Morden, Manitoba

Morden is a city located in the Pembina Valley region of southern Manitoba, Canada near the United States border. It is about 11 km (6.8 mi) west of the neighbouring city of Winkler. Morden, which is surrounded by the Rural Municipality of Stanley. Morden is the eighth largest city in Manitoba. The city is located south of Winnipeg. The communities of Morden and Winkler are often referred to as Manitoba's Twin Cities, due to their extremely close proximity, shared services, and economic ties. According to Statistics Canada, the city had a population of 8,668 in 2016. Morden, along with the neighbouring city of Winkler, form an urban area with a population exceeding 22,000.

City of Morden

See History Unfold
Location of Morden in Manitoba
Coordinates: 49°11′31″N 98°06′02″W
RegionPembina Valley
Rural MunicipalityStanley
Incorporated1895 (village)
1903 (town)
2012 (city)
  MayorBrandon Burley
  Governing BodyMorden City Council
  MP (Portage—Lisgar)Candice Bergen (CPC)
  MLA (Morden-Winkler)Cameron Friesen (PC)
  Total12.44 km2 (4.80 sq mi)
  Total8,668 (9th)
  Density401/km2 (1,040/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
  Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Forward sortation area


Morden was founded in 1882, when the Canadian Pacific Railway built a railway line crossing the Dead Horse Creek (called Le Cheval Mort by the French fur traders)[2][3] at a place then known as Cheval. This spot became a popular resting place as it was ideal to provide water for drinking and locomotives. The settlement was renamed "Morden", after Alvey Morden, on whose family's land the community was established. Morden was incorporated as a municipality on January 1, 1882.[4] The Manitoba government granted Morden town status in 1903 and later city status in 2012.[5][6]


Morden has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb, USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 3a[7]) with hot summers and cold winters. The average high in July is 25.6 °C (78.1 °F) and the average low is 14.3 °C (57.7 °F). Since the Morden area experiences some of the warmest temperatures in Manitoba, it has become a centre for agricultural and horticultural research. Since 1915, the city has been home to the Morden Research and Development Centre, which is operated by the Government of Canada.[8] The average high in January is −10.0 °C (14.0 °F) and the average low is −19.1 °C (−2.4 °F).[8] The highest temperature ever recorded in Morden was 111 °F (43.9 °C) on 11 July 1936.[8] The coldest temperature ever recorded was −42.0 °C (−43.6 °F) on 16 January 1993.[8]

Climate data for Morden CDA, 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1904–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.9
Average high °C (°F) −10.0
Daily mean °C (°F) −14.6
Average low °C (°F) −19.1
Record low °C (°F) −42.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 18.8
Average rainfall mm (inches) 0.4
Average snowfall cm (inches) 19.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 10.9 8.9 9.2 7.1 10.6 14.2 12.4 10.2 9.1 9.7 8.7 10.8 121.8
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 0.78 1.1 3.3 5.1 10.3 14.2 12.4 10.2 9.1 8.0 2.3 0.65 77.4
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 10.5 8.2 6.7 3.0 0.33 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.17 2.3 7.1 10.2 48.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 108.5 129.2 161.3 226.9 266.6 270.8 300.7 285.4 192.7 150.4 92.4 93.0 2,277.8
Percent possible sunshine 40.2 45.3 43.8 55.2 56.2 55.9 61.5 64.0 50.8 44.8 33.5 36.2 49.0
Source: Environment Canada[8][9][10]


Morden is located at the intersection of Provincial Road 432 and Manitoba Highway (PTH) 3; the latter provides the shortest route from Winnipeg, the provincial capital. Access to the city is also possible by way of PTH 14, which ends at PTH 3 near Morden and links the city with the neighbouring city of Winkler and PTH 75, the primary commercial route between Manitoba and the United States. PTH 75, which turns into Interstate 29 at Pembina, North Dakota, provides southern Manitobans with direct access to the cities of Fargo, Omaha and Kansas City. Travelers from the U.S. can also reach Morden by taking PTH 32 through Winkler. Morden is located about 34 kilometres northwest of the United States border crossing at Walhalla, North Dakota and 40 kilometres northeast of the United States border crossing at Maida, North Dakota.

