10 Worst Neighborhoods to Live in Winnipeg: Here’s why.
Winnipeg, the capital city of the Canadian province of Manitoba, is known for its rich history, diverse culture, and friendly locals.
However, like any major city, Winnipeg also has its fair share of neighborhoods that are considered to be less desirable.
The worst neighborhoods in Winnipeg are North Point Douglas, Elmwood, South Portage, Polo Park, North End, Spence, St. Matthews, Downtown Winnipeg, Central Park, and West Alexander.
These neighborhoods are the most dangerous areas and have the highest high crime rates in the city.
While the criminal activity in Winnipeg mainly consisted of property crimes like mischief and theft, these neighborhoods have higher violent crimes (like assault and robbery) and higher overall crime rates, collectively.
Which is why they are considered the worst neighborhoods to live in Winnipeg.
|Neighborhoods||Crime Rate (incidents per 100,000 people)|
|North Point Douglas||27,002|
According to a Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report, low-income neighborhoods in Winnipeg have significantly higher crime rates than more affluent areas.
One of the main factors contributing to these neighborhoods’ high crime rate is poverty. The city has a relatively high poverty rate, with nearly one in eight residents living below the poverty line.
North Point Douglas
The North Point Douglas neighborhood, located in the north-central part of the city, has a population of around 2,026. The area is known for its high property crime rates, including break-ins and thefts.
North Point Douglas has also been named the most dangerous neighborhood in Winnipeg.
According to the Winnipeg Police Service, the neighborhood’s crime rate is four times higher than the city’s, with 27,002 incidents per 100,000 people.
The reported crime incidents in 2022 have accumulated around 670 times.
Almost half of these incidents are property crimes (353) involving mischief, breaking and entering, and motor vehicle thefts. While 216 are violent crimes, which consist of assault, sexual assaults, and uttering threats.
Over the years, the reported crime incidents in the neighborhood have not gone down nor gone high.
|No. of Reported Crime Incidents in North Point Douglas||641||727||768||618||670|
Elmwood is a neighborhood located in the northeastern area of Winnipeg. Due to its proximity to the city center and its relatively high population (20,570), Elmwood has been facing high crime rates for several years.
There were over 2,647 reported crime incidents in Elmwood in 2022, 1,909 of which were property crimes, and 479 were violent crimes. The neighborhood has a crime rate of 9,136 incidents per 100,000 people.
Like North Point Douglas, Elmwood’s reported crime incidents have only been stable over the past five years.
|No. of Reported Crime Incidents in Elmwood||2,242||2,308||2,206||1,885||2,647|
According to the Winnipeg Police Service, South Portage has high rates of property crime and violent crime. These issues have been a concern for residents and community organizations for many years.
In 2022, there were over 1,656 reported crime incidents in South Portage. For the last five years, the crime rate in the neighborhood (66,670 incidents per 100,000 people) has gone up almost ten times the national average.
With over 1,865 people in the whole area, 89% of the population have experienced or reported a crime. And over 1,130 of the 1,656 reported crime incidents are property crimes such as mischief, fraud, and theft.
While 364 of the 1,656 are violent crimes, which mainly consist of assault.
Drug offenses are also high in the neighborhood, with 11 reported crimes, mainly for trafficking and distribution.
The most significant jump in the reported crime incidents in South Portage was from 2021 to 2022, with over a 139.4% increase.
|No. of Reported Crime Incidents in South Portage||1,753||1,918||1,449||862||1,656|
Polo Park is a small west Winnipeg neighborhood with a shopping center. With only over 275 people residing, the crime rate is high as the shopping center and customers are prone to theft.
Most Polo Park crimes are property crimes, with over 987 reported crime incidents in 2022, which is 80.9% of the overall crimes. The total number of crime incidents was 1,220.
It primarily consists of mischief, shoplifting, and theft. In contrast, over 182 of the overall reported crimes were violent, including assault, robbery, and uttering threats.
Polo Park is also prone to gunpoint robbery – there have been several reported crimes that made the news about the offense.
Meanwhile, by looking at the table, Polo Park had a quite steady crime frequency from 2018 to 2020.
|No. of Reported Crime Incidents in Polo Park||879||1,009||953||696||1,220|
The North End is a neighborhood located in the northern part of the city. Despite being one of the oldest and most culturally diverse areas in Winnipeg, it has consistently been experiencing severe crimes.
According to statistics from the Winnipeg Police Service, the North End has higher violent crime and property crime rates than the rest of the city.
