Grand Rapids, Manitoba

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Grand Rapids
Misipawastik
Town
The Highway 6 bridge crosses the Saskatchewan River at Grand Rapids.
The Highway 6 bridge crosses the Saskatchewan River at Grand Rapids.
Grand Rapids is located in Manitoba
Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids
Location of Grand Rapids in Manitoba
Coordinates: 53°12′30″N 99°18′00″W / 53.20833°N 99.30000°W / 53.20833; -99.30000
Country  Canada
Province  Manitoba
Region Northern Manitoba
Settled 1877
Area
 • Total 85.95 km2 (33.19 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 279
 • Density 3.2/km2 (8/sq mi)
 • Change 2006-11 Decrease17.0%
Postal code R0C 1E0
Area code(s) 204

Grand Rapids is a town in Manitoba, Canada located on the northwestern shore of Lake Winnipeg where the Saskatchewan River enters the lake. As the name implies, the river had a significant drop at this point (more than 75 feet in less than 3 miles). In modern days, a large hydro electric generating plant has been built. Cedar Lake, just a short distance up the river provides a natural water storage for this plant. PTH 6, the primary roadway in the region, crosses the Saskatchewan River at the Grand Rapids bridge.

Grand Rapids was on the main canoe route toward the west. See Canadian Canoe Routes (early). Fort Bourbon stood here at one time. It also sits across the river from Grand Rapids First Nation.

In 1894 fire destroyed a number of buildings in the Grand Rapids docks. Also the steamboat Colvile caught fire and was destroyed.[2]

History[edit]

The first Fort Bourbon was built here in 1741 but was soon moved.[3] Grand Rapids was the only significant obstacle on the Saskatchewan-North Saskatchewan between the Rocky Mountains and Lake Winnipeg. Going downstream the rapids were usually run demi-chargé using the south channel. Upstream the boats were pulled by towlines. In the 1780s the Hudson's Bay Company began to use York boats on the river. A log road was constructed so that these large boats could be hauled on rollers. Here in June 1819, in retaliation for the Battle of Seven Oaks HBC governor William Williams captured a number of Northwest Company men. The next year the Nor'Westers captured some HBC men at the same spot. (see Pemmican War)[3]

In the 1870s the railroad reached Lake Winnipeg and steamboats appeared on the lake and river. In 1877 a 3-mile long narrow gauge railway using horse-drawn tramcars was built around the rapids. The spread of railways made the tramway obsolete and the HBC closed it in 1909. It was used for tourist excursions for the next forty years.[3] By the 1980s remains were still visible and parts of the trail were still in use.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Grand Rapids
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 7.5
(45.5)
9
(48)
17
(63)
28
(82)
32.5
(90.5)
36
(97)
36.5
(97.7)
35
(95)
31.7
(89.1)
24
(75)
17.5
(63.5)
7.8
(46)
36.5
(97.7)
Average high °C (°F) −15
(5)
−10.3
(13.5)
−3.1
(26.4)
6.2
(43.2)
14.2
(57.6)
20.2
(68.4)
23.5
(74.3)
22.4
(72.3)
15.3
(59.5)
7.7
(45.9)
−3.4
(25.9)
−11.8
(10.8)
5.5
(41.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) −19.7
(−3.5)
−15.4
(4.3)
−8.6
(16.5)
0.9
(33.6)
8.6
(47.5)
15
(59)
18.6
(65.5)
17.6
(63.7)
11.1
(52)
4
(39)
−6.7
(19.9)
−16
(3)
0.8
(33.4)
Average low °C (°F) −24.4
(−11.9)
−20.4
(−4.7)
−14
(7)
−4.4
(24.1)
3
(37)
9.9
(49.8)
13.7
(56.7)
12.7
(54.9)
6.7
(44.1)
0.3
(32.5)
−10
(14)
−20.3
(−4.5)
−3.9
(25)
Record low °C (°F) −43
(−45)
−41.1
(−42)
−36.1
(−33)
−26.1
(−15)
−13.3
(8.1)
−1.5
(29.3)
3.3
(37.9)
1.1
(34)
−5.6
(21.9)
−16
(3)
−32
(−26)
−39.5
(−39.1)
−43
(−45)
Precipitation mm (inches) 16.5
(0.65)
13
(0.51)
22.2
(0.874)
24.6
(0.969)
43.6
(1.717)
78.4
(3.087)
72.3
(2.846)
63.7
(2.508)
58.5
(2.303)
38.7
(1.524)
23.6
(0.929)
18.6
(0.732)
473.7
(18.65)
Source: Environment Canada[4]

Demographics[edit]

In the 2011 Census, Grand Rapids had a population of 279 living in 109 of its 180 total private dwellings.[1]

References[edit]

  • Elizabeth Browne Losey, "Let Them be Remembered: The Story of the Fur Trade Forts",1999

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°12′30″N 99°18′00″W / 53.20833°N 99.30000°W / 53.20833; -99.30000