Gillam, Manitoba

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Gillam is located in Manitoba
Gillam
Gillam
Location of Gillam in Manitoba

Gillam is a town in Manitoba, Canada, situated between Thompson and Churchill on the Hudson Bay Railway line. Gillam is significant because of the nearby Nelson River Bipole converter station on the Nelson River. Gillam receives limited VIA rail passenger service at the Gillam railway station.

History[edit]

Welcome sign at Gillam, Manitoba.

The large Gillam Local Government District (56°27′30″N 94°12′30″W / 56.45833°N 94.20833°W / 56.45833; -94.20833) was established by the Manitoba government in the mid-1960s to facilitate development of hydroelectricity on the lower Nelson River. At 1,996.346 square kilometres (770.793 sq mi), Gillam is considered to be the 15th largest city or town in Canada by area, although the majority of the encompassing area of the District is largely uninhabited and undeveloped, but filled with many lakes, rivers and large forests of pine trees. It is the largest town in Manitoba, and one of four extremely large "towns" (the other three are Leaf Rapids, Snow Lake, and Lynn Lake) in northern Manitoba that, although technically towns, are mostly rural and are the size of most typical counties in the United States or eastern Canada. Three of Manitoba's largest hydro dams—Kettle Generating Station, Long Spruce Generating Station, and Limestone Generating Station—are located within Gillam's boundaries. Most residents of Gillam are employed by Manitoba Hydro and work at one of the many stations in the surrounding area. There are also many small businesses, a small mall, grocery store, school (K-12), recreation centre, a train station and a local Royal Canadian Mounted Police branch. Gillam is also the home of Fox Lake Cree Nation, an Indian Band. A majority of the members of Fox Lake Cree Nation live in the Town of Gillam or on Reserve Land in the nearby community of Bird, which is also located within the Gillam Local Government District. The ghost town of Sundance whose purpose was to facilitate the building of the Limestone Generating Station, is also within the District of Gillam. Once a busy, fully functioning town, it has since been abandoned and torn down after the completion of Limestone (named for the Limestone River that empties into the Nelson just downstream of the dam).

Geography[edit]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Gillam
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 2.9
(37.2)
4.6
(40.3)
19
(66)
28.7
(83.7)
32.4
(90.3)
36.8
(98.2)
35.2
(95.4)
35.1
(95.2)
31
(88)
22.4
(72.3)
9.5
(49.1)
2.6
(36.7)
36.8
(98.2)
Average high °C (°F) −21
(−6)
−16.3
(2.7)
−8.2
(17.2)
1.7
(35.1)
10.5
(50.9)
17.8
(64)
21.4
(70.5)
19.6
(67.3)
11.4
(52.5)
3.1
(37.6)
−8.1
(17.4)
−17.8
(0)
1.2
(34.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) −25.8
(−14.4)
−22
(−8)
−15.1
(4.8)
−4.7
(23.5)
4.4
(39.9)
11.4
(52.5)
15.3
(59.5)
13.9
(57)
7
(45)
−0.4
(31.3)
−12.1
(10.2)
−22.5
(−8.5)
−4.2
(24.4)
Average low °C (°F) −30.5
(−22.9)
−27.7
(−17.9)
−21.9
(−7.4)
−11.1
(12)
−1.8
(28.8)
5
(41)
9.2
(48.6)
8.2
(46.8)
2.6
(36.7)
−4
(25)
−16.1
(3)
−27.1
(−16.8)
−9.6
(14.7)
Record low °C (°F) −46.1
(−51)
−45
(−49)
−42.6
(−44.7)
−32.2
(−26)
−22.8
(−9)
−10.2
(13.6)
−1.7
(28.9)
−1.7
(28.9)
−9.1
(15.6)
−26.9
(−16.4)
−39.4
(−38.9)
−45.1
(−49.2)
−46.1
(−51)
Precipitation mm (inches) 17.5
(0.689)
21.2
(0.835)
20.3
(0.799)
23.2
(0.913)
44.2
(1.74)
53.9
(2.122)
81.8
(3.22)
77.2
(3.039)
55
(2.17)
40.9
(1.61)
37.5
(1.476)
26.7
(1.051)
499.4
(19.661)
Source: Environment Canada[1]

Communities[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1981 1,427 —    
1986 1,909 +33.8%
1996 1,534 −19.6%
2001 1,178 −23.2%
2006 1,209 +2.6%
2011 1,317 +8.9%
[citation needed][2][3]

In the 2011 Census, Statistics Canada originally reported that the Town of Gillam had a population of 1,281 living in 427 of its 553 total dwellings, a 6.0% change from its 2006 population of 1,209.[2] Statistics Canada subsequently amended the 2011 census results to a population of 1,317 living in 439 of its 567 total dwellings, an 8.9% change from 2006.[3] With a land area of 1,996.34 km2 (770.79 sq mi), it had a population density of 0.65971/km2 (1.7086/sq mi) in 2011.[2][3] The population of Gillam is expected to double to triple within the next 5–10 years, due to several proposed hydroelectric projects in the area.

Attractions[edit]

Aurora over Gillam in mid-April.

Gillam has an indoor swimming pool at the Nelson River Aquatic Centre while the Gillam Recreation Centre offers bowling, ice skating, hockey, curling, a gymnasium, a weight room, meeting rooms, a teen room and a library.

Popular summer activities in the Gillam area are fishing and boating on the many lakes and rivers, while hunters search for game animals such as bear, caribou, moose, wolf, ptarmigan and grouse. The town has community parks and playgrounds, and Pumphouse Beach is just 2 km (1.2 mi) away from town. The three hydroelectric dams near town may be toured with a guide. In colder months, snowmobilers have access to hundreds of miles of groomed trails, while skywatchers can observe aurora borealis which are visible to the naked eye many nights from fall to spring at this high latitude location.[4]

Media[edit]

Manitoba Provincial Road 280 (red) links Gillam to the rest of Manitoba

CBWLT joined the province-wide microwave network in the summer of 1969.[5]

CBWLT channel 8 (CBC)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Environment CanadaCanadian Climate Normals 1971–2000, accessed 27 September 2009
  2. ^ a b c "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2011 and 2006 censuses (Manitoba)". Statistics Canada. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  3. ^ a b c "Corrections and updates". Statistics Canada. 2012-09-19. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  4. ^ "Recreation and Leisure Activities". Town of Gillam. 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  5. ^ "Microwave Hook-Up Gives North Live TV". Winnipeg Free Press. April 29, 1969. p. 28. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 56°20′50″N 94°42′28″W / 56.34722°N 94.70778°W / 56.34722; -94.70778