Discover Morris, Manitoba: A Blend of History and Modernity
Nestled in the Pembina Valley region of Manitoba, Canada, Morris is a small town with a rich history and vibrant community life. Located 51 km south of Winnipeg and 42 km north of Emerson, Morris is home to 1,885 people (as of 2016). The town is named after Alexander Morris, the second Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba.
The Historical Journey of Morris, Manitoba
The history of Morris is intertwined with the fur trade and the challenges of floods. Fur traders began settling in the Morris area in the late 18th century, drawn by its strategic location along the Red River. By 1801, the North West Company and the XY Company had established two fur-trading stations at the settlement.
The Red River ox carts that travelled between Fort Garry and the Pembina Settlement passed through Morris, offering many opportunities for trade. By 1874, these ox carts began to carry settlers to the areas around the Scratching River (now the Morris River), and the population began to grow.
Morris was officially incorporated in 1883 and is one of 18 communities in the Red River Valley of Manitoba surrounded by a ring dike. The first ring dike was built to protect the town from the 1966 Red River Flood, by the Canadian Army Engineers, the Mennonite Disaster Service, and local volunteers. A permanent dike protected Morris during the 1997 Red River flood.
The Geography of Morris, Manitoba
Morris is situated in the heart of the Red River Valley. The valley spreads for many kilometres to the east and west, but only rises a few metres at most. The land is remarkably flat, and repeated flooding has left the valley floor covered in rich river silt. These fine black soils are some of the best-producing agricultural soils in the world. The Red River Valley is part of the remnants of the prehistoric Lake Agassiz, which was once much larger than Lake Superior, the largest of the five Great Lakes.
Demographics of Morris, Manitoba
In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Morris had a population of 1,975 living in 826 of its 868 total private dwellings, a change of 4.8% from its 2016 population of 1,885. With a land area of 5.91 km2 (2.28 sq mi), it had a population density of 334.2/km2 (865.5/sq mi) in 2021. In 2016, the median age was 38.8, slightly higher than the provincial average of 38.2.
Attractions in Morris, Manitoba: The Manitoba Stampede and Exhibition
Morris hosts a variety of annual events, attracting many visitors each year. Each July, the Valley Agricultural Society hosts the Manitoba Stampede and Exhibition, known as the Big "M". This four-day event draws thousands of spectators and participants from across North America. The Manitoba Stampede and Exhibition is the largest professional rodeo east of Calgary, Alberta. The Valley Agricultural Society, formed in 1895, was originally established as an agriculture fair. This fair was combined with a professional rodeo in 1964 to become an annual event.
Transportation in Morris, Manitoba
Morris is located along PTH 75, the main route for Manitobans to get into the United States. Morris is also served by PTH 23, running east and west, providing access to much of southern Manitoba.
Morris is also served by two railroad companies. The first is the Canadian National Railway whose line runs north-south from Winnipeg to the Canadian-U.S. border. The second is the Canadian Pacific that has a branch which currently ends (it was formerly a line all of the way to the US border at Gretna) in Altona. The Southern Manitoba Railway which ran west from Morris for 80 miles was torn up in 2008, due to non-use.
Climate of Morris, Manitoba
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