Fort Ellice

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Fort Ellice
in Rupert's Land near the junction of the Assiniboine and Qu'Appelle rivers;
Rural Municipality of Ellice, Manitoba, Canada
Typetrading post
Site information
Controlled byHudson's Bay Company
Site history

Fort Ellice was a Hudson's Bay Company trading post established on the Qu’Appelle River upstream from the fork with the Assiniboine River in 1794. In 1817 it was rebuilt on the south bank of the Assiniboine at Beaver Creek. In 1862 a new post was constructed a short distance from the original fort and in 1873 it replaced Fort Pelly as the headquarters for the Swan River District. It closed in 1892.[1] Many famous Metis traders were in charge of this post, namely, John Richard McKay, James McKay and William McKay Sr. The fort was located in what is now west-central Manitoba, Canada, just east of that province's border with Saskatchewan.

It was an important fort, as it was a major stopping point on the Carlton Trail, which ran from the Red River Colony to Fort Edmonton. (The section leading from Upper Fort Garry to this district was commonly known as the Fort Ellice Trail.)

A second more elaborate structure was built in 1862 by the HBC but its economic life was short-lived as the Company relinquished control of Rupert's Land with the 1870 Deed of Surrender. This deed transferred many HBC rights to the new Canadian national government.

The fort had one more important role to play in history; it acted as a staging point for part of the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) force that started at Fort Dufferin and headed west in 1874 to establish law and order in the future provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The fort acted as an NWMP post beginning in 1875.

The fort was named after Edward Ellice, a British merchant and an investor in the Hudson's Bay Company. Fort Ellice in turn gave its name to the Rural Municipality of Ellice in west-central Manitoba and to Ellice Avenue, a major arterial road in Winnipeg.

The property that supports both forts is currently owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.[2]


  1. ^ Barkwell, Lawrence J. (2018) Historic Metis settlements in Manitoba and geographical place names. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Louis Riel Institute, 2018. ISBN: 978-1-927531-1-81.
  2. ^ <

External links[edit]

  • "Fort Ellice". Canadian Encyclopedia.
  • Manitoba Community Profiles
  • History in Winnipeg Street Names from the Manitoba Historical Society
  • Fort Ellice property photos from Nature Conservancy of Canada
  • Google trekker - virtual hike of Fort Ellice property,-101.2869901,3a,50.4y,283.13h,76.29t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sUF2N0E_pMD23ln2H07fipw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Coordinates: 50°24′36″N 101°17′14″W / 50.40992°N 101.28721°W / 50.40992; -101.28721