Saint 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.

Saint Boniface Cathedral
Cathédrale Saint-Boniface (French)
Saint Boniface Cathedral
AffiliationRoman Catholic
DistrictSaint Boniface
Location190 avenue de la Cathédrale
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Geographic coordinates49.8893°N 97.1220°W / 49.8893; -97.1220

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


Fr. Norbert Provencher, a priest and future bishop, ordered construction of the first church on the site 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]

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 by a fire which destroyed many of the structure's features and contents including the rose window, vestments, 1860 bells, and parish records. 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

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.[4]

Other notable people buried in the cathedral cemetery include:[2][5]


  1. Bernhardt, Darren (July 22, 2018). "Absolute horror': Witnesses cried as fire consumed St. Boniface Cathedral 50 years ago". CBC News. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  2. "St. Boniface Cathedral". Canada's Historic Places. Retrieved 2015-02-25.
  3. "St Boniface Cathedral with Windows by the Architect". Institute for stained glass in Canada. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  4. "Native chief's remains return to Sask. century after his death". CBC News. 24 August 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  5. Ambroise Didyme Lépine, Military leader at Find a Grave
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