Saint Boniface, Winnipeg

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St. Boniface

St. Boniface City Hall - 2018.jpg
St Boniface City Hall Building
Country Canada
Province Manitoba
City Winnipeg
  Suburb24.455 km2 (9.442 sq mi)
5,306.79 km2 (2,048.96 sq mi)
234 m (768 ft)
 (2016) [2]
  Density2,400/km2 (6,200/sq mi)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
  Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code(s) Area codes 204 and 431

St. Boniface (or Saint-Boniface) is a city ward of Winnipeg that is the centre of much of the Franco-Manitoban community. It features such landmarks as the St. Boniface Cathedral, Boulevard Provencher, the Provencher Bridge, Esplanade Riel, St. Boniface Hospital, the Université de Saint-Boniface and the Royal Canadian Mint. It covers the southeast part of the city and includes le Vieux Saint-Boniface (Old St. Boniface), Norwood West, Norwood East, Windsor Park, Niakwa Park, Niakwa Place, Southdale, Southland Park, Royalwood, Sage Creek and Island Lakes, plus a large industrial area. The ward is represented by Matt Allard, a member of Winnipeg City Council, and also corresponds to the neighbourhood clusters of St. Boniface East and West. The population was 58,520 according to the Canada 2016 Census. [2]



St Boniface Cathedral St. Boniface Cathedral 2.jpg
St Boniface Cathedral
Esplanade Riel at the edge of St Boniface Esplanade Riel bridge Winnipeg, Manitoba.jpg
Esplanade Riel at the edge of St Boniface
Condominiums in St Boniface, Winnipeg Condominiums in St Boniface, Winnipeg.JPG
Condominiums in St Boniface, Winnipeg

Succeeding cultures of indigenous peoples lived in the area for thousands of years before European exploration. It was an area of historic Ojibwe occupation.

Fur traders and European mercenaries hired by Lord Selkirk to protect his fledgling Red River Colony were among the area's first European settlers. With the founding of a Roman Catholic mission in 1818, St Boniface began its role in Canadian religious, political and cultural history – as mother parish for many French settlements in Western Canada; as the birthplace of Louis Riel and fellow Métis who struggled to obtain favourable terms for Manitoba's entry into Confederation; and as a focus of resistance to controversial 1890 legislation to alter Manitoba's school system and abolish French as an official language in the province (see Manitoba Schools Question).

French-speaking religious orders, including the Sisters of Charity of Montreal (better known as the Grey Nuns), who arrived in 1844, founded the early educational, cultural and social-service institutions, such as St. Boniface Hospital, the first in Western Canada. Early French-speaking missionary Catholic priests in the region founded the Collège de Saint-Boniface (dating to 1818) to teach Latin and general humanities to the local boys; it is now the Université de Saint-Boniface.

St Boniface was incorporated as a town in 1883 and as a city in 1908.

The early economy was oriented to agriculture. Industrialization arrived in the early 20th century. The 165-acre (67 ha) [3] Union Stockyards, developed 1912–13, became the largest livestock exchange in Canada and a centre of the meat-packing and -processing industry. By the early 1900s, numerous light and heavy industries were established. Today the Stockyards site will be redeveloped into a housing and retail area Olexa Developments of Calgary beginning in 2020. In Phase 1 of the development, up to 600 housing units would be constructed. [3]

In the 1950s and 1960s the neighbourhoods of Windsor Park and Southdale developed into residential areas. In 2016 Windsor Park had a population of 10,050 [4] and Southdale had a population of 6,450. [5]

In 1971, St. Boniface was amalgamated, along with several neighbouring communities, into the City of Winnipeg. [6] [7] As one of the larger French communities outside Québec, it has often been a centre of struggles to preserve French-Canadian language and culture within Manitoba.


CCFM Building in St. Boniface CCFM, St. Boniface.png
CCFM Building in St. Boniface

The Festival du Voyageur is held annually in February outdoors at Whittier Park and Fort Gibraltar. St Boniface is home to the Centre culturel franco-manitobain (CCFM), which features an art gallery, theatres, meeting rooms, and a community radio station, [8] as well as staging Cinémental, the city's annual francophone film festival. [9]

The area is also home to Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum, a French theatre company Le Cercle Molière, a local museum dedicated to Franco-Manitoban culture and history. [10]

Notable people


Winnipeg's three Francophone radio stations, CKXL-FM CKSB-10-FM and CKSB-FM, are located in St. Boniface and are licensed there, a legacy of when St. Boniface was a separate city.

