Rural Municipality of Gimli

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Gimli, Manitoba
Rural municipality
Gimli and Lake Winnipeg
Gimli and Lake Winnipeg
Motto: The Heart of New Iceland[1]
Gimli, Manitoba is located in Manitoba
Gimli, Manitoba
Gimli, Manitoba
Coordinates: 50°39′43″N 97°01′47″W / 50.66194°N 97.02972°W / 50.66194; -97.02972Coordinates: 50°39′43″N 97°01′47″W / 50.66194°N 97.02972°W / 50.66194; -97.02972
Country Canada
Province Manitoba
Region Interlake
Demonym: Gimlungur (singular); Gimlungar (plural)
Founded October, 1875
Government
 • Mayor Lynn Greenberg
Area
 • Land 326.3 km2 (126.0 sq mi)
Elevation 222 m (728 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Density 18.2/km2 (47/sq mi)
 • Urban 5,845
 • Urban density 319.25/km2 (826.9/sq mi)
Postal code R0C 1B0
R0C 1B1
Area code(s) 204
Website gimli.ca

Gimli is a rural municipality located in the Interlake region of south-central Manitoba, Canada, on the western shore of Lake Winnipeg. It is about 75 kilometres (47 mi) north of the provincial capital Winnipeg. The rural municipality's population in the 2011 Canada census was 5,845.

The town of Gimli and surrounding districts were once an Icelandic ethnic block settlement, and the area, known as New Iceland, is home to the largest concentration of people of Icelandic ancestry outside Iceland. It also has significant Ukrainian and German communities, at 12% and 6% respectively.

The Town of Winnipeg Beach lies adjacent to its southeast corner, on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, between it and the Rural Municipality of St. Andrews to the south.

Communities[edit]

History[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1981 2,237 —    
1986 2,458 +9.9%
1996 3,124 +27.1%
2001 3,501 +12.1%
2006 5,797 +65.6%
2011 5,845 +0.8%
Gimli Viking statue commemorating Icelandic heritage

Gimli was founded by a large group of Icelandic settlers who arrived in New Iceland on Lake Winnipeg in the 1870s.[1] Beyond the borders of Manitoba as it was then, this settlement fell within the District of Keewatin, until 1881 when Manitoba was enlarged. In 1876 the community was hit by a severe outbreak of smallpox. Originally organized as a self-administering "Icelandic reserve" directly responsible to Ottawa, the settlers of New Iceland developed a unique constitution of by-laws for local government which remained in effect until they adopted provincial municipal government in 1887. The initial status of New Iceland as a "reserve" remained in effect until 1899.

In the Gimli Glider incident on 23 July 1983, an Air Canada Boeing 767 en route from Montreal to Edmonton ran out of fuel and made an unpowered landing on a decommissioned runway (having been used as a drag strip) at Gimli Industrial Park Airport, a former RCAF base near Gimli with no control tower and no fire trucks available. A reenactment of the incident has aired on Discovery Channel's Mayday series and on Syfy's Urban Legends series.

In December 2002, the town of Gimli was dissolved as a legal entity.[2]

Economy[edit]

There are over 100 commercial fishers in Gimli, catching white fish and pickerel.[3] During the summer months, tourism is a major industry, as thousands of summer cottagers fill the town of Gimli, especially on weekends. Hotels, restaurants and stores cater to the summer visitors.

Two of the largest employers in Gimli are the Gimli Distillery and Faroex [4] (a division of Sigma Industries). The Gimli Distillery opened in 1968. The plant employs 72 people with an annual payroll of almost $4 million. The operation is situated on two quarters of land and comprises a production building, barrel filling and dumping, and 46 warehouses to store the maturing whiskies. The plant, the source of Crown Royal whisky, produces the company's global Canadian whisky requirement. Faroex Ltd., established in 1981, produces composite components for use in the agricultural, automotive, consumer and military supply industries. Their first product was a flooring and support framing system made from plastic and fibreglass, used in hog production.

Smaller companies include Interlake Agencies, a local real estate and insurance company that started in Gimli in 1962 and is now the largest seller of real estate in the Interlake region and one of the largest independent real estate companies in Manitoba.[5]

Arts and culture[edit]

Gimli seen from above.

Gimli celebrates its heritage with the Icelandic Festival on August long weekend.[6] The first Icelandic festival in Manitoba was held in Winnipeg in 1890; it was held there annually until 1931, and since 1932 has been held in Gimli.

