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After seeing pictures in the "Photos of Canada" thread of Grand Beach, I'm interesting in finding out more about beaches on Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg. I've always wondered if there were beaches on them. I wondered if they were kind of like the Great Lakes, or if they were like the lakes of northern Minnesota or northern Ontario.

What is the sand like along the lakes, and is the sand plentiful? There seems to be a good amount of sand in many areas along Lake Erie and Lake Ontario where I have been, but I have also seen stretches were huge slabs of beach rock are along the shore instead of sand.

Were the lakes used for shipping at all? Why or why not? Are the lakes shalloww the whole way across, as I am getting the impression of? Were there just no places to take goods to or from that warranted shipping? Was shipping common but it just isn't as celebrated as shipping on the Great Lakes is?

What are the towns along the lakes like, if there are towns at all? Are there any towns where the main industry was water-based, or are the towns all focused on farming?

Do people out there see the lakes almost like another set of Great Lakes, or do they feel too different to be compared to the Great Lakes?

What are some other interesting things about all of the lakes in Manitoba?
 

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Google earth has some interesting images of lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba(Panarimo). Both lakes are peppered with fine sand beaches and pretty towns and villages.
 
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