The French-language weekly newspaper La Liberté is also based out of St-Boniface.


St. Boniface is represented by the St. Boniface Riels hockey team which plays in the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League (MMJHL). The St. Boniface Riels were founded in 1971. They play at the Southdale Arena and have won five MMJHL championships: 1971–1972, 1972–1973, 1984–1985, 1985–1986, 2014–2015. [13]

Further reading

Related Research Articles

Université de Saint-Boniface

The Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) is a French language public university located in the Saint Boniface suburb of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. An affiliated institution of the University of Manitoba, the university offers general and specialized university degree programs as well as technical and professional training. In 2014, 1,368 regular students were enrolled. Its Continuing Education Division, which includes a language school, has also counted over 4,200 enrolments.


Franco-Manitobans are French Canadians or Canadian francophones living in the province of Manitoba. According to the 2016 Canadian Census, 40,975 residents of the province stated that French was their mother tongue. In the same census, 148,810 Manitobans claimed to have either full or partial French ancestry. There are several Franco-Manitoban communities throughout Manitoba, although the majority are based in either the Winnipeg Capital Region or the Eastman Region.

Saint Boniface Cathedral

Saint Boniface Cathedral is a Roman Catholic basilica and the cathedral of Saint Boniface, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It is an important building in Winnipeg, and is the principal church in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Boniface, serving the eastern part of Manitoba province as well as the local Franco-Manitoban community. The basilica sits in the centre of the city at 190 avenue de la Cathédrale, Saint Boniface.

Norbert Provencher

Joseph-Norbert Provencher was a Canadian clergyman and missionary and one of the founders of the modern province of Manitoba. He was the first Bishop of Saint Boniface and was an important figure in the history of the Franco-Manitoban community.

Southdale (electoral district) Provincial electoral district in Manitoba, Canada

Southdale is a provincial electoral division in the Canadian province of Manitoba. It was created in the provincial redistribution 1999, mostly out of Niakwa and part of St. Vital. The riding is located in the southeastern section of the City of Winnipeg.

Louis Riel Sr.

Louis Riel Sr. (père) was a farmer, miller, Métis leader, and the father of Louis Riel.

Festival du Voyageur

The Festival du Voyageur is an annual 10-day winter festival that takes place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The event is held during each February in Winnipeg's French Quarter, Saint-Boniface, and is Western Canada's largest winter festival. It celebrates Canada's fur-trading past and unique French heritage and culture through entertainment, arts and crafts, music, exhibits, and displays.

St. Vital, Winnipeg A suburban community in Winnipeg, Manitoba

St. Vital is a district of the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Located in the south-central part of the city, it is bounded on the north by Carrière Avenue, on the south by the northern limit of the Rural Municipality of Ritchot, on the west by the Red River and on the east by the Seine River, except for the part lying south of the Perimeter Highway, which extends east across the Seine to the boundary of the Rural Municipality of Springfield. The population as of the 2016 census was 67,580.

St. Norbert, Winnipeg Suburb of Winnipeg

St. Norbert is a bilingual neighbourhood in the southernmost part of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. While outside the Perimeter Highway,, it is still part of the city. At the 2016 Census, the population of St. Norbert is 5,850.

Lorette, Manitoba Place in Manitoba, Canada

Lorette, originally named Petite Pointe du Chênes, is an unincorporated community recognized as a local urban district in the Rural Municipality of Taché, located 25 km southeast of Winnipeg, in the province of Manitoba, Canada. The French-speaking Métis traders and farmers who first settled the area named it Petite Pointe du Chênes. Bishop Alexandre-Antonin Taché later changed the name to Lorette, honoring a French priest who donated a significant sum to the construction of the Saint Boniface Cathedral in Winnipeg.

Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum Civic museum in Manitoba, Canada

Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum is a museum in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada that is dedicated to Franco-Manitoban culture and history. It is located in the oldest building in Winnipeg, a former convent run by the Grey Sisters. Begun in 1846 and finished in 1851, the former nunnery has been an orphanage, a school, a seniors' home, and was the first incarnation of the St. Boniface Hospital. The museum contains many Franco-Manitoban and Métis artifacts.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint-Boniface is a Latin archdiocese in part of the civil Province of Manitoba in Canada. Despite having no suffragan dioceses, the archdiocese is nominally metropolitan and is an ecclesiastical province by itself. It is currently led by Archbishop Albert LeGatt.

CKXL-FM Francophone community radio station in Saint Boniface, Manitoba

CKXL-FM is a French language community radio station licensed to Saint Boniface, Manitoba and serving the Winnipeg Capital Region. It broadcasts a public radio format that has 80% Manitoba content. It uses the branding "Envol 91 FM."

The Louis Riel School Division is a school division in Winnipeg, Manitoba offering English language and French immersion education to its students. It was formed through the amalgamation of the St. Vital School Division and the St. Boniface School Division.

St. Adolphe, Manitoba Place in Manitoba, Canada

St. Adolphe, or Saint Adolphe, originally called Pointe-Coupée, is a community in the Rural Municipality of Ritchot, Manitoba, Canada. It is located along the east bank of the Red River, approximately 12 kilometres south of Winnipeg. It was renamed after Adolphe Turner who made a large donation to the local church. St. Adolphe is notable for being home to the world's largest snow maze. The community is surrounded by a dike as a result of several devastating floods, it was raised to levels above the 1997 Red River flood, which was the last major flood to inundate the town and area.

Miguel Joyal

Miguel Joyal is a Winnipeg-born Métis artist and Canadian sculptor.

Ambroise-Dydime Lépine Canadian military leader

Ambroise-Dydime Lépine was a Métis politician, farmer, and military leader under the command of Louis Riel during the Red River Rebellion of 1869–1870. He was tried and sentenced to death for his role in the resistance regarding the execution of Thomas Scott, but his sentence was commuted to five years exile by the Governor General of Canada.

École Provencher is the oldest school in Saint Boniface, Winnipeg, Manitoba. From its earliest beginnings in 1818 under the guidance of Father Provencher, the school has occupied various sites in St. Boniface. In 1906, École Provencher found its current and permanent home at the corner of rue St. Jean Baptiste and avenue de la Cathédrale.

Cinémental is a film festival, staged annually in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Manitoba provincial electoral districts are currently single member ridings that each elect one member to the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.


  1. "Elevation at St. Boniface". Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  2. 1 2 "2016 Census Data - St. Boniface Community Area" (PDF). City of Winnipeg. July 24, 2019. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  3. 1 2 Kavanagh, Sean (September 24, 2019). "Winnipeg city hall gets first look at massive St. Boniface development proposal: Former Canada Packers plant, Union Stockyards site could feature mix of apartments, condos, businesses". CBC News Manitoba.
  4. "2016 Census Data - Windsor Park" (PDF). July 24, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  5. "2016 Census Data - Southdale" (PDF). July 24, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  6. "Winnipeg: Government and Politics". The Canadian Encyclopedia . Retrieved 2009-07-16.
  7. Mullin, Barry (December 31, 1971). "Multi-Faceted Past Makes St. Boniface Colorful". Winnipeg Free Press. p. 17.
  8. "Vision and Mission". CCFM. Retrieved 2019-11-25.
  9. Simon Fuller, "Cinemental coming to a screen near you". Winnipeg Free Press , October 7, 2014.
  10. "Welcome". Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  11. "Hockey loses Dawson". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. March 30, 1987. p. 45. Lock-green.svg
  12. Goldsborough, Gordon (2017-12-25). "Memorable Manitobans: Earl Phillip Dawson (1925-1987)". Manitoba Historical Society. Retrieved 2019-06-11.
  13. "St. Boniface Riels". MMJHL. Retrieved 15 October 2012.

Coordinates: 49°54′00″N97°06′00″W / 49.900°N 97.100°W / 49.900; -97.100