Canoas , which earned city status in 1939, is a municipality in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. With more than 300,000 inhabitants, it is part of the Porto Alegre conurbation and has the second highest GDP in the state. It is also the fourth largest city in the state by population. Canoas boasts a strong manufacturing-based economy and is the home of the Canoas Air Force Base, used by the Brazilian Air Force.
According to the IBGE, Brazil's Geography and Statistics Institute, Canoas currently has no rural areas, but it started as a village of large landowners. The first of them was conquistador Francisco Pinto Bandeira, who received from the Portuguese Crown, in 1740, an area north of the Gravataí River.
History has that 1871 was the beginning of the village of Canoas, when the first section of the railway that would link Porto Alegre to São Leopoldo was inaugurated. Canoas was then part of the municipalities of Gravataí and São Sebastião do Caí. Soon large farms would lose space to small properties.
After obtaining city status, Canoas experienced rapid growth, especially after 1945. At that time, it would be called a "cidade-dormitório" (Portuguese for " bedroom city"), because thousands of people would commute to neighboring Porto Alegre to work. However, de-industrialisation in Porto Alegre, the setting-up of numerous manufacturing plants in Canoas and a strong demographic growth have reverted that situation and nowadays Canoas has a per capita GDP higher than Porto Alegre.