Morden is served by a small rural airport, Morden Regional Aerodrome; however, it is not serviced by major airlines. The city has one taxi service, Boundary Trails Taxi. Greyhound provides a courier service called Package Express to Morden, but passenger service has been discontinued.[11] Morden is bisected by a Canadian Pacific railway south of Stephen Street, running east–west. The Boundary Trail Railway interlines with the Canadian Pacific in Morden.[12]

Morden-Winkler Corridor

The Morden-Winkler Corridor is a 9 kilometre stretch of four lane highway that separates the cities of Morden and Winkler. Over the past decade, new retail, offices, and housing developments have been constructed between the two cities. At the western edge of the corridor (near Morden) lies The Pembina Connection retail development. Since 2006, both national and local businesses have expanded into this development. Restaurants (e.g.Boston Pizza), clothing stores (e.g. Saban & Company) and sport/leisure dealerships (e.g. Polaris Industries) make up the majority of businesses. At the eastern edge of the corridor (near Winkler), service stations/travel centres and restaurants (e.g. MR MIKES SteakhouseCasual) dominate the retail scene. The Boundary Trails Health Centre (BTHC) is also located in the corridor, approximately halfway between Morden and Winkler. BTHC is a major acute care hospital that serves the residents of Morden-Winkler as well as much of south-central Manitoba. Planning is currently underway to construct a walking/cycling path in the corridor that will connect the cities of Morden and Winkler.

Government and politics

Morden is governed by a mayor and six councilors who are elected by residents. The current mayor of Morden is Brandon Burley.

Morden is represented in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba (as part of the Morden-Winkler riding) by Progressive Conservative MLA Cameron Friesen and in the House of Commons of Canada (as part of the Portage—Lisgar riding) by Conservative MP Candice Bergen.


Morden's public school system is the Western School Division, which consists of two elementary schools - Maple Leaf Elementary School and Minnewasta Elementary School, one middle school, École Morden Middle School, one high school, Morden Collegiate Institute and an Adult Education centre.[13]

Red River Technical Vocational Area has partnered with Western School Division to provide further opportunities to its Secondary-level students. The Campus Manitoba program also provides assistance to students in Morden and area who desire to obtain Post-Secondary education.[14]

In December 2005, philanthropist John Buhler donated 5 million dollars to the Western School Division for the purpose of building a large performing arts center. This was to be the largest ever private gift to a Canadian public school. However, accusations of cost overruns and opposition to the gift from many people in the city led to the school division abandoning the project in 2008, to Buhler's dismay. The 1.25 million that had already been handed over was not refunded, and was used by the school for other purposes. Many others demanded he use the money to build the town a pool instead. Western School Division used the remaining 3.75 million for other programs.[15]

Local media

Morden's local newspapers include The Morden Times, published weekly and distributed by carrier to Morden area households, and The Winkler-Morden Voice, also published weekly and distributed by mail to households in both Winkler and Morden and many surrounding smaller communities. The Winnipeg Free Press and Winnipeg Sun are available daily.

Nearby Winkler is home to two radio stations of its own, both of which are owned and operated by Altona-based Golden West Broadcasting. CKMW-FM, a country music station, was established in 1980 and broadcasts at 88.9 kHz on the FM dial. CJEL, an adult contemporary music station branded as The Eagle 93.5, launched in 2000 and was the only FM radio station in the Pembina Valley until CKMW moved from 1570 kHz AM in 2013.

Though they are not based in Winkler, several other radio stations are notable around the Morden-Winkler area. The signal from Golden West's easy listening radio station in Altona, CFAM 950 AM, reaches the Winkler area. Two North Dakota stations near the Canada/U.S. border also reach Winkler: KAOC 105.1 FM (Maverick 105), a country music station in Cavalier and KYTZ 106.7 FM (Z-106.7, Today's Best Hits), an adult contemporary music station in Walhalla. The former station sells advertisements targeting the Pembina Valley region and maintains an advertising sales office in Morden.


