Historic Sites of Manitoba: St. Norbert Provincial Heritage Park (Turnbull Drive, Winnipeg)
The property where this Provincial Heritage Park was established was formerly owned by architect Herbert Henry Gatenby Moody. He planted numerous trees on the site and, in 1972, sold it to the Manitoba government for development as a park.
Two pioneer houses recreating the lifestyle of their original owners, the Turenne House and the Bohemier House, are situated in the park. St. Norbert’s proximity to St. Boniface and its prime agricultural land attracted many French-Canadian families. Restoration of the Turenne House was completed in 1986. The other restored house in the park is that of the Bohemier family. Opened in 1985, Bohemier House recreates the lifestyle known to the family from 1906 to 1912. Restoration of the Bohemier House was recognized with a Conservation Award from Heritage Winnipeg. Through these two houses, the Fort Garry Historical Society’s collection interprets Métis family life as it was during the late 1800s.
Also at the site are commemorative plaques of the Historic Sites Advisory Board of Manitoba. One pair of plaques, in English and French, relate to La Barriere (“The Barrier” in English). Near this site, on 1 November 1869, a group of men barred the passage of William McDougall on his way to Upper Fort Garry. Sent by the Canadian government, McDougall was to undertake the transfer of Rupert’s Land from the Hudson’s Bay Company to Canada. As a result of the actions taken here, plans to incorporate this area into the North West Territories were abandoned. Instead, Manitoba joined Canada as the new nation’s fifth province, on 15 July 1870.
A second pair of plaques, in English and French, commemorate the community of St. Norbert. The first inhabitants of this region were former fur company employees who settled here between 1822 and 1825. Their main occupation remained for many years the buffalo hunt and prairie freighting with Red River carts. In 1857, Monsignor Tache established a parish here which he called St. Norbert in honour of Monsignor Norbert Provencher.
Photos & Coordinates
St. Norbert Provincial Heritage Park, Manitoba Conservation
We thank Jane Moody and Jim Smith for providing additional information used here.
Page revised: 25 April 2021