Swan River was founded in 1900 and officially incorporated as a Town in 1908. Today it is a bustling trading centre of charm, affordable living and friendly people. With a population of over 3800, it is the hub of the Swan Valley region and offers a variety of goods and services to it’s trading market of over 30,000 people.
The first permanent settlement dates back to 1770 when fur traders from both the Hudson Bay Company and the Northwest Company bought and sold goods by way of birch bark canoes. Occasionally, wild swans were seen on nearby Thunder Hill and thus the Swan Valley was named.
The first pioneers arrived in the Valley through the Duck Mountains in 1897. Recognizing the agricultural potential of the area, land was cleared to expose the fertile soils and the strong history of agriculture began. The profitable farming opportunities began luring new settlers from Southern Manitoba and the Town steadily grew. A self-guided Historic Walking Tour around the Town is available for download in PDF format by clicking here.
The proposed construction of the Canadian Northern Railway was announced in 1898 and when completed, served as another connection to the rest of Canada.
A special Pictorial DVD, developed in honor of the Town’s 100th birthday, is a walk through history with over 600 captioned photos from 1900 to 2008. An interesting presentation to newcomers and generational residents, it includes sixteen categories of photos and provides a visual story of how the community developed into the great place it is today. For more information on how you can own this piece of Swan River history, visit the Northwest Regional Library – Swan River branch website.
Quality of Life
Swan River offers relaxed rural living with urban centre offerings.
Eight (8) churches of various demoninations are present in the community, and there are countless community events that are organized by volunteer groups with special interests. The cost of living is highly affordable with a variety of quality housing options and shopping venues. It is a safe and beautiful community with much to offer visitors and residents. For more information on the Town, check out the pages on this website or contact the Town Office.
The landscape around Swan River offers some spectacular scenery with the pronounced hills to the north and south contrasting beautifully with the gently rolling agricultural plain of the Valley floor. Several lookout points provide beautiful views that embrace the beauty of the area. Lakes and forested hiking trails are located throughout the region and offer a wide variety of four-season recreational opportunities. For more information, visit the Recreation section of this site.
In the Swan Valley region, several smaller communities complete the overall character of the area. A closely connected region, residents travel throughout the area for work, shopping and recreation.