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Chapter 12: The Southern Cities

12.10: Portage la Prairie


This newer (1989), slightly larger-scale photo, allows the identification of more detail than figure 12.9.

1.     Meander scrolls can be seen along the bends of the Assiniboine River 1; in some cases the damming of the river 2 has flooded the lowland between scrolls.

2.     The three abandoned channels observed on figure 12.9 are seen here; a footbridge crosses Crescent Lake 3.

3.     A small amount of water, dark-toned, occupies the floor of the floodway 4; two drop structures (5 and 6) can be seen along the floodway, designed to concentrate the falling water—Lake Manitoba is at a lower elevation than the Assiniboine River—at specific controlled locations.

4.     The intensive farming in this area concentrates on high-value crops, particularly fruits and vegetables—Portage claims to be the strawberry capital of Canada. This emphasis results in small fields particularly close to the city (7 and 8), although the very small fields east of Crescent Lake 9 are part of a Department of Agriculture Experimental Farm. Also, the Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie has the second highest irrigated acreage—after the Rural Municipality of North Cypress—in Manitoba.[i] Evidence of irrigation takes the form of circular-shaped fields 10 associated with centre pivot irrigation.

5.     PTH 1A passes through the city 11 that is bypassed by the twinned Trans-Canada Highway 12.

6.     This photograph extends slightly further south than figure 12.9, to include the boundary between townships 10 and 11 13, a correction line: the westward jog is about 1500 feet (457 m) 14 resulting in the bend on PR 240 15.

7.     The gas pipeline seen on figure 12.9 is even more obvious on this photo 16.

8.     West of the Assiniboine just north of the pipeline is a cluster of buildings 17 not seen on Figure 12.9; this is probably a newly established Hutterite colony.

9.     The planned layout of the city is clear. The eastern part has roads that trend a few degrees off north/south 18 and east/west 19, following the influence of lots running back from Crescent Lake. In the west is a small area where roads are a few degrees more away from north/south and east/west, with the “north/south” ones following lots radiating back from the lake 20. The direction of Highway 1A through the city is influenced by these trends; it bends slightly too soon 21, but a minor road continues to the “correct” changing point 22. As usual the central business district is light-toned 23 because of the absence of vegetation and presence of flat roofs. It stretches along Highway 1A extending less than a block back in either direction.

The railway zone 24 is a definite barrier between north 25 and south 26 Portage, with some industrial development on the north side of the lines 27. Older residential areas occur north of Crescent Lake 28 with newer areas south of the lake 29 and along the Trans-Canada Highway 30.

Other aspects of the city’s infrastructure that can be seen are: two large buildings, one to the northeast 31 and the other northwest 32; several large buildings on highway 1A west of the main city 33, one of which is a shopping mall 34; a recreational area within the loop of Crescent Lake including a golf course 35, a racetrack 36, and baseball diamonds 37; a sewage treatment plant on the south side of the bypass 38; and the city’s cemetery 39. Located just west of the dam is a small cluster of buildings 40—the Dakota Tipi First Nation. Southport airfield is located in the southeast 41.

Figure 12.10: Portage la Prairie

Figure 12.10: Portage la Prairie

Figure 12.10

Vertical air photograph: MB89021 6 182

Flight height: 30,800 feet a.s.l.: lens focal length: 152.860 mm

Scale: 1:59,900 (approx.)

Date: August 7, 1989

Location: Townships 10, 11, and 12; Ranges 6, 7, 8 WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon 

                    1:50,000 62G/16 Portage la Prairie


[i] Gaia Consulting. 2001 Manitoba Irrigation Survey. Portage la Prairie, Gaia Consulting, 2001, figure 2.