mi)|
|• Metro||13,524 (130th)|
|• Change 2006-11||22.2%|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|Postal code span||R5G|
|Website||City of Steinbach|
Steinbach i// German pronunciation: [ˈʃtaɪnbax] is a city located in the southeastern part of the province of Manitoba, Canada. According to the Canada 2011 Census, Steinbach has a population of 13,524, making it the third largest city in Manitoba and the largest community in the Eastman region. The city is bordered by the Rural Municipality of Hanover (north, west, and south), and the Rural Municipality of La Broquerie (east).
The name of "Steinbach" is translated from German as "Stony Brook" and was first settled by Mennonite peoples in 1874. The city continues to have a strong Mennonite and German influence today with over 50 percent of the residents claiming German heritage. Steinbach is found on the eastern edge of the Canadian Prairies, while Sandilands Provincial Forest is a short distance east of the city.
Steinbach is primarily an agricultural community, however as the regional economic hub of southeastern Manitoba, Steinbach has a trading area population of about 50,000 people. Thus the city also has many service and commercial businesses to serve the population. Steinbach is the fastest-growing city in Manitoba and third fastest census agglomeration in Canada. The city had a population growth of 22.2% between the 2006 and the 2011 census periods. This places it as the third largest city in Manitoba. The city has gained national recognition as an immigration hotbed of Canada and a model for immigration in the country. In 2012, for the first time ever MoneySense ranked Steinbach in their best places to live in Canada list where the community placed 66th out of 190 cities.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Economy
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Government
- 6 Infrastructure and public services
- 7 Education
- 8 Media
- 9 Sports and recreation
- 10 Notable people
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The areas of southeast Manitoba where Steinbach would later be founded, were originally lands of the nomadic Ojibway speaking Anishinabe people. They used their traditional lands for hunting, fishing, and trapping. The Anishinabe knew no borders at the time and their land ranged both north and south of the US-Canadian border, and both east and west of the Red River. On 3 August 1871 the Anishinabe people signed Treaty 1 and moved onto reserves such as the Brokenhead Indian Reserve and Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation Reserve. Shortly thereafter the government began surveying and staking out the land for the East Reserve (now the R.M. of Hanover).
Steinbach (meaning "Stony Brook" in German) was founded in 1874 by German-speaking Mennonite settlers from Russia. They spoke a Low German dialect known as Plautdietsch. Prior to settling in Steinbach the original Mennonites had first moved from the Netherlands, Prussia (Germany) and Switzerland to the Molotschna (or Milk River) colony in Russia. Within the settlement of Molotschna were a group of people following the Kleine Gemeinde known for practise of the New Testament teachings of non-resistance, community of sharing and the publication of the first inspirational books. This group was only a small minority in Molotschna but its farmers were known as the best in Moltschna. Mennonite immigrants were led to Canada by the promise from the Canadian Government of military exemption.
There were two groups that came from the Molotschna colony to settle in the East Reserve. They were both the Kleine Gemeinde, and the Bergthal who had come slightly earlier. Upon the arrival of the Kleine Gemeinde families who would eventually settle Steinbach in 1874, they found that much of better land had already been settled by some of the other Bergthaler and other Kleine Gemeinde families. The earlier settlers and families had come to realize the area suffered from excessive moisture and settled upon much of the higher lands and gravel ridges. So Steinbach's earliest Mennonite settlers chose to set upon the present site in the northeast corner of the East Reserve. The 20 homesteads were laid out on the northeast side of the present day Main Street along the Steinbach Creek.
The early settlers started a school in the first year, and in the following year of 1875 built a school and teacherage. A few years later, the first and original windmill in the town was built in 1877 by Abraham S. Friesen. Entrepreneurs took advantage of the business opportunities at the time and several small businesses sprung up. Many other important and large businesses sprung up as well, helping to establish Steinbach as a regional service centre for the area. After a period of 8 years the mayor in 1882, Gerhard Giesbrecht stated that the village had grown to 28 families with a population of 128.
The year of 1910 saw the line village design for the community end and the settlers obtained titles to their own open-field properties. In 1912 a Ford auto dealership was started, this was also the first Ford dealership in Western Canada.
Steinbach had grown to a population of 463 by 1915, and Steinbach continued to experience a time of steady growth in immigration. Many of the new immigrants continued to be Bergthaler Mennonites but Steinbach also saw new German and Lutheran settlers, as well as some British families who had previously settled in the Clearspring Settlement slightly to the north. Due to continued growth Steinbach was incorporated as a town on 31 December 1946. As the regional service centre for the area Steinbach saw the establishment and growth in manufacturing areas, and also trucking, retailing, and particularly in automobile sales. This led to the labeling of Steinbach as the "Automobile City". Over the next decades Steinbach continued to grow, eventually being incorporated as a city on 10 October 1997.
