I have heard nothing but bad about the city from co-workers who have either lived or visited there. It had seemed like a pleasant enough place when atara and I passed through there a few years ago, and our recent stay did nothing to dispel that impression. While it is hard to properly judge a northern city in the winter, the climate is no worse than what we have here, and the city appears to have all the amenities of a modern city, while still retaining some of the charm of its prairie roots. It also had a plethora of good hiking and cycling areas that are rather scarce in Winnipeg.
Though my brother and sister-in-law are not window shoppers by nature (she lacks the patience, and my brother is very targeted in his shopping - get in, get what you are after and get out) we convinced him to take us up to The Mall™ We spent about a couple of hours browsing, and grabbed a mediocre dinner in its food district before meandering over to the MS store where I picked up a Surface (my Christmas present).
I have been on the market for awhile to replace my ageing Dell laptop, and I have used atara's Surface enough time to conclude that it would meet my needs nicely. It's light, portable, has good battery life, and is compatible with all my stuff.
On a down note, after a couple of weeks away from work, I have to start turning my attention to my employer again and remote into my work desktop so that I can start wading through some courses on our intranet site. I need to complete a few hours of course work before I head off for training in the morning. Fun.