Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 144 years

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Scots Monument (Waterfront Drive, Winnipeg)

This monument, located near the Alexander Docks, was erected in 1993. It depicts a stylized Scots thistle, the floral emblem of Scotland since ancient times. It is dedicated to Thomas Douglas, Fifth Earl of Selkirk, and marks the historical origins of Manitoba as a European settled territory. It was donated to the City of Winnipeg through the donations of members, corporations and friends of the St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg trust fund.

Behind the monument is a plaque containing the text of a poem describing the departure of the Scottish settlers on their journal to Canada, a copy of an original in Scotland. This monument was unveiled by Rev. Hugh Wyllie, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland on 19 June 1992. It commemorates the 175th anniversary of the arrival on the Red River of Thomas Douglas, Fifth Earl of Selkirk and his settlers. The first group arrived here in 1812.

Scots Monument

Scots Monument (May 2017)
Source: George Penner

Scots Monument

Scots Monument (March 2020)
Source: Rose Kuzina

“Cairn of Tears” plaque

“Cairn of Tears” plaque (2010)
Source: City of Winnipeg

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.90053, W97.12970
denoted by symbol on the map above


Information for this page was provided by The City of Winnipeg’s Planning, Property and Development Department, which acknowledges the contribution of the Government of Manitoba through its Heritage Grants Program.

We thank Peter McLure, Rose Kuzina, and George Penner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 21 May 2023

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. The information is offered for historical interest only.

Browse lists of:
Museums/Archives | Buildings | Monuments | Cemeteries | Locations | Other

Inclusion in this collection does not confer special status or protection. Official heritage designation may only come from municipal, provincial, or federal governments. Some sites are on private property and permission to visit must be secured from the owner.

Site information is provided by the Manitoba Historical Society as a free public service only for non-commercial purposes.

Send corrections and additions to this page
to the MHS Webmaster at

Search Tips | Suggest an Historic Site | FAQ

Help us keep history alive!

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations

© 1998-2023 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.