The Mennonite Heritage Village museum, located in the city, provides a glimpse at the life of these settlers through a reconstructed village and interpretive displays. Its Dutch windmill, which was rebuilt (with help from Dutch millwrights) after the 1972 replica was destroyed by arson in 2000, is a recognized symbol of the city.
Liquor Licence Referendums
Since the 1970s, Steinbach has had 7 separate referendums on allowing liquor sales within the confines of the city—Steinbach citizens had voted for prohibition on all liquor sales in 1950. In a local 2003 referendum, Steinbach residents narrowly voted to end liquor prohibition in the city, but passed only a dining room license, permitting alcohol to be served only with food. In 2007, the issue of serving alcohol in restaurant lounges was defeated by only 9 votes—although in the same referendum, voters agreed, by a slightly wider margin, to allow sports facilities like the Steinbach Fly-In Golf Course to serve alcohol. In February 2008, Steinbach Council voted in favor of opening a liquor store on Main St., as prohibition had already been lifted. Eventually, the first liquor mart in Steinbach opened in March 2009, on PTH 12 North, operated by the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission.
The most recent public vote was held in October 2011. In this referendum, voters agreed to accept, by a large margin, the following three licences: beverage rooms, cocktail lounges and private club licences.
As the city continued to grow, it was officially announced as Manitoba's third largest city with the release of the population data from the 2011 Canadian Census. The growth was attributed to immigration from such countries as Germany, Russia, and the Philippines. Steinbach gained national recognition from such newspapers as the Globe and Mail that labelled the city as an immigration hotbed of Canada and a model for immigration in the nation.
During March 2013 the city again gained national recognition of religious and social issues, this time around gay rights and religious freedom. The NDP had proposed Bill 18 which declared that all schools had to support student led groups. This led community members such as Southland Community Church and the Steinbach Christian High School to express concerns of having to support Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs). The issue turned into a much larger debate between religious freedom and gay rights issue, with some outspoken members of the community against the bill, while others supported it. The event led to Steinbach City Council passing a resolution asking the provincial government to review the issue. In April, a young man won a victory to put up posters supporting a GSA at the SRSS High School which was a public school in the Hanover School Division. They had previously not given him the same privileges as other student groups.
Steinbach is located on the eastern edge of the Canadian Prairies, and is also located directly east of the Red River Valley. Because of this the topography around Steinbach is extremely flat and the soil very fertile. Due to higher levels of precipitation received then the areas of the western Manitoba, the natural prairie of Steinbach is defined as tallgrass prairie. Some of this original prairie can still be viewed at the Manitoba Tall Grass Prairie Preserve south of the city near Vita. The areas to the west and north of Steinbach would be closely defined as flat tallgrass prairie, and part of the Lake Manitoba Plain. While the areas south and west of the city progress steadily into treed Aspen segments, and eventually growing into Sandilands Provincial Forest and the large boreal forest region extending east and north of the city.
Steinbach is close to many Canadian Shield lakes, such as those located in Whiteshell Provincial Park and the Lake of the Woods in Kenora. Lake Winnipeg (the Earth's 11th largest freshwater lake) is located north of the city. Although no rivers flow through Steinbach, the city is sandwiched by the Seine River to the north and the Rat River to the south. Both of which are tributaries of the Red River which flows into Lake Winnipeg.
|Climate data for Steinbach|
|Record high °C (°F)||6.5
|Average high °C (°F)||−12
|Average low °C (°F)||−22.7
|Record low °C (°F)||−42.2
|Precipitation mm (inches)||21.8
|Rainfall mm (inches)||0.0
|Snowfall cm (inches)||21.8
|Avg. precipitation days||8.1||5.5||6||5.9||9||11.9||11||10.1||9.5||8.2||6.7||7.5||99.4|
|Avg. rainy days||0||0.46||1.7||4.3||8.9||11.9||11||10.1||9.5||7.3||1.5||0.21||66.87|
|Avg. snowy days||8.1||5.3||4.7||2.1||0.21||0||0||0||0.3||1.2||5.5||7.4||34.81|
|Source: Environment Canada|
As the economic centre of Southeastern Manitoba, service/retail industries employ the majority of the working population. Large manufacturing plants, especially those operated by Biovail and Loewen Windows (which is also based in Steinbach) also create a significant number of jobs. Steinbach has a diversity of jobs and industries within the community. Steinbach's rapid growth rate, combined with the lowest taxes in the province by mill rate, has made the community an increasingly popular place for both workers and employers. This combination has helped many different mid-sized and large-sized businesses in manufacturing, transportation, agribusiness, pharmaceuticals, retail, and financial services like the Steinbach Credit Union, to grow with the city. As a result the city of Steinbach now has the third highest assessment value among cities in the province, trailing only Brandon and Winnipeg.
