St. Boniface, Manitoba, has long been the principal home of Franco-Manitobans in the province and ranks as the largest francophone community in Western Canada. Visitors will discover a unique and historic architecture, thriving businesses, and a lively cultural scene.
The community was first settled in 1818 to meet the cultural and religious needs of the Red River Colony’s French and Métis inhabitants. A Francophone presence was thus established in the region before spreading throughout much of the future Province of Manitoba. St. Boniface became the Catholic and Francophone capital of the nascent Red River settlement.
The area of the Red River settlement went on to become the Province of Manitoba in 1870, following a popular and democratic uprising led by the Métis leader Louis Riel. The Manitoba Act, the province’s new constitution, recognized the cultural and linguistic duality of the new province.
Many of St. Boniface’s most important historic buildings – its city hall, fire station and post office – date back to this time, and remain fine examples of the architectural styles of the beginning of the 20th century, at a time when St. Boniface was ranked as the fifth largest community in Western Canada.
The City of St. Boniface amalgamated with Winnipeg in 1972, and remains its most outstanding francophone community.