Powerview - Pine Falls, Manitoba

 

I visit my elderly father, who lives in Winnipeg, at least once every 2 months -- more often if time allows.  My dad isn't able to drive anymore because of his diminishing eyesight, but he still likes to go on road-trips.  So when I visit, we rent a car and take a day to explore places from the past, from a time when I was a teenager and he a much younger man.

This past summer we headed to the small town of Pine Falls, formally and tediously known as Powerview-Pine Falls.  This small town is situated in the pretty "lake-and-bush" country, on the bank of the Winnipeg River just a few miles before its entry into massive Lake Winnipeg.  It's the kind of place most people would never stop at (and there really isn't much to do here).   Like most small towns, it has a memorial to those who perished fighing the great wars of the last century....

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The Winnipeg River downriver from the Pine Falls hydroelectric plant has a reputation as having some of the best pickerel (walleye) fishing in southern Manitoba, and we'd come by from time-to-time in that long-ago era to try our luck.  While we never caught tons of fish, we'd always catch a nice fresh meal or two for our efforts.  If you've never had a chance to try pickerel, I can't recommend it highly enough!  Probably the best pan fish I've ever tasted. 

The largest attraction in the town is the hydroelectric dam, one of many massive structures on the Winnipeg River that provides power to much of Manitoba during the summer months (when the water's flowing).  All of these structures are marvels of engineering to me...

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Pine Falls was created as a paper mill town in the mid 1920s (Manitoba Pulp and Paper), sold to the Abitibi Paper Company, became Pine Falls Paper Group in 1995 after an employee buyout.  The mill shut was shut down a few years back and its site demolished.   The town is struggling now that its largest employer is gone.

There's little evidence to be seen of the old mill except for this interesting old steam locomotive, run by Canadian National Railway which serviced the mill.  Interesting to know that this rusting beauty was the oldest functioning steam locomotive in Western Canada when it was retired....

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Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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