Agriculture, the traditional industry in the region, continues to play a significant role in Steinbach's economy as well. The agricultural industry in the area is notable for many of the large commercial pig, and poultry farming operations in the region of the city. Aside from intensive pig and chicken barns there are numerous small, family, dairy farms that dot the area. Crops grown on the fertile farmland surrounding Steinbach primarily include canola, corn, alfalfa, as well as barley, soybeans, oats, and wheat.
Steinbach had a population of 13,524 people in 2011, which was an increase of 22.2% from the 2006 census count. This places Steinbach as the 3rd largest city in Manitoba in 2011. The average age of people in Steinbach is 35.0, below the provincial average of 38.1, while 52% of the population are female and 48% are male.
Steinbach residents primarily claim German ancestry, though this may include those from Germany itself or of Mennonite background. 30% of Steinbach residents claim German as their mother tongue, which includes both High German and Low German, while nearly 80% of those with a second language claim knowledge of the German languages. As a whole, 39% of residents claim some mother tongue other than the official languages of French and English. Steinbach has a high immigrant population of 15% or about 1,660 people, this is slightly above the provincial average of 13%.
Census data from 2001 shows that Steinbach has a higher than average rate of religious affiliation of 90.26%, which is above the provincial average of 81.34%. Of those with a religious affiliation, 61.42% are Protestant, 9.35% are Catholic and 24.53% belong to another Christian denomination. 3.87% belong to either Buddhism, Islam, or Hinduism. In the total population surveyed, 9.74% claim no religious affiliation.
The median household income in 2005 for Steinbach was $44,486, which is below the Manitoba provincial average of $47,875.
|Visible minority and Aboriginal population |
|Population group||Population (2011)||% of total population (2011)|
|Visible minority group||South Asian||130||1%|
|Visible minority, n.i.e.||25||0.2%|
|Multiple visible minorities||20||0.2%|
|Total visible minority population||1,065||8.1%|
|Aboriginal group||First Nations||200||1.5%|
|Multiple Aboriginal identities||25||0.2%|
|Total Aboriginal population||655||5%|
Steinbach is represented by 6 councilors and a mayor. The city is a single-tier municipality, governed by a mayor-council system, the mayor and council are elected every four years. The current mayor is Chris Goertzen, who has been mayor since 2006.
Provincially Steinbach is represented by a single MLA for the riding of Steinbach, while federally the city is part of the Provencher riding. Currently the city and Provencher are represented by the Conservative Party of Canada and Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba.
Infrastructure and public services
Steinbach is unique in that there are no railways or rivers passing through town, so transportation to and from Steinbach has always been via road. The city is located approximately 50 kilometers southeast of Winnipeg, in a direct line. There are two principal highways serving the city, Provincial Trunk Highways (PTH) 12 and 52, which intersect at downtown Steinbach. Travelers coming from Winnipeg can take the Trans-Canada Highway (PTH 1) east for 40 kilometers, turning south at PTH 12 and continuing for 20 kilometers. The both stretches on this route are four-lane limited-access highways. Alternatively, travelers can also take PTH 59 south from Winnipeg and then take PTH 52 east to Steinbach. PTH 12 south from Steinbach is single-lane and ends at the American border at Sprague. Steinbach is situated on an alternate route between Winnipeg and Thunder Bay, Ontario officially designated as MOM's Way.
The City of Steinbach owns and maintains a federally licensed airport (Steinbach Airport). The main runway is 914 m in length by 23 m in width (3000 ft x 75 ft) and has an asphalt surface. The runway is serviced with lighting and a beacon for night-time use. Fuel and servicing are available on site and are provided through the Steinbach Flying Club. The airport also features aircraft tie-downs, a heated lounge building and restroom facilities.
Additionally, Harv's Air Service operates a private airfield to the south of the city (Steinbach (South) Airport). The main runway is 945 m in length by 30 m in width (3100 ft x 100 ft) and has an asphalt and turf surface. An additional runway measuring 559 m in length by 30 m in width (1835 ft x 100 ft) intersects the main runway to the north.
Health for the city and surrounding area is governed by the South Eastman Regional Health Authority. Acute care and emergency services are provided by the Bethesda Regional Health Centre, one of four (RHA) hospitals in the region.