The community's recreation hub is the Access Event Centre, also known as the Morden Recreation Centre. The multi-purpose facility houses two indoor arenas, a 1,000-seat community hall, the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame, as well as banquet and conference rooms. The lower lever of the facility is home to the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre.[16]

Morden is home to various ice hockey teams, including the Morden Redskins of the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League, Morden Thunder of the Manitoba High School Hockey League, and the Pembina Valley Hawks of the Manitoba Female Midget Hockey League. The 2017 Esso Cup, Canada's national female midget hockey championship, was hosted by the Hawks in Morden.[17]

Culture and tourism

Every year on the last weekend of August, Morden holds the Corn and Apple Festival where those who attend can enjoy free corn and apple cider, among other activities.[18]

Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre

Morden is home to the largest collection of marine reptile fossils in Canada, located at the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre.[19] Their collection includes a 13-metre-long mosasaur, approximately 80 million years old named Bruce - a Guinness Record holder as the largest mosasaur on public display in the world.[20]

The city also houses the Pembina Hills Art Gallery. A non-profit community organization, the art gallery aims to facilitate the growth and diversity of the arts in the Pembina Valley region.

Morden designated a "Cultural Capital of Canada for 2008"

Morden was designated a Cultural Capital, in the under 50,000 category, for 2008. This honour was bestowed upon the town by Beverly J. Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, as well as Brian Pallister who is a member of parliament.[21]

Morden received this award based on the town's emphasis on art and culture in the community. This includes hosting various festivals such as the Back Forty Festival, which highlights aboriginal influences in the community. The award also takes into account proposed projects, that the community has undertaken, in an effort to place art and culture in high esteem among its townspeople.

The city received special funding as recognition for this award. The money was designated to go towards a new performing arts centre, as well as four murals for the community.

Corn and Apple Festival

The first Corn and Apple Festival, held in 1967, was intended to celebrate Canada's centennial. The festival name was chosen because this region of the prairies has a long growing season, particularly for corn and apples. The festival has continued on since 1967 and is now recognized as the city's annual festival.

The festival is held in the centre of the city, along Stephen Street.[18]

Historical population

Noteworthy appearances at past festivals include; Kenny Byrka, Lou Gramm, Prairie Oyster, Colin James, Dr. Hook, Randy Bachman, The Trews[25], Chad Brownlee[26], The Wilkinsons and Dear Screaming. Rick Mercer made a festival appearance for the 50th anniversary in 2016. The video was aired on CBC Television and published online[27] on Nov 2, 2016.


Morden had a population of 8,668 people in 2016 (which was an increase of 11.0% from the 2011 census), while 2019 estimates put the city's population at over 9,000. [28]

Notable residents

The following people of note were born in Morden or consider it their hometown:


  1. Mayor & Council | City of Morden
  2. Hambley, George H. (1956). Trails of the Pioneers. Altona, MB, Canada: D.W. Friesen & Sons Ltd. p. 48.
  3. Morden, Mort Cheval, Pinancewaywinning, Lake Agassiz. Morden Centennial Committee. Morden, Man. : Morden Centennial Committee (1981). ISBN 0-88925-142-8.
  4. Morden History - The Railway
  5. Building a Community. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  6. "Morden becomes Manitoba's newest city". Winnipeg Free Press. 26 August 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  7. "Lawn and Garden: Morden, MB". The Weather Network. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  8. "Morden CDA". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Climate ID: 5021848. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  9. "Morden". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  10. "Morden CDA CS". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  11. Greyhound Package Express. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  12. Boundary Trail Railway Company. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  13. Western School Division. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  14. Red River College. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  15. [ Everyone in Morden Collegiate had seemed so happy...] Winnipeg Free Press, 18 June 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2016. Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  17. "Morden Officially Wins 2017 Esso Cup Bid". Pembina Valley Online. July 21, 2015.
  18. Morden Corn & Apple Festival. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  19. "Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre". Retrieved 2008-08-27.
  20. "Manitoba dig uncovers 80-million-year-old sea creature". CBC News. 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
  21. , Censuses 1871-1931
  22. , Census 1941-1951
  23. , Census 1961
  24. , The Morden Times May 25 2016
  25. , The Morden Times Aug 31 2016
  26. , Rick at the Corn and Apple Festival Youtube Video
  27. "Morden, Manitoba - Detailed City Profile". Retrieved 2009-09-10.
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