Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada - Lethbridge
A second rail link leading to the Montana border was completed in 1890. The CPR began to operate the Lethbridge-Dunmore line in 1897 and extended it west to serve the coal mines in the Crowsnest Pass. Lethbridge became a CPR divisional point in 1905 and was incorporated as a city in the following year. In 1909 the CPR completed an impressive single-track viaduct across the Oldman River Valley. Just over 1.6 kilometres long and 96 metres above the valley floor, it is Lethbridge's most dramatic landmark. Railway improvements made Lethbridge the principal transportation junction and largest marketing and distribution centre between Calgary and the US border.
Irrigation played an important role in the evolution of Lethbridge as agriculture displaced coal as the key local resource and the main source of jobs. Between 1898 and 1900, Mormon migrants from Utah built a 185-kilometre long system of canals to divert the St Mary River, the first large-scale irrigation system in Western Canada. The land area supplied with irrigation water expanded between the World Wars and doubled between 1965 and 1985.
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