Detailed early map of the Manitoba, published by the Department of the Interior, James White, F.R.G.S. Geographer.
The map provides an exceptional overview of Manitoba, illustrating township surveys, towns, railroads, topography and hydrographic features.
Manitoba was the first province created from the North-West Territories, and was subsequently expanded in 1881 and 1912. By the early 20th century, Winnipeg had emerged as the third-largest city in Canada, fueled by rapid growth in the the late 19th century to the early 20th century.
This is also the period when transit for agricultural products in the area became a major issue. Frustrated with shipping grain through eastern ports, Manitoba farmers lobbied for their own grain port on Hudson Bay which led the creation of the Hudson Bay Railway which was built in stages north from The Pas after a railway bridge was constructed over the Saskatchewan River in 1910–1911 by the Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR). After initial surveys considered both the ports of Churchill and Port Nelson, it was decided to proceed to Port Nelson in 1912. Construction began at Port Nelson and the new Canadian research ship CSS Acadia was sent to chart the port and shipping routes into the Bay. However construction at Port Nelson ran into engineering and costs problems and was abandoned during the First World War.