Manitoba City
Manitou actually started life as Manitoba City, located just north of the present day town site. Legend has it that a Mr. John Stewart, a CPR contractor from Winnipeg, gleaned inside information from secret sources and quietly purchased a north ½ section of 30-3-8 and drew up a plan for a town site convincing everyone that he knew where the rail terminus would be located.
In 1880 promises of the railway coming by 1881 gave Mr. Stewart’s town a boost and lots were sold and businesses sprang up in the new town, Manitoba City.

In 1882 residents noticed activity happening on the south ½ section of 30-3-8. Another town site had been staked out. Mr. Wm. Ellis, a young lawyer from Toronto, had purchased the land and laid out streets to line up exactly with those already in place in Manitoba City.
He assumed that this new town would be an extension to Manitoba City, but his plans were soon squelched as Mr. Stewart completely rejected any connection to this new plan. Mr. Ellis took on a partner, Mr. Jukes, a CPR surveyor and lawyer.Both Mr. Stewart and Mr. Ellis believed they had inside information as to where the railway would be.

In 1883 a survey crew was sent out to finish laying out the much anticipated rail line to which the overseer happened to be Mr. Jukes. Instead of the track continuing north along the right arm of the "Y” and to the north side of Manitoba City it veered southward providing excellent access to the Ellis-Jukes town site.

By 1884 much of Manitoba City’s businesses and residents had pulled up roots and moved across the tracks to the new town site and a thriving little town became a prosperous agricultural center called Manitou. The village incorporated in 1897.