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Manitoba from the Air
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The large scale of this photo shows the detail of Minnedosa’s location in the Little Saskatchewan Valley. Tanner’s Crossing—Minnedosa’s original name—was located here in the general area of the present road 1 and railway crossings 2. It is noticeable that settlement avoids the valley floor just to the northeast where numerous old river channels 3 can be seen in an area now used as a park. Below the crossing two meanders have been artificially cut off 4.

The railway line runs through the town without influencing its street plan, which is the standard grid pattern harmonizing with the DLS system both north and south of the river. West of town are many railway sidings 5 on which a round house 6[i] and elevators 7 can be identified. A train that is about 0.9 miles (1.4 km) long can be seen 8 extending northwest and southeast of the river bridge. The town’s main street runs north/south across the river 9 and under the railway line. Cars—small dark dots—can be seen parked obliquely on this street on both sides of the river 10. Prior to the building of the Minnedosa bypass on PTH 10, the main route from Brandon to Riding Mountain National Park ran along this road and out of town to the north. Several large buildings are located along this street, one just to the west probably being the arena 11. Another large building southwest of that 12 is probably a school. Both the racetrack 13 and the cemetery 14, characteristically located on the edge of town, are easily identified.

The Little Saskatchewan River has been dammed to create Minnedosa Lake 15. The dam 16, which has been in existence since 1912, can be seen with a spillway at the eastern end 17. Collapse of the dam in 1950 resulted in severe flooding in town. Its only function now is to maintain Minnedosa Lake for recreational purposes. Cottage development had started along the west shore in 1964 18 and is more extensive now. The lake is used for water sports and was an excellent venue for rowing and canoeing in the Canada Games in 1997 and the rowing events for the 1999 Pan-Am games based in Winnipeg.

Minnedosa is a small rural centre which peaked in population in 1976 (2718) and has declined since—1996 (2443), 2001 (2426). However, it experienced a slight increase to 2, 474 in 2006, possibly benefiting from its proximity to Brandon.


[i] A roundhouse is the building where the day-to-day maintenance of locomotives would take place. This included regular greasing and oiling, cleaning of the alkali from the boiler tubes, and cleaning of the flues. Naturally, the locomotives would be very large and difficult to move around, and the amount of equipment required to maintain them was tremendous. As well, unlike the modern diesel locomotives of today, a steam locomotive was designed to go forward and seldom backed up. To solve this, a turntable mechanism was utilized to rotate the locomotives to various specialized workshops in the roundhouse (www.3valleyroundhouse.com/).

Figure 8.42