Rivers, Manitoba, incorporated as a village in 1910 and as a town in 1913, population 1189 (2011c), 1193 (2006c). The Town of Rivers developed as a railway and military centre, 235 km west of Winnipeg. Agricultural settlement began in the 1870s. The townsite was established in 1907 as a terminal point on the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. The early economy was built on the rail shops, roundhouse, and local services.
In 1940, the town scrambled to accommodate an influx of military personnel when a British Commonwealth Air Training Plan navigation school was established nearby. After WWII, this base became a tri-service air training centre, with up to 3000 military and 250 civilian personnel, compensating for diminished railway activity at Rivers. The base closed in 1971.
Public incentives were offered to support an industrial and urban-adaptation training centre for Native people, but most of the manufacturers attracted to the site subsequently left or failed financially. The federal government sold the property in 1984, leaving Rivers as a locally oriented agricultural trading centre with some recreational activity at nearby Lake Wahtopanah.