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Manitoba from the Air
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The Pas

The Pas was a strategic location during the fur trade era, and a series of forts were built there. It was incorporated as a town in 1912 and now (2006) has a population of 5,589 The CNR reached The Pas in 1908, and the Hudson Bay Railway line was begun here in 1910 reaching Churchill in 1929.[i]

The town is located on the south side of the east-flowing 600 feet (182 m) wide Saskatchewan River 1 just below the entrance of the Pasquia River 2 with the Opaskwayak Cree First Nation on the north side. The Pas is an important regional centre. It is the location of University College of the North as well as having a saw milling industry that relies on local forest resources and effective railway distribution of the finished products. It is also the centre for the relatively recently developed (post-World War II) agricultural area of the Pasquia Settlement and Carrot River Settlement to the southwest, which at 53º 45' north is the northernmost agricultural area in Manitoba.

In this large-scale photo, the CN line with sidings carrying many rail cars can be seen in the south 3. In the extreme south is the northernmost grain elevator in Manitoba 4, identified by its shadow with round oil storage containers located nearby 5. A long narrow building to the west of the line further north 6 is probably the railway station. Just north of this, the line curves to the northwest to cross the river at right angles on a metal bridge 7. PTH 10 crosses the river to the west of the railway 8. It makes two right-angled bends 9, and 10, as it progresses southward, and eventually runs parallel to the railway line 11. Most of The Pas’s commercial area with many large rectangular buildings 12 is located between the highway and the railway. A large T-shaped building is the hospital 13.

One well treed residential area 14 is located southwest of the commercial zone, and west of that is a racetrack 15. Another residential area is located east and northeast of the railway line. Much of the area follows a grid pattern, but the orientation of the grid varies from place to place 16, 17, 18, and some crescents appear near the fringes 19 and 20. The type of dwelling varies from single-family houses 21, to townhouses built around courts 22, to apartment blocks 23. Within this area is a large recreational complex with a race track 24, baseball diamonds 25, and indoor facilities 26. A school is located near the townhouses 27; it has a baseball diamond 28 and a skating rink 29 associated with it. The large complex of buildings south of the recreation area is Keewatin Community College 30 (now University College of the North). Another recreation area is located by the river on either side of the bridges with a baseball diamond to the east 31 and camping ground to the west 32. In the extreme east is a transformer station 33, with a wide cut line 34 indicating the route followed by power lines.

PTH 10 35  leads north to Flin Flon with an offshoot (PR 287)-- off the photo--to Clearwater Lake Provincial Park at which many The Pas residents have cottages. Other route ways are PR 285 36 which leads east to Ralls Island and PR 289 37 which leads east to the airport and Grace Lake.

In the First Nations area the large dark-topped building 38 is a rink; north of it is a shopping mall complex 39 with numerous parked cars beside it. Single-family dwellings are located in crescents 40 with a school nearby 41.


[i] Holm, G. F. op. cit., 2000, 271.

Figure 11.5

The Pas