Unicity came into existence in the Greater Winnipeg area in 1972. It was an innovative experiment in local government reform that established the City of Winnipeg as one unified city.

The City of Winnipeg Act incorporated the R. M. of Charleswood, R. M. of Fort Garry, R. M. of North Kildonan, R. M. of Old Kildonan, Town of Tuxedo, City of East Kildonan, City of West Kildonan, City of St. Vital, City of Transcona, City of St. Boniface, City of St. James-Assiniboia, City of Winnipeg and the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg into one city.

Unicity replaced the two-tier metropolitan system established in 1960.

The initiative captured the attention of cities and city reformers across Canada and North America for its unique combination of goals as well as for its key features.

However, it has failed to spawn development within the downtown and inner city area of Winnipeg, which have declined markedly since Unicity government came into being. In fact, the result has been that the balance of power in the municipal government favours the suburban representatives that fill the majority of the seats in city council. Consequently, the inner city of Winnipeg has declined.

Almost all growth in Winnipeg during the past 35 years has occurred in the southern, northern, or eastern outer suburbs. Like Detroit, St. Louis, and many other North American cities, Winnipeg is suffering from a "doughnut effect", and is rapidly declining in economic importance relative to other cities in Canada and North America.

At the time of Unicity, Winnipeg was Canada's fourth-largest city; it has now fallen to eighth. Winnipeg's population has only grown by about 20% in the last 35 years, while that of Calgary has tripled, and those of Vancouver and Edmonton have more than doubled. Even the population growth in Regina and Saskatoon has outpaced Winnipeg's.

One of the effects of the creation of Unicity was the creation of a city with multiple manufacturing and business hubs. The result is more affordable real estate in almost every part of Winnipeg.

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