LE MUSÉE DE SAINT-BONIFACE

494 Tache Avenue, Winnipeg, MB

(204) 237-4500

Status: Former Convent; Former Senior’s Home; Former Hospital; Museum

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History

The first Grey Nuns came to Manitoba in 1844 and lived with Bishop Norbert Provencher – one of the most prominent figures in the creation of the Province and the first Bishop of Manitoba – while this house was being built.

The Grey Nuns moved into the building in December of 1847 when the kitchen was the only room fully completed with a floor, 4 walls and a ceiling. The nuns lined the rooms with beaver pelts in order to survive the harsh Winnipeg winter.

Eventually the building became 2 floors plus a basement and an attic. The nuns not only lived here but also ran western Canada’s first hospital, an orphanage and a senior’s home in the building. Eventually a school for both boys and girls was run here as well. In the long run the school was become a boarding school for just girls.

In 1950 the St Boniface School for Nurses had to move into the building as well; as their school was flooded out.

In 1958 the Grey Nuns left the building, and it was nearly demolished in 1959 despite the Canadian Federal Government recommending it as a possible museum. Through the efforts of the municipality and historical groups the building was saved. It finally underwent massive renovations when the nuns leased the building to the municipality and the Federal Government for a period of 99 years in 1963.

In the summer of 1967 it was opened as a museum.

The museum underwent renovations in both 1990 and from 1993 to 1995. When it re-opened in 1995 an admission was charged for the first time.

Today the building is the oldest in Winnipeg and the oldest oak structure in all of North America.

The museum contains exhibits related to the Metis and French culture in Manitoba including Louis Riel and his failed rebellion against the Canadian Government.

 

Paranormal Activity

The phantom sounds of monks singing as well as a nun’s choirs are often heard in the building.

The phantom sounds of children running, playing and laughing is also often heard.

Objects frequently move on the own including doors opening and closing and taps turning off and on.

Lights flickering and other electrical disturbances are also reported.

Other Reported Activity: disembodied voices; light anomalies and feelings of not being alone and being watched.