By BERNIE BELLAN The latest census data shows that the Jewish population in Winnipeg is now far more spread out than used to be the case years ago, when the vast majority of the Jewish population was divided between the north and south ends of the city.
Now, according to information that was released in November 2022 by statcan, Jews can be found in almost all areas of the city.
We’ve been analyzing data from the 2021 census ever since statcan released a trove of data about the ethnic and religious composition of Canada in November.
The 2021 census is the most accurate census we’ve had in Canada since the National Household Survey in 2011. In our November 23rd issue we showed how the Jewish population of Winnipeg could not be more than 14,270 and was very likely much smaller than that. What we did is take the number of respondents to the 2021 census who said that one of their ethnic origins was “Jewish”, and compared that with the number who said their religion was “Jewish.”
As we noted then, the number of respondents who said their religion was “Jewish” was 11,170, while the number that gave at least one of their ethnic origins as “Jewish” was 10,700. It might be complicated to understand, but we showed that, while many of the individuals gave one of their ethnic origins as “Jewish,” they also reported a different religion than “Jewish.” As a result, we concluded, the maximum possible number of individuals in Winnipeg who could be Jewish was 14,270 – although we also showed that the true number was likely much smaller than that.
Following our initial foray into an analysis of the 2021 census we kept up a correspondence with a statistician from statcan (which is now the name for what was formerly Statistics Canada), asking whether it would be possible to produce figures for where Jews live in Winnipeg. Subsequently, we were sent a table that listed Jewish population according to religion within the many census tracts in Winnipeg, also a map showing census tracts in the city.
By cross-referencing the table that was sent to us with the map that was also sent we were able to produce our own set of figures showing where Jews live in the city. Some of the figures that resulted might come as a great surprise to readers, including the huge drop in the Jewish population of West Kildonan (down to 205) and the very substantial increase in the number of Jews that live east of the Red River. (There are now almost as many Jews in East Kildonan – 175, as West Kildonan! And, when you add in Jews living in other parts of the city east of the Red River, you realize that approximately 10% of the Jewish population in Winnipeg now lives east of the Red River.)
We were also surprised to learn that Tuxedo has almost overtaken River Heights as the area with the largest concentration of Jewish population in Winnipeg, with the area known as Crescentwood coming in third.
In producing our own map and corresponding table we were able to show how areas in the extreme south end of the city, including south St. Vital and Bridgewater, have become home to very large Jewish populations. (That map can be seen on our website: jewishpostandnews.ca.)
In fact though, our Jewish population is now so spread out in so many different areas of the city that it would be difficult to say, as had been the case for many years, that our Jewish population is concentrated in the “south end” of the city. Traditionally, when we thought of the “south end,” we tended to think of River Heights and Tuxedo, also – in more recent times, Lindenwoods and Whyte Ridge.
As it turns out, however, there are now Jewish populations in suburban areas in almost all parts of the city, also a fairly large concentration in Wolseley and what is referred to as the West End, both of which are much closer to the centre of Winnipeg.
The continued decline in the number of Jews living in what was the traditional “North End” would probably come as no surprise to most readers, but the fact that there are now only 80 Jews living south of Smithfield, all the way to the CPR tracks, is but one more indication how much Jews have abandoned the traditional North End.
We’re not quite sure why, but the statcan list of census tracts for Winnipeg also included areas that would never be considered part of Winnipeg, such as St. Francois Xavier, Taché, Birds Hill, Lorette, East of Hwy. 59, and St. Clement. We’ve included them here because they form part of the total of 11,165 respondents who declared “Jewish” as their religion in the 2021 census and were considered part of Winnipeg (for some reason) by statcan.
There were also two census tracts that we were unable to identify on the map. They had a total of 20 Jewish residents. We’ve been somewhat arbitrary in identifying certain areas, such as south Fort Garry – not knowing which area would be considered south Ft. Garry and which, north Ft. Garry. The same applies for St. Vital. We’ve also given names to various neighbourhoods where possible, but that was simply not possible in many cases. Tuxedo, for instance, is identified as one census tract on the statcan map, while River Heights is made up of five different census tracts. As a result we were able to distinguish north River Heights (north of Corydon) from south River Heights.
Here then is a list of all areas of the city that have any number of Jewish residents, in order from largest to smallest:
River Heights (south of Corydon) 1460
River Heights (north of Corydon) 530
Total River Heights 1990
Crescentwood (including Wellington Crescent
& area west of Osborne) 735
Garden City 560
Fort Rouge 410
South Ft. Garry (not including Bridgewater) 360
South St. Vital 355
Whyte Ridge 335
Fort Garry (not including Bridgewater or south Ft. Garry) 225
West Kildonan 205
East Kildonan 175
St. Vital (not including south St. Vital) 170
The Maples 165
St. Boniface 110
North Kildonan 100
Sage Creek 95
West End (west of Balmoral, north of Portage, east of Polo Park) 85
North End (south of Smithfield, to the CPR tracks) 80
Osborne Village (east of Osborne) 70
Downtown (Portage south to the river)) 60
Island Lakes 60
East St. Paul 45
St. James 45
East of Hwy. 59 45
Birds Hill 40
Silver Heights 35
Downtown (east of Balmoral, west of
Main Street, north of Portage, south of Ellice) 25
North-west (between Mollard Road and Selkirk Ave.) 25
Exchange district 25
St. Francois Xavier 20
West St. Paul 15
St. Clement 15
Pritchard Farm 10
Armstrong’s Point 10