The earliest inhabitants of the area were the nomadic tribes of the Plains Indians. With the coming of the French voyageurs, and later the English fur trading companies, came a string of trading posts such as Lower and Upper Fort Garry. The completion of the transcontinental rail line in 1885 ensured Winnipeg's future, with that city becoming the transportation hub for newly arriving immigrants to western Canada. Settlers from eastern and western Europe have provided Manitoba with a rich cultural diversity. This diversity is evident in the architecture of the region with French Canadian, British, and eastern European influences blending to produce the architecture seen today.
Similar to other provinces, Manitoba's architectural history is a mix between urban and rural, city and country buildings. To appreciate the diversity of Manitoba one can compare the concentration of commercial enterprises, such as the Winnipeg Warehouse District, to the wide open spaces of a prairie landscape. The architecture of the province reflects the importance of the area in the development of western Canada.
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