Rivers - Forrest - Winnipeg Monitoring Stations

Rivers is 288 KM West of Winnipeg and 29 KM North West of Forrest

Forrest is 249 KM West of Winnipeg

According to Ed Davey, the Rivers Monitoring Station was opened in Manitoba in 1937 and was the fourth monitoring station in Canada to be operated by the Radio Branch of the DOT. At the time, the Radio Branch also operated three other monitoring stations: Ottawa, Ontario, Strathburn, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia. So Rivers was also the first western Canadian Monitoring Station. The name of the first OIC was G.A. "Duke" Coutanche.


Upon the collapse of France in 1940, the British Admiralty requested that the Royal Canadian Navy assume all coverage of French Naval frequencies. All French Naval code and cypher intercepted was forwarded to the Admiralty by cable and Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) teletype. The preambles and signatures of the messages were coded. Over the years, Winnipeg was responsible for neutral shipping, German shipping and Japanese naval intercept.


The Royal Canadian Navy in turn, asked DOT for the use of Forrest Manitoba to cover these targets. This site, about 29 kilometres south east of the Rivers Monitoring Station was also known as DOT3. Beginning in May 1942, the Forrest monitoring site was manned by DOT personnel until relocating to Stevenson Field in Winnipeg, about eight miles to the west of the city proper on Whytewold Road. Winnipeg, like other wireless facilities, housed two separate sites; one being the "Y" site, the other a DF site. The "Y" site was DOT operated and controlled, but the DF site was manned by naval personnel.


DOT continued to operate the Rivers Monitoring station during World War II, while monitoring operations were also carried out at Forrest and then Winnipeg. Following the war, the Rivers Monitoring Station continued to operate and the other monitoring sites were closed down.

Links   -   Liens

1967 - Early Monitoring in Canada  -  A report from Ed Davey

Duke Coutanche

Al Wastle

Lorne Greenwood