The erstwhile ‘real Steinbach’ – the Manitoba city renowned for its Mennonite heritage – is rapidly undergoing a facelift, surprising those accustomed to its staid identity. In recent years, the city has seen an influx of cultural diversity, with an array of new residents and businesses setting up shop in the area.
The influx has been spurred by the city’s close proximity to Winnipeg, Manitoba’s capital, and its relative affordability compared to other urban areas. According to Steinbach Mayor Chris Goertzen, the city has become an attractive destination for those seeking prosperity, with a steady influx of newcomers from far and wide.
These new denizens have brought with them a variety of cultural backgrounds, including a rising number of Indigenous people, as well as Vietnamese, Ukrainian, Filipino and East Indian immigrants. Such diversity has been embraced by the city’s Mennonite population, which has always prided itself on its open-mindedness and cooperative spirit.
One of the primary advantages of the city’s cultural evolution is its economic boon. The city’s economy grew by an impressive 5.7 per cent in 2017, a full percentage point higher than the provincial average. A number of new businesses have sprung up, catering to the different cultural groups, from traditional Mennonite bakeries to East Indian restaurants.
The demographic and economic changes have been accompanied by a shift in the city’s social life. With the influx of new residents, the city has seen a growth in the number of recreational activities, from sports and music to art and culture.
The city’s evolution is a testament to the power of progress and change. As the Mennonite population slowly evolves, so too does the city, slowly transforming into a more vibrant and culturally diverse place. One can only hope that the city’s new inhabitants will fully embrace their new home and its culture, and that the city will continue to surprise and delight its residents and visitors alike.