The celebration showcases the work of local artists in downtown Gimli. Tourists are able to purchase anything from jewellery to paintings and Viking and Icelandic memorabilia. A popular sight in the town is the pier which extends from the downtown shoreline out onto Lake Winnipeg and features the Gimli Seawall Gallery, a cement wall 977 feet (298 m) long featuring 72 murals which depict the history and stories of the community. [7]

The Gimli Film Festival is held annually;[8] it features a 11-metre (36 ft) outdoor screen on Lake Winnipeg. The Gimli Model Fest and R/C Airshow is an annual R/C hobby showcase, the largest in mid-Canada;[9] its Sunday afternoon air show includes jets with miniature turbine jet engines, warbirds, aerobatics, R/C combat and a kids' candy drop.

Mid-June 2011 saw the arrival of CJ 107.5,[10] a local radio station featuring a mixture of both country and classical rock. The station is located in the Lakeview Hotel,[11] broadcasting in Gimli and the surrounding Interlake area.

Climate[edit]

Gimli has a sunny climate, with an average of 318 days with measurable sunshine per year.[12] The municipality has warm summers; however, the close proximity to Lake Winnipeg cools the summer temperature compared to locations further inland. Winter moderation from lake Winnipeg is eliminated because Lake Winnipeg freezes over in the winter. Spring and autumn are short seasons, but contain comfortable temperatures.

Climate data for Gimli, Manitoba
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 8.2
(46.8)
8.1
(46.6)
15.0
(59)
29.2
(84.6)
36.1
(97)
36.7
(98.1)
35.0
(95)
37.5
(99.5)
36.5
(97.7)
26.1
(79)
22.8
(73)
6.3
(43.3)
37.5
(99.5)
Average high °C (°F) −12.8
(9)
−9.3
(15.3)
−1.8
(28.8)
8.2
(46.8)
16.3
(61.3)
21.6
(70.9)
24.9
(76.8)
23.2
(73.8)
16.9
(62.4)
9.5
(49.1)
−1.1
(30)
−10.5
(13.1)
7.1
(44.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) −18.2
(−0.8)
−14.8
(5.4)
−7.3
(18.9)
2.7
(36.9)
10.6
(51.1)
16.1
(61)
19.2
(66.6)
17.5
(63.5)
11.6
(52.9)
4.8
(40.6)
−5.2
(22.6)
−15.4
(4.3)
1.8
(35.2)
Average low °C (°F) −23.5
(−10.3)
−20.3
(−4.5)
−12.8
(9)
−2.9
(26.8)
4.7
(40.5)
10.5
(50.9)
13.5
(56.3)
11.8
(53.2)
6.3
(43.3)
0.0
(32)
−9.2
(15.4)
−20.3
(−4.5)
−3.5
(25.7)
Record low °C (°F) −41.2
(−42.2)
−39.4
(−38.9)
−34.4
(−29.9)
−25.6
(−14.1)
−9.5
(14.9)
−1.3
(29.7)
2.8
(37)
0.5
(32.9)
−15.8
(3.6)
−16.4
(2.5)
−34.3
(−29.7)
−39.4
(−38.9)
−41.2
(−42.2)
Precipitation mm (inches) 22.2
(0.874)
17.3
(0.681)
30.0
(1.181)
30.0
(1.181)
49.8
(1.961)
94.1
(3.705)
69.7
(2.744)
64.2
(2.528)
66.7
(2.626)
38.3
(1.508)
27.6
(1.087)
22.5
(0.886)
532.5
(20.965)
Rainfall mm (inches) 0.3
(0.012)
0.3
(0.012)
8.8
(0.346)
19.8
(0.78)
47.6
(1.874)
94.1
(3.705)
69.7
(2.744)
64.2
(2.528)
65.6
(2.583)
30.3
(1.193)
5.3
(0.209)
1.8
(0.071)
407.8
(16.055)
Snowfall cm (inches) 27.6
(10.87)
21.7
(8.54)
24.1
(9.49)
11.4
(4.49)
2.2
(0.87)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1.1
(0.43)
8.4
(3.31)
26.6
(10.47)
25.0
(9.84)
148.1
(58.31)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 12.3 9.2 9.5 8.1 9.9 12.7 11.7 11.6 11.1 10.0 9.4 12.4 127.6
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 0.30 0.35 2.5 5.6 9.5 12.7 11.7 11.6 10.9 8.2 2.3 0.53 76.1
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 13.9 9.7 8.5 3.7 1.0 0.05 0 0 0.45 2.6 8.6 13.6 62.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours 119.3 141.2 190.3 247.5 284.4 289.6 319.1 271.8 174.8 141.1 94.9 102.4 2,376.4
Source: Environment Canada[12]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]