Discover Winnipegosis, Manitoba: A Historical and Cultural Gem

Winnipegosis, Manitoba, is a charming unincorporated urban community nestled in the Rural Municipality of Mossey River, Canada. Located at the mouth of the Mossey River on Lake Winnipegosis, this west-central Manitoba community is steeped in history and culture.

The Rich History of Winnipegosis, Manitoba

The Winnipegosis area first welcomed Europeans in the form of explorers and fur traders. The mouth of Lake Winnipegosis' Mossey River served as a bustling meeting place for trappers and traders. The Hudson’s Bay Company was among the first to establish a presence in the area, followed by English, Scottish, French, and German settlers who came for trapping and fishing.

In the late 1700s, descendants of the French explorer LaVérendrye constructed the original Fort Dauphin. The arrival of the railroad in 1897 brought Ukrainians and other Central Europeans to the area. The community's post office name was changed to Winnipegosis in 1898, marking its growth into a new townsite.

In 1900, Icelandic fishermen settled at Red Deer Point on the west side of the lake, around 20 miles from present-day Winnipegosis. The Village of Winnipegosis was incorporated as a municipality on March 10, 1915, with Joseph P. Grenon as the first mayor. The Lieutenant Governor of Canada proclaimed the community as a village the following month. As the fur trade had ended by this time, the community found its main economic activities to be in timber and fishing. Winnipegosis remained a village until January 1, 2015, when it was amalgamated with the Rural Municipality of Mossey River.

The Etymology of Winnipegosis, Manitoba

The community takes its name from the lake on which it is situated: Lake Winnipegosis. The lake's name, which has evolved through different spellings, came from the Cree word win-nipi (meaning 'muddy/murky waters') and the suffix -osis (meaning 'little'), as diminutive of Winnipeg, which means 'muddy waters'. Mossey River was spelled "Mossy" prior to 1900.

Education, Religion, and Entertainment in Winnipegosis, Manitoba

The school district in Winnipegosis was formed in 1899, and a 120-pupil-capacity school was erected the following year. The two-storey brick building, which opened in 1914, remained in use until 1960. The open-air skating rink established in 1935 was replaced 20 years later. Hockey players and the curling club used several rinks, at various locations, from 1903 onward.

Healthcare and Social Services in Winnipegosis, Manitoba

Dr. A. Ernest Medd established the first practice in 1909. The Sisters of St. Benedict of Winnipeg administered the 20-bed Crerar Hospital 1936–1966 on the grounds of the Corpus Christi Church. The 22-bed Winnipegosis General Hospital opened in 1966, and the 20-bed Personal Care Home in 1980–1981. The Winnipegosis & District Health Centre oversees these facilities.

Public Services in Winnipegosis, Manitoba

Prior to the 1915 establishment of a police post, serious crime in the community was handled by outside constables. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was contracted from 1969–1972 and 1982 onward. The municipal cemetery was created in 1916. A volunteer fire brigade formed in 1933, and a fire hall was built in 1950, which was replaced in 1980.

Demographics of Winnipegosis, Manitoba

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Winnipegosis had a population of 945 living in 388 of its 481 total private dwellings, a change of 53.2% from its 2016 population of 617. With a land area of 2.54 km2 (0.98 sq mi), it had a population density of 372.0/km2 (963.6/sq mi) in 2021.