The romance department is heating up in Winnipeg. The city rose to the ranks of second-most romantic city in Canada, next to Victoria, B.C, according to Amazon.ca in their fifth annual ranking. A major jump from the city's 11th place standing in 2012.
The list was compiled by comparing Amazon's sales data of romance novels and relationship books, romantic comedies, and romantic music discs from such crooners as Dean Martin, Barry White, Luther Vandross, and Michael Buble.
Victoria finished first in the rankings for a second consecutive year. Niagara Falls, Lethbridge, Alta., and North Vancouver rounded out the top five. Despite Match.com's assertion last year that Winnipeg was the least romantic city, Amazon.ca's findings seem to work with the city's romantic legacy.
According to the online bookstore giant, it was the purchase of romantic books that put us over the edge. The company said that locals in Winnipeg purchased the most romantic print and Kindle books including period romance novels, gothic romance, romantic suspense and historical romance books. Just ask local filmmaker Aaron Zeghers, who has spent the last year documenting Winnipeg's historical love affair with romance and the romance novel. His film Born out of Love reveals the history behind the Harlequin romance novel -- published by a company founded in Winnipeg by Richard H.G. Bonnycastle in 1949.
"It was the beginning of the early form of female-dominated genres," Zeghers said of the publishing powerhouse's legacy.
He views Winnipeg as a city of dreamers and romance as a form of escapism from the city.
"Seemingly, the romance novel is about adventure and going away from this world," he said. "When you live in a small town, you can try to do other things, through the books."
Amazon.ca's 20 most romantic cities in Canada:
3. Niagara Falls
4. Lethbridge, Alta.
5. North Vancouver
7. Kamloops, B.C.
8. Langley, B.C.
11. Red Deer, Alta.
12. Thunder Bay, Ont.
14. Brantford, Ont.
15. Sherbrooke, PQ
16. Pickering, Ont.
17. Kingston, Ont.
18. Nanaimo, B.C.
19. Waterloo, Ont.
20. Cambridge, Ont.