Gimli, Manitoba

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Gimli
Community
The Gimli Harbour Master's building and lighthouse, constructed in 1910, rebuilt 1974.
The Gimli Harbour Master's building and lighthouse, constructed in 1910, rebuilt 1974.
Gimli is located in Manitoba
Gimli
Gimli
Coordinates: 50°38′01″N 96°59′24″W / 50.63361°N 96.99000°W / 50.63361; -96.99000Coordinates: 50°38′01″N 96°59′24″W / 50.63361°N 96.99000°W / 50.63361; -96.99000
Country Canada
Province Manitoba
Region Interlake
Rural Municipality RM of Gimli
Demonym: Gimlungur (singular); Gimlungar (plural)
Founded October 21, 1875[1]
Village of Gimli March 6, 1908
Town of Gimli December 31, 1946[2]
Amalgamated with RM of Gimli January 1, 2003[2]
Government
 • Mayor Randy Woroniuk
 • MP (Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman) James Bezan (CPC)
 • MLA (Gimli) Jeff Wharton (PC)
Area
 • Total 3.01 km2 (1.16 sq mi)
Elevation 222 m (728 ft)
Population (2016)
 • Total 2,246
 • Density 746.6/km2 (1,934/sq mi)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
Postal code R0C 1B0
Area code(s) 204, 431

Gimli is a community in the Rural Municipality of Gimli on the west side of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba. The community's first European settlers were Icelanders who were part of the New Iceland settlement in Manitoba. The community maintains a strong connection to Iceland and Icelandic culture today, including the annual Icelandic Festival. It was incorporated as a village on March 6, 1908, and held town status between December 31, 1946, and January 1, 2003, when it amalgamated with the RM of Gimli.[3] Census Canada now recognizes the community as a population centre for census purposes. The 2016 Canadian census recorded a population of 2,246 in the urban centre of Gimli.

The town's settlers sustained themselves primarily from agriculture and fishing. Gimli maintains a strong connection to the lake today, tourism has played a part in the town's current economic sustainability. Gimli Beach is a popular spot in the summer while the Gimli Harbour is the largest harbour on Lake Winnipeg and in Western Canada between Ontario and the Pacific Coast.

History[edit]

H. P. Tergesen's & Sons in Gimli. The store was constructed in 1898 and still operates today.
Historical population
YearPop.±%
19811,688—    
19861,681−0.4%
19961,574−6.4%
20011,657+5.3%
20061,896+14.4%
20112,127+12.2%
20162,246+5.6%
Source: Statistics Canada
[4][5][6]

The first European settlers in Gimli were Canadian Icelanders. Icelandic immigrants began settling in 1875.[7] The Icelandic settlers arrived from Kinmount, Ontario, and settled at the site of Gimli, the new home of New Iceland.[1] Volcanic eruptions in Iceland at the time spurred additional immigration to the Gimli and New Iceland area. 300 people left Iceland, arrived in Ontario and took a ship to Duluth, from there they made their way to Grand Forks, North Dakota and took a steamer up to the mouth of the Assinboine. 75-100 people stayed in the Winnipeg area while the rest made their way to Lake Winnipeg on flat boats and one York boat to save money.[1]

In 1875, the settlers landed south of Gimli at Willow Island and then had to walk and carry the remaining goods to the current site of Gimli.[1] A second group of approximately 800 would follow in their footsteps the next year.[1] Three town sites were chosen in New Iceland to be surveyed, Gimli was measured as approximately 1 mile of lakefront and half a mile in depth.[1] Of the three towns, Gimli, Lundi, and Sandvik, Gimli is the only one remaining and the only one to have developed exactly as planned.[1]

The Canadian Pacific Railway reached Gimli in 1906 and soon the town and surrounding region became a tourist and vacation destination for people from Winnipeg. By the 1930s the south shore area of Gimli began to see cottages replacing farmland.[8] With 68 km (42 mi) of shoreline on Lake Winnipeg, Gimli is a popular fishing destination in summer.

During World War II an area west of the community was appropriated by the Royal Canadian Air Force to construct a training facility. RCAF Station Gimli was opened in 1943 and remained in operation until 1945. The Station was reactivated in 1950 and was closed again in 1971.

In 1983, the Gimli Industrial Park Airport became famous when an Air Canada Boeing 767 ran out of fuel over southern Manitoba and successfully glided to a landing at Gimli Motorsport Park. The aircraft in that incident became known as the Gimli Glider.

In 2006, Icelandic-Canadian poet David Arnason contributed a naturally washer-shaped "lucky stone" from the shores of Lake Winnipeg at Gimli to the Six String Nation project. The stone was inlaid on the seventh fret of Voyageur, the guitar at the heart of the project, by Sara Nasr.[9]

Toponymy[edit]

Gimli is an Icelandic variant form of Gimlé, place in Nordic mythology, where the survivors of Ragnarök are foretold to live. It is mentioned in the Prose Edda and Völuspá and described as the most beautiful place on Earth, more beautiful than the Sun. In Asgard, the realm of the gods, Gimli is the golden roofed building where righteous men go when they die.[10] The etymology of Gimli is likely "the place protected from fire"[11] based on two Old Nordic elements : gimr "fire" and hlé "protected place".

