A Brief History
of the
Old Pinawa Dam Heritage Park

-- Part VI --

Why the Pinawa Generating Station Closed

As the City and Province continued to develop, other hydroelectric dams were constructed on the Winnipeg River. On October 25, 1951, the Pinawa Hydroelectric Dam was retired from service to allow the Seven Sisters Hydroelectric Dam to raise water levels for it's increased power production One turbine at the Seven Sisters Dam could produce as much power as all of the turbines at the Pinawa Dam. Because the Seven Sisters dam needed the water, the Pinawa Channel Control Dam was filled in. It became a diversion dam directing the water to the Seven Sisters Dam.

Some workers transferred to other power stations, others retired. Lumber homes were sold and moved to the Lac du Bonnet area by dragging them over the ice in winter. The weirs were blown up, and the equipment in the Powerhouse dismantled. The town was abandoned.

In the mid 1950's the townsite was used as a training site by the Canadian army. The last of the brick buildings were demolished in the 1970's and in the mid 1980's the Manitoba Government declared it the Pinawa Dam Heritage Park.

Demolition of the Control Dam in 1951-52
Demolition of the Control Dam in 1951-52

In 1996, the Manitoba Department of Natural Resources and a group of volunteers formed a non-profit co-operating committee of called "The Friends of Old Pinawa". This group is striving to preserve the heritage of the park and to make the park safe and accessible for all to enjoy.

Working with Conservation Manitoba the Friends actively promote the historic Old Pinawa Dam Heritage Park. Improvements like the Heritage Walk and Nature Trials reflect our commitment to a long-term vision of the park.


Aerial photograph of Pinawa about 1928 Cross Section of the Pinawa Generating Station

The Friends of Old Pinawa wish to thank all those who have contributed to this project. Special thanks go to:

Ruth Dobbin
Herb Kristofferson
Olga Urban
Florence Waite

Additional Links

For related information about our dam, you may wish to see both the Old Pinawa Self-guiding Trail and the Old Pinawa Dam Walk pages.

Why not visit our neighbouring communities?

Last Updated February 16, 2006

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