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Why we’re the ‘Wheat City’

'Wheat City' Market Brandon a prospect of a city

photo: A Prospect of a City

Very early in Brandon’s history grain elevators dominated the skyline.

This photo, taken in 1887, shows wheat marketing in Brandon on Pacific Avenue.

Brandon district wheat fields produced a bumper crop that year.

Brandon: A Prospect of a City by Mary Hume

The remarkable productivity of the soils in the Brandon district was demonstrated by the statistics tabulated in the January 7, 1886, edition of the Brandon Sun:


The 1885 harvest had been bountiful. By year-end, Brandon’s six grain elevators had purchased 608,000 bushels of oats, wheat, and barley.

They had contracted for 300,000 more, and estimated that the total production in the area would exceed 1 million bushels.

Of this all-grains total, 200,000 was wheat purchased for milling purposes.

In 1885 the immigration agent reported to his supervisors that he had seen Farmers’ teams, heavily laden with grain, coming into town from every direction.

They crowded onto the avenue leading to the four large elevators, which were taxed to their utmost capacity to receive and ship the grain as fast as the farmers brought it in.

It was by no means an uncommon sight to see over 100 teams at once upon the street waiting to be unloaded.”

Any possibility that this commentary might have been overly enthusiastic is set aside by a report issued in 1889 by the provincial government.

It stated that as the decade came to a close, Brandon led the world as a centre for the delivery of grain from farmers’ wagons.

News stories in the Brandon Sun tell of producers spending a full week on the trail delivering sacked grain from farms 100 miles distant.

Little wonder that Canada’s Horse Capital soon became known as the ‘Wheat City’, a title which has endured for well over a century.

The Wheat City: A Pictorial History of Brandon by Fred McGuiness



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