Search Textbook

Table of Contents

Chapter 12: The Southern Cities

12.1: Winkler

The City of Winkler[i] is located in the northern part of the west Mennonite reserve and is now an important regional centre in south central Manitoba. Unlike towns in western Manitoba, it has been increasing steadily in population since the early 1970s (3,009 in 1971; 7,241 in 1996; 7,943 in 2001 and 9,106 in 2006).

It is another example of a gridiron town plan oriented to the railroad—the Canadian Pacific that runs east/west through town 1. The plan also harmonizes with the section lines of the DLS. Early in its history when a town plan based on a central square was suggested, “the Pembina Branch of the CPR threatened to move the town site rather than have business and houses moved from their assigned locations opposite the railways”[ii] Now the downtown area has a definite T-shape (which shows a light tone on the photo 2) with commercial activity located along two roads north and south of the railway line, Railway Avenue North and Railway Avenue South 3 and along a major street at right angles, Main Street 4. Most of the well-treed older residential areas 5 have a street plan based on the grid, but newer developments in the southwest, south, and northwest 6 have bays and crescents.

Winkler is now a centre of light industry in Manitoba. Industrial/commercial areas are located in the southeast 7 serviced by a spur line from the railway 8, in the east along the railway line 9, and in a central area north of the railway line 10.

The town straddles the township line between townships 2 and 3, the first correction line of the DLS. This area is only about 20 miles (32 km) west of the principal meridian so the correction is small—about 550 feet (168 m) 11. Nevertheless it is responsible for the jog 12 in the north/south trending highway 32 13. The main east/west highway—divided in the west 14—is PTH 14 that bypasses Winkler to the north.

Some of the usual items of infrastructure can be identified: an arena 15, a major recreational area 16, a school 17 with a running track 18, a golf course 19, and a large shopping mall 20.

The town is located in a rich agriculture region based on the fertile—but formerly poorly drained—soils of the Lake Agassiz Plain. Indefinite strandlines can be seen in the southwest 21. Sections are divided into narrow north/south 22 and east/west 23 fields, often with field shelterbelts to protect against wind erosion 24. In the east 25 and southeast 26 the long narrow objects are straw stacks. Straw is processed locally into hardboard.

Figure 12.1: Winkler

Figure 12.1: Winkler

Figure 12.1

Vertical air photograph: MB95027-143

Flight height:  lens focal length:

Scale: 1:20,400 (approx.)

Date: 1995

Location: Township 2 and 3; Range 4 WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62H Winnipeg

                    1:50,000 62H/4 Altona


[i] Winkler was given city status on April 2, 2002.

[ii] Warkentin, J. and Ruggles R. I. Historical Atlas of Manitoba. Winnipeg: Manitoba Historical Society, 1970, 360.