Saint Boniface Cathedral

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Saint Boniface Cathedral
Cathédrale Saint-Boniface (French)
St Boniface.jpg
Saint Boniface Cathedral
AffiliationRoman Catholic
DistrictSaint Boniface
Location190 Cathédrale Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R2H 0H7
Official website
Front view of St. Boniface Cathedral.

Saint Boniface Cathedral (French: Cathédrale Saint-Boniface) 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.


Early St. Boniface Church and Fort Gibraltar in 1821
St. Boniface Cathedral and the Grey Nuns' Convent in 1858

19th-century origins[edit]

The first church on the site was founded by Fr. Norbert Provencher, a priest and future bishop, who ordered its construction in 1818 in the form of a small log chapel. In 1832 Bishop Provencher built the first cathedral but on December 14, 1860, a fire destroyed the first building. In 1862, Bishop Alexandre Antonin Taché rebuilt the cathedral in stone.[1]

20th-century rebuilding[edit]

By 1900, St. Boniface was the fifth-largest city in the West and needed a larger cathedral. Local contractors Senecal and Smith were engaged to build a new cathedral to plans by Montreal architect Jean-Omer Marchand. On August 15, 1906, Monsignor Louis-Philippe Adélard Langevin dedicated the cathedral, which became one of the most imposing churches in Western Canada.[2]

On July 22, 1968, the 1906 cathedral was damaged in a fire, destroying many features including the rose window. Only the façade, sacristy, and the walls of the old church remained.

In 1972, a new smaller cathedral, designed by Étienne Gaboury and Denis Lussier, was built behind the 1906 façade.[2]

The Institute for stained glass in Canada has documented the stained glass at St Boniface Cathedral.[3]

Cathedral cemetery[edit]

The Cathedral from the Forks Riverwalk

Notable people buried in the cathedral cemetery include:[2][4]

The remains of Chief One Arrow were interred at the cemetery from his death in the 1880s until August 2007, when his body was exhumed and sent to One Arrow First Nation in Saskatchewan.[5]


The Cathedral faces the Red River. Nearby is Esplanade Riel, Provencher Bridge, Provencher Park, Tache Promenade, Verendrye Park, the Université de Saint-Boniface and the Saint-Boniface Museum. In Verendrye Park is a statue of Pierre La Vérendrye by Joseph-Émile Brunet. Across the river is The Forks in Downtown Winnipeg.


  1. ^ "Absolute horror': Witnesses cried as fire consumed St. Boniface Cathedral 50 years ago". Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Canada's Historic Places (St. Boniface Cathedral)". Retrieved 2015-02-25.
  3. ^ "Institute for stained glass in Canada". Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  4. ^ Ambroise Didyme Lépine, Military leader at Find a Grave
  5. ^ "Native chief's remains return to Sask. century after his death". CBC News. 24 August 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°53′21″N 97°07′19″W / 49.8893°N 97.1220°W / 49.8893; -97.1220