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Chapter 8: Southern Hamlets, Villages, and Towns

8.30: Rapid City

Rapid City is located on the south side of the Little Saskatchewan River 1 valley in an area of classic ground moraine topography. Ironically it is a settlement with a road pattern uninfluenced by a railway line; its street pattern harmonizes with the DLS grid. When it was established it was hoped that the trans-continental Canadian Pacific Railway line would pass through this area, but the line was routed through Brandon further south, and Rapid City never became the city it was expected to be: its population has never exceeded 500 (467 in 1961, 408 in 1996, 424 in 2001, and 416 in 2006).

Its location in the Little Saskatchewan Valley would seem to lend itself to something more exciting than a rectangular grid, but not so: the standard grid of north/south and east/west roads is set down on the valley side with no acknowledgement of the topography. Near the centre, two or three roads are wider creating a central business block 2.

Two abandoned railway lines (3 and 4) run close to town, the Canadian Pacific in the south 4 following a peculiar route. PTH 24 5 passes through the town, and PR 270 6 enters from the south. The light-toned linear feature in the south 7 is a buried gas pipeline.

The Little Saskatchewan River has been dammed to produce a reservoir 8, and the town’s sewage lagoons 9 and cemetery 10 can be identified. It is characteristic of small prairie settlements that both the cemetery and sewage lagoons are located well outside the town limits.

Figure 8.30: Rapid City

Figure 8.30: Rapid City

Figure 8.30

Vertical air photograph: A20471-238

Flight height: 21,900 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 6 inches

Scale: 1:40,000 (approx.)

Date: May 22, 1968

Location: Townships 12 and 13; Ranges 19 and 20 WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62/K Riding Mountain

                    1:50,000 62K/1 Rivers