The completion of the St Andrew's Rapids canal on Red River, and the Grand Rapids canal on the Saskatchewan river will again give an impetus to inland navigation on the tributaries of Lake Winnipeg.
Pop. (1900) 4743, of whom 1277 were foreign-born; (1904 state census) 5239 It is served by the Grand Trunk and the Pere Marquette railways, and by steamboat lines to Chicago, Milwaukee and other lake ports, and is connected with Grand Rapids and Muskegon by an electric line.
Shallowdraught steamers navigate the lake and river, and Lesser Slave lake and river, with one interruption - at Grand Rapids near the mouth of the Clearwater river.
On the site of Grand Rapids there was for a long time a large Ottawa Indian village, and for the conversion of the Indians a Baptist mission was established in 1824.
Operations on the deposit near Grand Rapids were begun in 1841, and although that near Alabaster was opened in 1862, it was not until 1902 that it became of much importance; in that year the output of the state was 208,563 short tons; in 1907 317,261 short tons were mined.