The Assiniboine River Route #3 / Brandon East

Launch : The new boat launch area in Dinsdale Park (near the dam) or the Kirkcaldy Drive landing.

Landing : Drive straight east on Richmond. Avenue, the road ends at the river.

Distance : About 10 km

Time : 4 - 5 hrs.

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The river is slow, especially in late summer, with wide meanders. Watch out for Sea-Doos and motor boats. For a shorter trip, exit on the left side, just past the reeds as you approach the 3rd Street Dam. The first landmark past the dam is the East End Railway Bridge. There is a difficult obstruction at the steam plant, where they've built a sort of rock dam to keep the water level up. You can walk the canoe around it. You pass the new bridge for the Eastern Access Route and soon an island appears. If you travel to the left you pass the mouth of a Willow Creek on the north side. Land at site of what was once a makeshift crossing. A rough trail comes right down to the bank.

Historical Notes

The railway bridge site dates from 1882 when train service to Brandon was established.

Grand Valley settlement dates from 1878 when John and Douglas McVicar settled in a makeshift home. By 1881 the population was 400 and lots were selling for $2000. The planned town site was about a half a kilometre north of the river. In that year General Rosser of the C.P.R. offered John McVicar $25000 for it. He held out for $50000 and Rosser soon purchased land about 2 km west at present day Brandon and that became the divisional point for the railway. After losing out on a chance to be major railway centre, two consecutive years of floods sealed the fate of the community. A year later McVicar sold the town site for $1500.  A roadside cairn explains the significance of the spot.

For More Details...

False Starts: A Settlement History of Western Manitoba

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