Saint Boniface, Winnipeg

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St. Boniface
St Boniface City Hall Building
St Boniface City Hall Building
Named forSaint Boniface
 • Suburb24.455 km2 (9.442 sq mi)
 • Metro
5,306.79 km2 (2,048.96 sq mi)
Elevation234 m (768 ft)
 • Suburb58,520
 • Density2,400/km2 (6,200/sq mi)
 • Metro
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code(s)Area codes 204 and 431

St. Boniface (or Saint-Boniface) is a city ward[3] and neighbourhood in Winnipeg. Along with being the centre of the Franco-Manitoban community, it ranks as the largest francophone community in Western Canada.[4]

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.

The area covers the southeast part of the city, including le Vieux Saint-Boniface (Old St. Boniface), and consists of the neighbourhoods of Norwood West, Norwood East, Windsor Park, Niakwa Park, Niakwa Place, Southdale, Southland Park, Royalwood, Sage Creek, and Island Lakes, among others, plus a large industrial area.[3] 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
Esplanade Riel at the edge of St Boniface
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)[5] 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.[5]

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[6] and Southdale had a population of 6,450.[7]

In 1971, St. Boniface was amalgamated, along with several neighbouring communities, into the City of Winnipeg.[8][9] 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.

Places and culture[edit]

The St. Boniface area covers the southeast part of Winnipeg, including le Vieux Saint-Boniface (Old St. Boniface).[10]

It also includes the Canadian National Railway’s Symington Yards, a major rail-handling facility; and the Union Stockyards, which were once the largest of their kind in Canada.[11]


The St. Boniface city ward, represented by City Councillor Matt Allard, is composed of the following neighbourhoods: Archwood, Dufresne, Central St. Boniface, Holden, Island Lakes, Maginot, The Mint, Mission Industrial, Niakwa Park, Niakwa Place, North St. Boniface, Norwood East, Norwood West, Southdale, Stock Yards, and Windsor Park.[3]

The ward mostly corresponds to the community area of St. Boniface and neighbourhood clusters of St. Boniface East and West, which are used by Statistics Canada for demographic purposes.[2] However, while the community area/clusters include all of the neighbourhoods of the city ward, it also extends eastward past Lagimodiere Boulevard to Plessis Road, thereby including the neighbourhoods of Dugald, Royalwood, Sage Creek, Southland Park, St. Boniface Industrial Park, and Symington Yards.[12][13]


CCFM Building in St. Boniface

St. Boniface is home to the Festival du Voyageur, held annually in February outdoors at Whittier Park and Fort Gibraltar; as well as Cinémental, the city's annual francophone film festival.[14]

Also in the area is the Centre culturel franco-manitobain (CCFM; the Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre), which features an art gallery, theatres, meeting rooms, and a community radio station;[15] Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum, a local museum dedicated to Franco-Manitoban culture and history;[16] and Le Cercle Molière, a French-language theatre group and Canada's oldest theater company.[17]

The Centre du Patrimoine is a heritage centre housing the largest Franco-Manitoban archives in Manitoba, as well as the Société historique de Saint-Boniface (SHSB), the oldest historical society in western Canada.[18]


The area features such landmarks as the Boulevard Provencher, Esplanade Riel, Fort Gibraltar, Lagimodière-Gaboury Park, the Provencher Bridge, the Royal Canadian Mint, St. Boniface Cathedral (including the grave of Louis Riel in its churchyard),[11] St. Boniface Hospital, and the Université de Saint-Boniface.

The House of Archbishop Alexandre-Antonin Taché, which is now used for administrative purposes by the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, is one of the oldest stone buildings in western Canada.[19][20]

Notable people[edit]


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.[23]

Further reading[edit]

  • Huel, Raymond Joseph Armand. (2003). Archbishop A.-A. Tache of St. Boniface: the "good fight" and illusive vision. Edmonton [Alta.]. University of Alberta Press. ISBN 0-88864-406-X


  1. ^ "Elevation at St. Boniface". Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "2016 Census Data - St. Boniface Community Area" (PDF). City of Winnipeg. July 24, 2019. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "St. Boniface Ward | Electoral Wards". City of Winnipeg. Retrieved 2021-06-26.
  4. ^ "St. Boniface - Destinations - Tourisme Riel". Retrieved 2021-06-26.
  5. ^ a b 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.
  6. ^ "2016 Census Data - Windsor Park" (PDF). July 24, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  7. ^ "2016 Census Data - Southdale" (PDF). July 24, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  8. ^ "Winnipeg: Government and Politics". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
  9. ^ Mullin, Barry (December 31, 1971). "Multi-Faceted Past Makes St. Boniface Colorful". Winnipeg Free Press. p. 17.
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b "Saint Boniface | district, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-06-26.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Simon Fuller, "Cinemental coming to a screen near you". Winnipeg Free Press, October 7, 2014.
  15. ^ "Vision and Mission". CCFM. Retrieved 2019-11-25.
  16. ^ "Welcome". Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  17. ^ "Cercle Molière - French Theater - St. Boniface - Destinations - Tourisme Riel". Retrieved 2021-06-26.
  18. ^ "Centre du Patrimoine/Heritage Centre, SHSB - St. Boniface - Destinations - Tourisme Riel". Retrieved 2021-06-26.
  19. ^ "Historic Sites of Manitoba: Archbishop of St. Boniface Residence (151 Avenue de la Cathedrale, Winnipeg)". Retrieved 2021-06-26.
  20. ^ "Archbishop's House - St. Boniface - Destinations - Tourisme Riel". Retrieved 2021-06-26.
  21. ^ "Hockey loses Dawson". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. March 30, 1987. p. 45.Free to read
  22. ^ Goldsborough, Gordon (2017-12-25). "Memorable Manitobans: Earl Phillip Dawson (1925-1987)". Manitoba Historical Society. Retrieved 2019-06-11.
  23. ^ "St. Boniface Riels". MMJHL. Retrieved 15 October 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°54′00″N 97°06′00″W / 49.900°N 97.100°W / 49.900; -97.100