Gillam, Manitoba

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Gillam
Town
Welcome sign at Gillam
Welcome sign at Gillam
Gillam is located in Manitoba
Gillam
Gillam
Gillam in Manitoba
Coordinates: 56°20′50″N 94°42′28″W / 56.34722°N 94.70778°W / 56.34722; -94.70778Coordinates: 56°20′50″N 94°42′28″W / 56.34722°N 94.70778°W / 56.34722; -94.70778
Country Canada
Province Manitoba
Region Northern
Census division 23
Government
 • Type Town Council
Area
 • Total 1,996.34 km2 (770.79 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 1,281
 • Density 0.6/km2 (2/sq mi)
Time zone CST (UTC−6)
 • Summer (DST) DST (UTC−5)
[1]

Gillam is a town on the Nelson River in northern Manitoba, Canada. It is situated between Thompson and Churchill on the Hudson Bay Railway line. Gillam receives limited VIA rail passenger service at the Gillam railway station. Manitoba Provincial Road 280 links Gillam to the rest of Manitoba, making it one of the northernmost communities in the province accessible by year-round road. To go beyond towards Churchill only a rail route is available year-round.

Many residents of Gillam are employed by Manitoba Hydro at three of Manitoba's largest hydro dams—Kettle Generating Station, Long Spruce Generating Station, and Limestone Generating Station— located within Gillam's boundaries.

History[edit]

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.[2]

Gillam is also the home of Fox Lake Cree Nation, a First Nations 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]

Location of Gillam on Stephens Lake

Gillam is located on the southeastern shore of Stephens Lake, a reservoir created by Manitoba Hydro in 1971 by the Kettle Dam on the Nelson River.[3]

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)
Average 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[4]

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][1][5]

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.[1] 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.[5] 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.[1][5] 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.

Amenities[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. 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 detachment.

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.[6]

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.[7]

CBWLT channel 8 (CBC)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]