Photo Gallery of NRE
Galerie photographique des
sites de la NÉR:
Site 20 - Rhineland,
Local Website / Site Internet
Located near the American border in Manitoba,
Rhineland's primary industry is agriculture (38%). The population (4150) has decreased by
4% over the past few years. The labour force participation rate is 73%, the unemployment
rate is 4%, and 14% of the community is below LICO.
The Rural Municipality of Rhineland lies along the Canada-U.S.A. border in
south central Manitoba. Part of the province's Central Plains Region, the
community is roughly 100 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg, Manitoba's
Capital. The municipality is a mix of rural and small urban communities with
a population of just over 4200 residents.
The R.M. of Rhineland surrounds the incorporated towns of Altona, Gretna,
and Plum Coulee, adding another 5000 residents to the population of the
It was primarily people of Dutch Mennonite origins from southern Russia who
first settled in the Rhineland area. Many of these people arrived between
1874 and 1875 at the request and invitation of the Dominion Government,
which was eager to bring agriculture to the Prairie Provinces.
In 1883, as the population of the area grew, preliminary steps began to form
some type of local government. The municipality was incorporated under the
name Douglas in 1884 and on January 8th of that year, the first council
meeting was held. In early 1891, the name of the community was changed from
Douglas to Rhineland, and the municipality's boundary was expanded westward.
In 1917, some of this land was transferred back to a neighbouring
municipality and Rhineland took on its present configuration. From its
beginnings, the community was built on courage and determination, and these
same characteristics make Rhineland what it is today.
The Rural Municipality of Rhineland encompasses some of the finest farmland
in North America and maybe the world. Agriculture is the cornerstone of
Rhineland's economy. The fertile soil combined with unusually high
temperatures and a long growing season make Rhineland the perfect place to
grow many conventional and specialty crops.
Cereal grains and oilseeds make up a large portion of production for the
area, but the climate is also well suited to sunflowers, corn, beans, field
peas, potatoes, and a variety of different vegetable crops. The Rhineland
area is one of the few areas in Canada well suited to growing soybeans.
There are also some small livestock operations in the area.
Many local businessmen have set up shops to cater to the region's farmers.
Throughout the community, several businesses provide supplies, inputs and
equipment ranging from seed, fertilisers and chemicals to equipment, parts
and mechanical services.
Small and medium sized manufacturing firms exist in many of the urbanised
communities, and in the incorporated centres of Altona, Gretna, and Plum
Coulee. Many of these firms produce agriculturally based products such as
equipment and parts. Some however, produce specialty goods for domestic
shipment and international export.