The neighborhood has a crime rate of 14,576 incidents per 100,000 people, with over 8,212 reported crimes in 2022.
Over 4,701 of the 8,212 reported crimes are property crimes, over 2,347 are violent crimes, and 1,015 are offenses against administration and weapons violations.
Although from 2018 to 2021, North End had a decreasing total reported crimes. However, in 2022, the number of crimes jumped by over 19.4% compared to the previous year.
|No. of Reported Crime Incidents in North End||7,704||7,490||7,486||7,293||8,212|
Spence is located in the city center, beside South Portage. It is also known that Spence has one of the highest crime rates among most Downtown Winnipeg neighborhoods, with over 23,071 incidents per 100,000 people.
Spence had over 1,796 reported crime incidents in 2022, with 1,238 being property crimes like mischief and fraud, while 348 were violent crimes like assault and sexual assault.
Spence is also known for gun violence, with over 53 reported crime incidents.
For the past four years, Spence’s crime frequency has gone up, having the biggest increase from 2021 to 2022 of 29.49%.
|No. of Reported Crime Incidents in Spence||1,224||1,062||1,200||1,387||1,796|
St. Matthews is located near South Portage and Spence. The neighborhood also has a high crime rate, with 17,733 incidents per 100,000 people.
There were over 1,045 reported crime incidents in 2022, with 713 property crimes and 228 violent crimes. Property crimes mainly involve mischief, shoplifting, and fraud, while violent crimes are mostly assault and robbery.
Additionally, there were over 37 homicides during the first ten months of 2019, considering this as St. Matthew’s most violent recurring crime.
In contrast, St. Matthews has experienced a more stable crime frequency compared to most neighborhoods on the list for the last five years.
|No. of Reported Crime Incidents in St. Matthews||1,202||1,471||1,595||894||1,045|
Downtown Winnipeg is at the center of the city, which covers a more extensive area and several neighborhoods like South Portage, Polo Park, Spence, St. Matthews, Central Park, and West Alexander, which are all included in the list.
Overall, Downtown Winnipeg has a crime rate of 35,837 incidents per 100,000 people. There were over 19,009 recorded crime incidents in 2022.
13,339 of these are property crimes that consist of mischief, shoplifting, and theft. At the same time, 3,947 of these are violent crimes, consisting of assault and firearms offenses.
And in 2021, the crime frequency in the area went down to -23.36%, making it the biggest decrease in the last five years.
|No. of Reported Crime Incidents in Downtown Winnipeg||16,705||17,355||16,829||13,814||19,009|
Central Park is an urban park located in the city center, with a population of 3,775. It has a high crime rate of 21,282 incidents per 100,000 people, which is three times higher than the city average.
There were over 1,095 reported crime incidents in 2022. Technically, about ⅓ of the population has experienced or reported a crime.
706 of the 1,095 reported crimes were property crimes involving mischief and motor vehicle thefts. 281 of the reported crimes were violent crimes, which consisted of assault and robbery.
In 2021, Central Park also experienced its biggest crime frequency decrease, from 1,235 reported crimes in 2020 to 880.
|No. of Reported Crime Incidents in Central Park||888||998||1,235||880||1,095|
West Alexander is located in Downtown Winnipeg. The neighborhood also has a high crime rate of 33,188 incidents per 100,000 people, which is almost five times the city average.
The reported crime incidents in the neighborhood reached 1,793 in 2022 despite only having a population of 3,970, resulting in about 45% of the population experiencing or reporting a crime in the same year.
Most of the crimes (1,172) were reported as property crimes (mischiefs), while 467 were violent crimes (assaults).
For the last five years, West Alexander had a stable crime frequency. With 1,300+ being its lowest, and 1,700+ being its highest.
|No. of Reported Crime Incidents in West Alexander||1,666||1,717||1,546||1,374||1,793|
Other Neighborhoods to Avoid
While the rest of Winnipeg can be safer than the ones mentioned above, there are still some more areas you may have to avoid.
According to AreaVibes, these neighborhoods have a higher crime severity index (CSI) compared to the city’s CSI (73.9 in 2020).
|Neighborhoods||Percent rate (more crime than the city’s CSI)||Crime Rate in 2022 (incidents per 100,000 people)|
|Lord Selkirk Park||56%||32,487|
|Portage - Ellice||47%||46,977|
|Logan - C.P.R.||44%||127,583|
Some of these may have a higher crime rate, but the severity of their crimes are lower than the worst neighborhoods mentioned.