Leaf Rapids, Manitoba, incorporated as a town in 1974, population 453 (2011c), 539 (2006c). The Town of Leaf Rapids is a mining community located 3 km south of the CHURCHILL RIVER on the Canadian Shield and 976 km northwest of Winnipeg. Leaf Rapids was established in 1970 when Sherritt Gordon Mines Ltd decided to open a copper mine at its Ruttan Lake property 25 km east of the townsite. In 1987 the mine was sold to the Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co Ltd, which operated it until 2002. The mine's closure leaves an uncertain future for the town.
Development of Leaf Rapids differed from past practice in that it was designed and built by a provincial CROWN CORPORATION instead of the mining company. The townsite is also distinctive because its central complex contains stores, offices, an arena, curling rink, hospital, school, library and other services all under one roof. The Leaf Rapids Winter Carnival held every March features "northern" events that include snowmobile races and northern games.