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Manitoba from the Air
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The combination of being a semi-urban tourist resort located in a national park and the strongly seasonal nature of its activities, make Wasagaming a unique settlement in Canada.[i] It is also very different from most settlements shown previously in that its origin is not directly transport related, and its street pattern departs from the common grid system. It is located on the southeastern shore of Clear Lake 1 near the southern edge of Riding Mountain National Park, the boundary of which is shown by the dashed line 2.

The town can be divided into five functional areas.

1.     In the east is a commercial area 3 oriented towards tourists; it includes hotels, motels, cabins, restaurants, gift shops, and clothing stores.

2.     Outside this area to west 4 and east 5 are the National Parks services: the park administration building; visitor and interpretation services; the fire hall; the community centre; recreational facilities such as tennis courts 6, playground, marina; and public beach 7. Also included is a large parking area 8 to accommodate large numbers of summer visitors.

3.     To the east is the Clear Lake Seasonal Campground 9 opened in 1963, which consists of a very dense grouping of seasonally opened cabins and trailers. These are held by campers on a yearly basis.

4.     To the west is the Wasagaming Campground 10 which offers over 500 serviced and non-serviced lots for campers. People can camp here for days or perhaps weeks, but they are not allowed to rent for the whole summer season.

5.     North of the campground is the prestigious and expensive area of summer cottages occupying land leased from the park 11.[ii] Some of these are very elaborate and are handed down from generation to generation but still occupancy is possible for only a few months in summer. Since the photo was taken another sub-division has been added on the north shore of Clear Lake 12.

Other items that can be identified are the rubbish dump 13 and the maintenance compound 14 where equipment is kept. PTH 10 15 runs southeast of Wasagaming following a more direct route than the old road 16 which used to run along section lines.

Obtaining a cabin in Clear Lake Seasonal Campground is difficult, and obtaining a cottage in the upscale residential area is both difficult and expensive. Partly in consequence there has been enormous expansion of cottage buildings outside the park but in close proximity to it to make use of its facilities. Wasagaming is unique in Manitoba in that its permanent residential population is almost zero, but during busy summer weekends the influx of people make it the third largest settlement in Manitoba.



[i] Stadel, C. “The Seasonal Resort of Wasagaming, Riding Mountain National Park” in Welsted, Everitt, and Stadel op. cit., 1996, 298-300.

[ii] Stadel op. cit., 1996, 299.

Figure 8.67