PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, MANITOBA CITY OF POSSIBILITIES P ortage la Prairie is a small city in the Central Plains Region of Manitoba, Canada, some 47 miles west of Winni- peg, along the Trans-Canada Highway, on the Assiniboine River. Its name was derived from the French word “portage,” which means to carry a canoe overland between waterways. In this case the portage was between the Assiniboine and Lake Manitoba, over “la prai- rie.” Long before French Canadian explorers arrived in the mid 18th century and built Fort La Reine, north of the river to serve as a fur trading post, the area was inhabited by indige- nous peoples. In the 1850s settlers began arriving to exploit the area’s fertile soil, giving birth to the new village’s agricultural-based economy. Over the ensuing decades, more and more people moved to Portage, establishing farms and opening new businesses. The community Portage la Prairie Manitoba