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Chapter 17: Parks, Recreation, Sports

17.6: Ninette and the North End of Pelican Lake

Pelican Lake 1 at 14 miles (22.4 km) long and 1½ miles (2.4 km) wide is the largest lake in southwest Manitoba. It has been a popular recreational spot since the first European settlers arrived, with Ninette 2 at the north end of the lake being the focus of activities. In the early part of the Twentieth Century trains on the SMNR railway line 3—no longer in use—brought holidaymakers for a boat excursion or picnic on the lake. There are now no commercial boats on the lake, but there are many private boats in summer, and many cottages 4 are spread along the shores of the lake.[i] The Pelican Lake Yacht Club was established in 1969 at the north end. It holds races most weekends and hosted the Canada Games sailing events in 1997. In order to do that the club had to construct a breakwater 5 to protect moored vessels 6.

Note also PTH 18 7 that runs along the main street of Ninette 8; it used to divide the RM of Strathcona to the east from the RM of Riverside to the west. In 1999 for administrative convenience, all of Ninette was annexed to the RM of Riverside. The Manitoba Tuberculosis Sanatorium was located at the north end of Pelican Lake, off the photo to the east. It opened in 1910 and closed in 1972.[ii] Many of the residents who were seeking a cure for tuberculosis made use of the recreational potential of the lake. The sanatorium was converted to a training centre for mentally challenged people, but it closed in 2000, and most of the original buildings have now gone.

Figure 17.6: Ninette and the North End of Pelican Lake

Figure 17.6: Ninette and the North End of Pelican Lake

Figure 17.6

Vertical air photo by Prairie Agri Photo

Flight height: 7,250 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 50 mm


Date: summer 2000

Location: Township 5; Range 16WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon

1:50,000 62G/5 Dunrea


[i] Welsted, J. "The Ups and Downs and Ins and Outs of Pelican lake" Proceedings of the Prairie Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers ed. Wilson, M. R.  Saskatoon; University of Saskatchewan, 1993, 221-232.

[ii] See Stewart, D. B. Holy Ground: The Story of the Manitoba Sanatorium at Ninette. Killarney: c1999.