Gimli Harbour[edit]

The CCGS Vakta docked in the Gimli Harbour, with sailing vessels and the lighthouse in the background.

The Government of Canada provided the community of Gimli with a grant in 1898 to build a harbour in the community.[12] A permanent dock was built in 1900 and a lighthouse was added in 1910.[12] The lighthouse would later be damaged in an ice pileup in 1943 which managed to push it over. The original top of the lighthouse was saved and later and put on top of a rebuilt replica in 1974 as part of a tourist attraction.[12] The lighthouse is currently managed by the New Iceland Heritage Museum.

Today the harbour serves as the largest harbour on Lake Winnipeg. It is the site of a Canadian Coast Guard station and home to the CCGS Vakta, the largest coast guard vessel on Lake Winnipeg. The Gimli Harbour remains an important economic driver not only in terms of tourism but also as part of a commercial fishery. An important source of food in the early days of New Iceland, fishing remains an important part of the modern economy today.[13]

The Gimli Yacht Club is located in the harbour and is used for recreational sailing, as well as to continue to teach sailing lessons today. The site has also been used competitively with races taking place in Gimli as part of the 1967 Pan American Games, the 1999 Pan American Games, and the 2017 Canada Summer Games.[14]

Climate[edit]

Under the Köppen climate classification, Gimli has a humid continental climate with vast temperature differences between summer and winter, owing to its relatively northerly latitude and distance to coastlines. As a result, summers are warm and sometimes hot, with winters sometimes being bitterly cold.

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)
Average 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)
Average 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)
Average 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)
Average 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
Average 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
Average 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[15]

Icelandic Festival[edit]

The Icelandic Festival of Manitoba has been celebrated since 1890 and has been held in Gimli since 1932.[16] Several thousand tourists come each year for three days during the August long weekend. Artworks from jewellery to paintings are displayed at the art museum as well along the pier wall that extends from downtown Gimli into the lake, and traditional Icelandic dishes are offered.

Gimli also holds a five-day summer film festival, during which films are shown on a screen in the lake to audiences on the beach.

Gimli with Lake Winnipeg in the foreground.

Economy[edit]

Diageo Global Supply Crown Royal plant, Gimli, Manitoba, Canada

Gimli is the site of the Crown Royal whiskey distillery. Crown Royal is produced solely at the company's distillery at Gimli, on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Daily production of Crown Royal uses 10,000 bushels of rye, corn and barley sourced from Manitoba and surrounding provinces,[17] and requires 750,000 imperial gallons (3,400,000 L; 900,000 US gal) of water naturally filtered through the limestone beneath the lake.[17] The whisky produced at the Manitoba distillery is stored in 1.5 million barrels,[18] located in 50 warehouses over 5 acres (2 ha) of land. The whisky is then blended and bottled in Amherstburg, Ontario.[19][20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Gimli Saga" (PDF). Gimli Women's Institute. 1975. Retrieved 2017-08-13.
  2. ^ a b "Manitoba Communities: Gimli (Rural Municipality)". Manitoba Historical Society. Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  3. ^ "Manitoba Municipalities: Gimli". The Manitoba Historical Society. October 23, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  4. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Statistics Canada. Government of Canada. Retrieved 2014-12-23.
  5. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". Statistics Canada. Government of Canada. Retrieved 2014-12-23.
  6. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". Statistics Canada. Government of Canada. Retrieved 2014-12-23.
  7. ^ "An Experiment in Immigrant Colonization: Canada and the Icelandic Reserve, 1875-1897 by Ryan Christopher Eyford (map page 4)" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-05-28.
  8. ^ "History". South Beach Property Owners Association, Gimli, Manitoba. Retrieved 2014-12-22.
  9. ^ Jowi., Taylor, (2009). Six string nation : 64 pieces, 6 strings, 1 Canada, 1 guitar. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre. ISBN 9781553653936. OCLC 302060380.
  10. ^ Davidson, H. R. Ellis. Gods and Myths of Northern Europe. England: Penguin Books. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-14-013627-2.
  11. ^ Nordic Names : Gimlé
  12. ^ a b c "Historic Sites of Manitoba: Gimli Dock and Lighthouse (Gimli, RM of Gimli)". Manitoba Historical Society. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  13. ^ "About Us - About Gimli". Gimli Community Development Corporation. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  14. ^ "Gimli Yacht Club - Our History". Gimli Yacht Club. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  15. ^ "Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000". Environment Canada. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
  16. ^ "About The Festival". Icelandic Festival of Manitoba. Archived from the original on 2014-12-23. Retrieved 2014-12-22.
  17. ^ a b https://www.crownroyal.com/story/our-process/
  18. ^ https://www.crownroyal.com/story/our-home/
  19. ^ "Towns look to leave mark on booze bottles". Business Edge News Magazine (Ontario Edition). businessedge.ca.
  20. ^ Layoffs land at Diageo Archived 2008-01-31 at the Wayback Machine. at Canada.com

External links[edit]