Portage la Prairie is a small city in the Central Plains Region of Manitoba, Canada. As of 2016, the population was 13,304 and the land area of the city was 24.68 square kilometers (9.53 sq mi). Portage la Prairie is approximately 75 kilometres (47 mi) west of Winnipeg, along the Trans-Canada Highway (exactly between the provincial boundaries of Saskatchewan and Ontario), and sits on the Assiniboine River, which flooded the town persistently until a diversion channel north to Lake Manitoba(the Portage Diversion) was built to divert the flood waters. The city is surrounded by the Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie.
According to Environment Canada, Portage la Prairie has the sunniest days during the warm months in Canada.
The local economy is largely dependent on agriculture and supporting industries (trucking, transportation, chemical/fertilizer, farm machinery dealerships, etc.). Portage la Prairie is also home to the McCain Foods and Simplot potato processing plants, which provide French fries for McDonald's, Wendy's, and various other commercialized restaurant chains. Viterra, owned by Glencore Xstrata and previously known as Can-oat milling, one of the largest oat mills in the world is also located in the municipality. McMillan Industrial Park, located on the eastern fringes of Portage, also plays a major role in the city's economy. Numerous industries including food science labs and food processing facilities, construction companies, and manufacturing sectors are located in this expanding industrial area, beneficial for the creation of jobs in the community.
The city has developed into a regional retail service center as large big box style stores began to operate on the west end of the city in 2007. The west end will continue to see future development with new retail outlets lined up. Many small towns and Native reserves use this as their primary shopping destination. Since Portage la Prairie is a commercial hub for the Central Plains Area, it serves some 50,000 people living within an approximately 50 km radius.
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