Winnipeg’s Historical French Quarter

June 22, 2014
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Winnipeg's historical French Quarter

Exploring the heritage of St. Boniface, Winnipeg’s French Quarter

St. Boniface, Winnipeg’s French Quarter, has a rich history that includes voyageurs, fur traders, European settlers, Catholic missionaries, rebellion, and the birth of the province of Manitoba. There are several sites you can visit to learn more about that heritage. Click here to read an article I wrote for Travel Thru History about exploring those sites.


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  • Reply
    Paul Graham
    June 24, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Hi Donna, thanks for both the illuminating story of St Boniface and introducing me to the Travel Through History site. Much as I love Quebec, it can give us only one facet of the diversity of French Canadian history and the interaction with other cultures. The Acadians here in the Maritimes for example have their own distinct story to tell. The Metis experience is fascinating as, aside from the Anglo-Indians, it may be one of the worlds few examples of a genuine mixed race community and Louis Riel remains one of the giants of Canadian history

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      June 24, 2014 at 11:35 am

      There is indeed a diversity of French Canadian history. I am not very familiar with Acadian history and would like to learn more about it.

    • Reply
      Meredith Wouters
      June 26, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      I’m fascinated with Acadian history, as well as French Canadian, since I’m of Cajun descent. I think it’s interesting that those of us in the extreme south of the US are so closely tied to our far northern neighbors! Small world. 🙂

  • Reply
    Michele Harvey
    June 24, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    What a fascinating place. I enjoyed your article and photos, as well as learning about the Travel Thru History publication. I spent some time in parts of Alberta but know very little about the rest of Canada.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      June 24, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      Thanks Michele. Canada is large and diverse – each area distinct.

  • Reply
    William Rusho
    June 24, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    It is a fascinating place. I also enjoyed the pics and articles. I often wondered what it would of been like to be one of the first European fur trappers and seeing that place for the first time.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      June 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Bits from journals and letters from that time give some sense of what the fur traders felt, but it still requires some imagination to put yourself in their footsteps.

  • Reply
    flattiresandslowboats.com
    June 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    A close friend of mine traveled by train across Canada a couple of years and stopped in various cities along the way for a couple of days. Absolutely loved it. One of the stops was Winnipeg and she found the place to be a little visited gem. I will share this with her and hopefully bring back some good memories and fill in some historical gaps. Thanks.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      June 24, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      I glad your friend found Winnipeg to be gem. The small city in the middle of the prairie is far from other major Canadian cities and is often bypassed, but it has a lot to offer residents and visitors. I hope the piece brings back good memories for your friend.

  • Reply
    JeriWB
    June 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Headed over now to give it a read. I really need to make a point to get back to Canada sooner than later 🙂

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      June 25, 2014 at 11:42 am

      There are a variety of interesting places to visit across Canada, Jeri.

  • Reply
    jacquie
    June 25, 2014 at 8:38 am

    I always enjoy your informative posts Donna, and the pictures are great! Thanks for introducing me to the Travel Thru History publication! I simply have to get to Canada!

  • Reply
    Lenie
    June 25, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Donna, I am learning more about Canada from you than I ever did in history class and what’s more, enjoying it. We have all the books about the Hudson Bay Company by Peter C. Newman and find that a fascinating time in Canadian history. For most of us, living outside of Manitoba, Louis Riel was depicted as a traitor but this certainly showed a different side – always two sides to a story isn’t there.
    Lenie

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      June 25, 2014 at 11:45 am

      I grew up in Manitoba and when I took history in school, Louis Riel was depicted more of a traitor than a hero. I don’t know if that was the same in Francophone communities, but the slant on him has changed over the years.

  • Reply
    Anda
    June 25, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Very informative post, Donna.

  • Reply
    William A. Butler
    June 25, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Hi Donna,
    I really enjoyed learning about St Boniface and early Canadian history in that area. I was interested to read of the Grey Nuns. They ran the Home for Orphans, Aged and Friendless where I lived from 2-3 years old. It was later renamed Merrymount. Some of my earliest memories are from there and they’re like yesterday.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      June 27, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      The Grey Nuns played an important role in the history of St. Boniface. I’m surprised you can remember things from age 2-3. I have only a couple of foggy images from that time and I’m not sure I remember if from the time or from what has been told to me.

  • Reply
    Christine @thetraveloguer
    June 26, 2014 at 6:34 am

    Great photos Donna. I have wanted to visit Canada for ages, and you have made me want to go even more now! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      June 27, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      Thanks Christine. Canada has a wide variety to offer – worth a visit.

  • Reply
    Christina
    June 26, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    I spotted Roy’s home in your photos and thought how nice it would have been to live there.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      June 27, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      It was also fun to walk through the Roy house and think about living there.

  • Reply
    Mina Joshi
    June 27, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Very informative post.I have yet to visit Canada.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      June 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      There is a great variety to see in Canada. Hope you make it someday.

  • Reply
    20Pat
    June 27, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    It’s always good to learn more about my country. Sadly, I must admit, this isn’t an really an area of Canadian history I know much about.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      June 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      There is always more to learn about one’s own country, isn’t there?

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