The Pas, Manitoba Canada

Discover The Pas, Manitoba: A Gateway to the North

The Pas, Manitoba, is a charming town nestled at the confluence of the Pasquia River and the Saskatchewan River. Surrounded by the unorganized Northern Region of Manitoba, Canada, The Pas is approximately 520 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, the provincial capital, and a mere 35 kilometres from the Saskatchewan border. Locals sometimes still refer to the town as Paskoyac, a nod to its historical roots.

The Pas, Manitoba: A Rich History

The Pas, Manitoba, has a rich history dating back over 9000 years when the area was inhabited by the Swampy Cree. The first European to encounter the Cree was Henry Kelsey, an employee of the Hudson's Bay Company, who travelled through the area between 1690 and 1692.

During the era of New France, La Vérendrye, the first western military commander, directed the construction of Fort Paskoya near The Pas. The fort was named after the people of the Pasquia River, and for years, the settlement was known as Pascoyac, sometimes shortened to Le Pas.

In 1904, The Pas Indian Band established a sawmill on Mission Island in the Saskatchewan River. By 1908, the band had relocated their sawmill north of the river, and in 1912, the Town of The Pas was incorporated. The Pas Indian Band changed its name to Opaskwayak Cree Nation, and the area today is composed of three distinct communities: the Town of The Pas, the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, and the Rural Municipality of Kelsey.

The history of the town and the region can be explored at the Sam Waller Museum, located in the old courthouse in downtown The Pas.

Demographics of The Pas, Manitoba

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, The Pas had a population of 5,639. The composition of its population was Aboriginals (46.2%): First Nations (26.4%) and Metis (19.8%); and white (51.3%). The visible minority population was 2.1%. The median age in The Pas is 34.1 years old, and the unemployment rate (in 2011) was 7.3%.

The Pas, Manitoba: A Cultural Hub

The Pas, Manitoba, has been immortalized in literature and film. Farley Mowat's Lost in the Barrens, published in 1956, is set in The Pas. The Pas is also the site of the Northern Manitoba Trappers' Festival, Manitoba's oldest festival and one of Canada's oldest winter festivals. The festival has been held every year since 1948 and features winter activities including ice fishing, muskrat skinning, and an annual sled dog race.

Climate of The Pas, Manitoba

The Pas experiences a humid continental climate with long cold winters and short warm summers. The seasonal temperature range is between −19.1 and 18.1 °C (−2.4 and 64.6 °F), resulting in an amplitude of 37.2 °C (67.0 °F). The highest temperature ever recorded in The Pas was 37.8 °C (100.0 °F) on 19 July 1941. The coldest temperature ever recorded was −49.4 °C (−56.9 °F) on 18 February 1966.

The Pas, Manitoba: A Thriving Economy

Known as "The Gateway to the North", The Pas is a multi-industry northern Manitoba town serving the surrounding region. The main components of the region's economy are agriculture, forestry, commercial fishing, tourism, transportation, and services, especially health and education. The main employer is a paper mill operated by Canadian Kraft Paper Industries Ltd. The Pas also contains one of the two main campuses of the University College of the North.