Norway House, Manitoba Canada

Discover Norway House, Manitoba: A Rich Blend of History and Culture

Norway House, Manitoba, is a vibrant community located in the heart of Canada. With a population of over 5,000 people, it is situated 30 km north of Lake Winnipeg, on the eastern bank of the Nelson River. The community shares its name with the northern community of Norway House and Norway House 17, a First Nation reserve of the Norway House Cree Nation (Kinosao Sipi Cree Nation). This unique community is governed by both a Chief and a Mayor.

Location and Economy of Norway House, Manitoba

Norway House is located 456 km north of Winnipeg, 208 km east of The Pas, and 190 km south of Thompson by air. The community is approximately 800 km from Winnipeg and about 300 km from Thompson by road. The major economic activities in Norway House include commercial fishing, trapping, logging, and government services. However, seasonal unemployment can peak as high as 70%.

The Historical Significance of Norway House, Manitoba

Norway House was a crucial establishment of the Hudson's Bay Company throughout the 19th century. It served as a major depot and, from the 1830s, as the seat of the Council of the Northern Department of Rupert's Land.

Early History

The Hayes River became a significant link in the development of Canada following the arrival of Europeans in North America. It was the preferred route between York Factory and the interior of western Canada for explorers, fur traders, and European settlers from 1670 to 1870. In 1816, Lord Selkirk sent a group of Norwegians to build a road from York Factory to Lake Winnipeg and a series of supply posts. Norway House was built at Mossy Point on the west side of the Nelson's outflow from Lake Winnipeg in 1817.

Later Developments

In 1822, Governor Simpson passed through Norway House on his way to Cumberland House. He later investigated a quicker route to the Columbia District, which passed through Norway House. In 1825 or 1826, much of the post was destroyed by fire, and the company moved to its present position on the East River. From the 1830s, the Councils of the Hudson's Bay Company met at Norway House rather than York Factory.

Demographics of Norway House, Manitoba

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Norway House had a population of 363 living in 134 of its 190 total private dwellings. Norway House 17 had a population of 5,390 in 2021, an increase of 12.1% since 2016. These two adjoining communities form a population centre of 5,753.

Transportation in Norway House, Manitoba

Provincial Road (PR) 373, an all-weather road, leads from Norway House past PR 374, which leads to Cross Lake. There is a ferry that shuttles vehicles across the Nelson Channel just north of Norway House. The most important means of transportation in this remote territory is the airplane. Manitoba Northern Airports maintains Norway House Airport with a 1,189-metre crushed-rock airstrip.

Services in Norway House, Manitoba

Norway House boasts several restaurants, two hotels, a Royal Bank branch, two Northern stores, two Tim Horton locations, a KFC fast food restaurant, a full-service post office, two video stores, and paved roads within the community. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the NHCN Safety Officers serve the community.

Climate of Norway House, Manitoba

Norway House has a subarctic climate bordering a warm summer continental climate. Precipitation patterns are dominant in summers, with winters being cold and dry. Norway House has the coldest recorded temperature in Manitoba.

Celebrations in Norway House, Manitoba

The Treaty and York Boat Days are celebrated annually each summer from the beginning of August for a week. These are team boat races with participants aged 8–18. This event honors the traditions of the ancestors who once used York Boats as a means of transportation. The community comes together to enjoy homemade meals prepared at food booths set up by a variety of hosts.