Steinbach has had a public library since 1973, although serious efforts to establish a regional library began in 1968 when Mary Barkman organized a Friends of the Library group. In 1997, the library moved into its own newly constructed building and was renamed Jake Epp Library. Jake Epp, former MP of Provencher, had appointed the very first Library Board in 1973. Mary Barkman, a key figure in the founding of the Library, was also honored at the opening ceremony. A major library expansion was completed in 2012.
Steinbach is part of the Hanover School Division, which is one of the 37 school divisions in Manitoba. This is also the largest school division outside of the city of Winnipeg. The school system in Manitoba is dictated by the province through the Manitoba Public Schools Act. Public schools follow a provincially mandated curriculum in either French or English.
The schools in Steinbach consist of three Early Years Elementary Schools: Woodlawn, Southwood and Elmdale which provide education from kindergarten through Grade 4. Grades 5 through 9 are currently provided by 2 newly formed Middle Schools: Stonybrook Middle School (formerly Steinbach Junior High School) and Clearspring Middle School (established 2012). Steinbach Regional Secondary School provides Grades 10 through 12 for Steinbach and the surrounding region. Steinbach Christian High School, a private school, offers both Middle School and Senior High (Grades 5–12), and shares a campus with Steinbach Bible College. Steinbach has a post-secondary learning campus called Eastman Education Centre, which offers courses from Red River College, University of Winnipeg, Assiniboine Community College and Providence College.
Steinbach's oldest media outlet is the Carillon News, an award-winning weekly newspaper that covers the news of Southeastern Manitoba. Steinbach is also home to two radio stations run by Golden West Broadcasting. AM 1250 is an easy listening station, while Mix 96.7 FM plays current and classic hits.
Sports and recreation
Steinbach's T.G. Smith Centre is home to the current Manitoba Junior Hockey League champions, the Steinbach Pistons. In local hockey, the Steinbach Junior Huskies are seven time champions of the Hanover Tache Junior Hockey League, while the Steinbach Senior Huskies are two-time champions of the Carillon Senior Hockey League. Steinbach's minor hockey teams are known as the Steinbach Millers.
Steinbach gained national attention when it hosted the 2009 Allan Cup, the Canadian senior hockey championship. Competing in the tournament were two locally based teams, the host Steinbach North Stars and the Manitoba champion South East Prairie Thunder. The Prairie Thunder qualified for the championship game, which was broadcast nationally on TSN, but lost in double overtime. Three years later, the Prairie Thunder captured their first ever national title at the 2012 Allan Cup. The Senior Huskies qualified for the 1979 Allan Cup finals as Western Canadian champions, but lost the best-of-seven series 4-1.
In June 2012, city council announced plans to build a new multiplex, including a new arena and curling rink. Although detailed planning has not started, naming rights have already been sold to Steinbach Credit Union.
Another prevalent sport in Steinbach is soccer, with the construction of the new Steinbach Soccer Field in 2009. The men's Hanover Kickers play in Premier League Two and the Hanover Strikers play in Major League Two of Manitoba Major Soccer League. In the Winnipeg Women's Soccer League, the Hanover Hype were promoted to the second division after having suffered only one loss in the last two years. Soccer is becoming increasingly popular in the area, currently boasting more children in the soccer program than in any other sport.
Steinbach is also home to the Eastman Raiders football club of the Manitoba Minor Football Association. With the Eastman Raiders football club being formed in 1991, the club is now host to over 260 athletes ranging from 7 to 22 year olds.
The "Steinbach Fly-in Golf Club" provides an 18-hole golf course adjacent to the local airport. The various features and hazards surrounding the holes include a meandering creek, strategically placed trees, bunkers, bridges, and varying inclines. In the winter months, the golf course becomes the site of a groomed ski trail, courtesy of the regional cross-country ski club, the Sandilands Ski Club. The Village Green Restaurant, located at the club house, is open year-round with a licensed dining room. "The Links at Quarry Oaks" is another golf course located just northeast of Steinbach. This 27-hole course has Manitoba's only inland Links-style layout, and includes the Oak nine, Quarry nine, and the Desert nine. In total, there are five golf courses within a ten minute drive of Steinbach.
The Steinbach Curling Club, built in 1948, is located across the street from the T.G. Smith Centre. The rink features four sheets (artificial ice) and hosts a variety of different leagues, including a very successful junior program. A number of Steinbach curlers have gone on to have success at the provincial level. Steinbach has also hosted two Safeway Select Provincial Men's Curling Championships (2006 and 2010).
In July 2012, the club approved a city plan to demolish the existing building and replace it with a new facility that will open in 2014.