NAR: Going to the lake and enjoying the cottage lifestyle is a way of life
for Winnipeggers. It's our way of getting close to nature. And what better
place than magnificent Lake Winnipeg.
RUSSELL: It's very dangerous to compare
beaches because as you probably can appreciate
people develop very strong attachments
to their little corner of Lake Winnipeg.
The west side is the prairie side. Palaeozoic
side. The east side is the Precambrian
Canadian Shield side. So right at the
start there's 2 starkly different ambiences
for people. The westside beaches are
the most accessible to Winnipeg. They're
side of the lake has become almost urbanized
in a sense. We have a major town in Manitoba,
Gimli which was established by the Icelandic
settlers in 1870's. And then Winnipeg
Beach which was established by the Can
Pacific Railway as a sort of mass resort.
And then all along the rail line were
built these suburbias in the wilderness
for Winnipeg's burgeoning middle class
of the 20's and 30's..to cottage.
ALEXANDRA PALICKA: This landscape has been forming for a very long time.
After the last ice age about 75,000 years ago we had a huge lake called lake
Agassiz that formed over this large area and basically it deposited a lot
when it retreated we ended up having
Lake Winnipeg Lake MB and lake Winnipegosis
formed. And that's where you get this
beautiful sand from this last ice age.
And its still changing today the water
changes almost daily and it changes the
shoreline. And pushes the sand up and
it creates the wonderful dunes that we
have here at GB.
James Teller a professor of geology at
the University of Manitoba is an expert
on the lake and its geological history.
TELLER: Lake Agassiz came about because
there was a great accumulation of ice
across the high latitudes of North America.
And that accumulation of ice had impounded
the waters that had once drained into
the Arctic Ocean and Hudson Bay. When
this all came together we had a very
large lake. The largest of all was glacial
lake Agassiz. Named after Louis Agassiz
who came up with the idea back in the
middle of the 19th century, that glaciers
had once covered a much larger part of
Agassiz in total covered an area of 350,000
sq km. It expanded and it contracted,
it changed its size during its 4000-year
history. The climate was getting warmer
and warmer... once the ice retreated
north of about Fargo ND... then there
was a puddle then a lake and then a giant
lake that formed out.
Aboriginal people had fished the lake
for 8,000. During the fur trade era starting
in the 1700s, the lake became the crossroads
of the northwest. In 1783, explorer LaVerendrye
travelled through the peninsula of land
near the mouth of the Winnipeg River
which later became Victoria Beach. He
named the area south Grand Marais for
Big Marsh. But thousands of years earlier
an even larger glacial lake had covered
the entire area.
its height 7,500 years ago the city of
Winnipeg lay under 650 feet of water.
Today Lake Winnipeg is a shallow lake
averaging only 30 feet in depth in the
south. By the year Christ was born, the
lake took on its present configuration.