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Chapter 7: Survey Systems

7.4: Long Lots at Ste. Anne

“Ste. Anne, located about thirty miles southeast of Winnipeg, was the site of an early Métis settlement…. The village was marked out in 1872, before the surrounding townships were surveyed. As a result the long lots of the parish stand out in sharp contrast to the rectangular grid of the surrounding “checkerboard.”[i] The dashed line 1 marks the boundary between the two systems. The basis for the long lots is the Seine River 2 that flows just south of the town of Ste. Anne 3. Houses are located at the end of long lots on either side of PR 210 4 resulting in a linear settlement. Some roads in the settlement run back from the highway parallel to the long lots 5.

The DLS system can be seen west and south of Ste. Anne. Individual sections 6 are easily identified with farmsteads located along section lines 7. “Today, the advantages of long lots vis à vis sections are frequently debated in terms of their relative desirability in areas of pioneer settlement. On the one hand, the proximity of one’s neighbours, as well as economies in providing service infrastructures favour a long lot system but on the other hand, the greater ease of surveying and the resultant coordinated grid system provide a strong case for the township surveys.”[ii]

The Seine River Diversion 8, part of which can be seen on the photo, enters the Red River, off the photo to the west. It is intended to divert floodwater around Ste. Anne and to reduce the danger of flooding to the southeastern suburbs of Winnipeg, outside the Red River Floodway.

Ste. Anne is significant in that it was located on the Dawson Road 9 that is now followed in part by PR 207; in fact this route way to western Canada—entirely within Canada—was the original focus of the settlement. PTH 12 10, north from southeastern Manitoba and Steinbach, runs through the eastern part of this area and through Ste. Anne. Also in the east is the Canadian National Railway 11 line leading north to Winnipeg. A spur can be seen northwest of Ste. Anne 12 and a grain elevator 13—identified by its shadow—can be seen on the main line. The dark line in the north is an underground gas pipeline 14.

Most of the land is devoted to crop growing, but some woodland patches can be seen in the southeast 15, along the Seine River 16, and in one part-section south of the Seine River 17. Ste. Anne (2006 population 1,534) is a prosperous rural service centre within the Winnipeg hinterland and therefore serves as a dormitory settlement.

Figure 7.4: Long Lots at Ste. Anne

Figure 7.4: Long Lots at Ste. Anne

Figure 7.4

Vertical air photograph: A15911-9

Flight height: 19,000 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length:  152.15 mm

Scale: 1:37,000 (approx.)

Date: October 14, 1957

Location: Township 7 and 8; Range 6 E

Location of crossing of CN line over Seine River: 49º 40' N, 96º 39' W

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62H Winnipeg

1:50,000 62H/10 Ste. Anne


[i] Tyman, J. and D. Where on Earth, Mid Latitude Grasslands (Library Edition). Brisbane: Atham Educational. 1978, 24.

[ii] Farley, A. L. ed. Trans-Canada Field Excursion Guide Book. Vancouver: University of British Columbia, Department of Geography, 1972, 63.