Nicknamed New Iceland, Gimli, situated in the Manitoba province, has the biggest Icelandic community outside of Iceland. This little town north of Winnipeg is located on the shores of Lake Winnipeg and home to around 6000 people though the population explodes to ten times more in the Summer when people from all over come to enjoy its sandy beaches, great facilities, and wide array of sea sport activities.
For a small town, Gimli has everything you’ll need. Local public facilities include John Memorial Hospital, Gimli Fire Department, Gimli Royal Mounted Police (RCMP)’s Gimli Detachment, Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI), Service Canada, and a Public Recreation Centre run by the Municipal government where sports facilities and multi-function areas are available. The Recreation Centre also hosts community events regularly.
The town is also served by a Sobey’s supermarket, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), many churches, hotels, restaurants, and we have pool halls, a bowling alley, ice fishing in the winter and of course, Lakeside Flight School, out at Gimli Airport. For those who loves a little drink, you would be pleased to know that the famous Crown Royal Canadian Whisky has their distillery right here in Gimli because the water is so good!
When you come to Gimli, we suggest you check out the local fish and chip store, Kris, for its $9.95 all-you-can-eat deal, and buy a coffee and donut from Tim Horton’s, the ubiquitous all-Canadian coffee chain. Another great place to visit is Sveinson’s Fish, along Highway 9, where you can get smoked fish that’s just to die for.
Compared to the major cities like Toronto and Vancouver, living expenses is a lot lower here. The Manitoban provincial government also has tax return policies to encourage international students to stay here after their studies to work, making it suitable for training pilots to look jobs to build hours after acquiring their licence. Check out our Tax Information page for more information.
Gimli is located in the prairie and the flatland weather makes this place great for flying. Winter months are cold but the colder it is, the better the engine performs and the better it is to fly! In October and November when the weather hovers around 0 degrees, there might be a couple of weeks of low ceiling, but other than that, we are good to go year round! Gimli enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine throughout the year. Temperature range on average from -20C in Winter to a cool 18C in Summer. You’ll the experience to fly in all weathers!
International students from warmer climates may need some adjustment to the colder weather but speak to our staff and we can recommend you on the winter wear you will need or check out our ‘Things to bring’ page.