Land holdings in most of southern Manitoba have been determined using one of two systems. The older long-lot system, derived from the St. Lawrence lowlands in Quebec, is found along the Red River, along the AssiniboineRiver west to Portage la Prairie, as well as in several other isolated areas. Lots were laid out at right angles to the river, resulting in a distinctive pattern easily observed on remotely sensed images. The DSL system, which divided land into one square mile sections, was applied to virtually all other areas. The resulting squared pattern is a prominent feature on remotely sensed images. Interesting situations occur where the two systems come into contact. The DLS system was amended several times, but in Manitoba there is evidence of only the first and third systems. Careful interpretation of air photos can reveal the differences between the two systems.
7.3: Long Lots on the Assiniboine River North of St. Eustache
The Assiniboine River 1 meanders across the area from northwest to southeast with several abandoned channels 2 and one abandoned river stretch 3. In addition, Mill Creek 4, La Salle River 5, and the west branch of La Salle River 6 now occupy paleochannels. Land in the area is devoted mainly to growing crops, but a few dark-toned woodland patches can be seen along the Assiniboine 7 and some of the paleochannels 8.
Long lots are most obvious north of the Assiniboine 9. South of the river amalgamation has produced larger fields, although some are long and narrow with a north/south orientation 10. PTH 26 11 roughly parallels the river to the north with minor roads running between it and the river; settlements are located along the road and river producing a linear pattern. Unlike figure 7.2 the boundary between the linear long lot system and squared DLS system to the north (also the boundary between the RM of St. Francois Xavier and the RM of Rosser) is smooth 12.
The DLS system is used in the southwest where the sections 13 are clearly visible. Farms are located along section lines 14 resulting in a dispersed settlement pattern. Three hamlets are located in this area. In the centre is St. Eustache 15 with roads running north/south back from a section line 16. Near the southern edge is Elie 17 in which road orientation is determined partly by the DLS system (i.e., they are north/south and east/west) and partly by the southeast/northwest trending Canadian National Railway line. Further west is Bénard 18; although it is close to the railway line, road directions are determined by the DLS system. There are also two Hutterite colonies in the area, one near the west branch of La Salle River 19 and the other near Bull Creek 20.
In addition to the transport lines already mentioned, the twinned Trans-Canada 21 parallels the CN line in the south 22, and the Canadian Pacific line 23 crosses the northeast corner. In the centre PR 424 24 from St. Eustache eventually joins the Trans-Canada Highway off the photo to the east. PR 248 25 runs north/south between St. Eustache and Elie.
Figure 7.3: Long Lots on the Assiniboine River North of St. Eustache
Vertical air photograph: A21852-21
Flight height: 22,700 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 85.55 mm
Scale: 1:81,000 (approx.)
Date: August 12, 1970
Location: Townships 11 and 12; Ranges 2, 3, and 4 WI
Location of Elie at the Canadian National Railway line crossing with PR 248: 49º 54' N, 97º 45' W