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Chapter 8: Southern Hamlets, Villages, and Towns

8.70: Pinawa


Pinawa is different from most other settlements in southern Manitoba in several respects: 1) it is located on the Canadian Shield, so agriculture has played no direct part in its history; 2) land in the area surrounding it is thickly wooded and is not easily divided into sections; 3) it is not located on or near a railway line; and 4) it is organized as a local government district rather than as a village or town.

Shown on the photo is part of the Winnipeg River 1 that is a series of expansions rather than a clearly defined channel of uniform width. In the north is the Pinawa channel 2 of the Winnipeg River on which the first Winnipeg River hydroelectric power plant was opened in 1906. Since then six other power stations have been built on the river, and the Pinawa plant closed in 1951.[i] However, the dam and some equipment have been preserved in Pinawa Dam Provincial Heritage Park located a few miles west, downstream, of the photo.

The settlement of Pinawa is served by PR 211 3 from the west and was established as an Atomic Energy of Canada research centre. It is therefore much newer than most settlements in southern Manitoba. Its relatively remote position and the availability of large quantities of water were probably factors in its location. Roads do not follow the usual grid and to some degree use the lay of the land 4.

Several clusters of large buildings can be seen 5 which are probably research labs. The large building 6 near the running track 7 is probably a school. Recreation for employees includes golf—a course is located in the north 8—and boating—a marina 9 can be seen in the centre.

Except where trees have been removed for buildings, the land is covered by dark-toned coniferous forest 10 with occasional marshy areas 11.

Figure 8.70: Pinawa

Figure 8.70: Pinawa

Figure 8.70

Vertical air photograph: MB96045-204

Flight height: 8,900 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152 mm

Scale: 1:15,800 (approx.)

Date: July 3, 1996

Location: Township 14; Range 12 E

Map sheets: 1:250,000 52L Point du Bois

                    1:50,000 52L/4 Pinawa


[i] For details see Welsted, J. “Manitoba’s Water Resources” in Welsted, Everitt, and Stadel. op. cit., 1996, 266-280.