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Chapter 7: Survey Systems

7.5: Long Lots at Lorette


When the DLS system was established in Manitoba “there was considerable debate about whether the river lots should be incorporated into, or replaced by township surveys [but] the reluctance or refusal of the Métis and French Canadians to conform to the sector survey resulted in the establishment of further long lots throughout Manitoba…The Lorette and Oak Island settlements between Ste. Anne and Winnipeg were surveyed into long lots in the 1880s.”[i]

At Lorette, as at Ste. Anne, the Seine 1 is the reference stream with lots trending south-southwest/north-northeast. PR 501 2 runs north of the river; houses are located along it at the end of long lots with minor roads 3 running back from the highway parallel to the long axis of the lots, resulting in a linear settlement 4. The saw-toothed contact between the long lot system and the DLS system (indicated by a dashed line) is obvious 5. North of the junction parts of a few sections can be seen with farmsteads as usual dispersed along section lines 6. In the extreme northeast is the Trans-Canada Highway 7 paralleled by the Canadian National Railway line 8 that runs close to Ste. Anne on figure 7.4.

This area is part of the Lake Agassiz lake floor, which is very flat, and, in natural conditions, poorly drained. Dark-toned wet patches can be seen in several fields 9, and linear dark patches 10 are ditches excavated by farmers to take water off the fields to larger drainage channels 11. Also seen are haphazard light-toned lines 12. Their direction and the fact that they cross each other 13 indicates that they are not strandlines. Several possible explanations have been suggested. Without the benefit of stereovision it is hard to tell whether these are positive or negative features. However, at certain locations, they are dark due to high water content in the soil 14, suggesting that in these areas at least they are depressions, possibly ice gouge markings. “These ice scours were scribed on the lake bottom (of Lake Agassiz) by the submerged parts of icebergs and, quite possibly, the keels of pressure ridges in floes of drifting ice. Some of these furrows could have been formed as long as 12,000 years ago.”[ii]

Figure 7.5: Long Lots at Lorette

Figure 7.5: Long Lots at Lorette

Figure 7.5

Vertical air photographs: A27254-3

Flight height: 13,300 feet a.s.l.; camera focal length: 152.033 mm

Scale: 1:23,600 (approx.)

Date: April 14, 1988

Location: Township 9; Range 5 E

Location of X at contact between systems: 49º 46' N, 96º 53' W

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62H Winnipeg

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

62H/15 Dugald


[i] Farley, A. L. op. cit. 1972, 63.

[ii] Mollard, J. D. and Janes, J. R. Air Photo Interpretation and the Canadian Landscape. Ottawa: Energy, Mines and Resources Canada. 1984, 108.