Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 141 years


Pay & Donate in the MHS Online Shop

Endangered Top 10
Top 10

Prairie History No. 1

No. 1

Manitoba Photographers List

Free Press Manitoba 150
Free Press

MHS YouTube Channel

Manitoba Brick & Blocks
& Blocks

Jens Munk at Churchill
Field Trip:

War Memorials in Manitoba
in Manitoba

Fundraising Dinner 2020

This Old Elevator
This Old

Abandoned Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans

Historic Sites of Manitoba
Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Trappist Monastery Ruins and Guesthouse (100 Ruines du Monastere, Winnipeg)

Monsignor Ritchot, parish priest of St. Norbert, and Archbishop Taché of St. Boniface invited five Cistercians of the Trappist Order from the Abbey of Bellefontaine, France, to establish a monastery here in 1892. The community was named Our Lady of the Prairies. The Romanesque Revival church was built in 1903-04 and the connecting monastic wing in 1905. The guesthouse was erected in 1912 on the foundations of the first church building. This self-sufficient monastery included milking barns, stables, granaries, butter and cheese factory, bakery, apiary, shoemaker’s shop, forge, sawmill, cannery, and greenhouses.

By 1978, the Trappists had moved to a site near Holland to protect their contemplative life from the effects of urban sprawl from the encroaching City of Winnipeg. In 1983, fire gutted the vacated church and residential wing at St. Norbert, which are now surrounded by a fence to protect them from further vandalism.

The adjacent guesthouse was built by the monks in 1912 on the foundations of the original 1892 monastery which itself had been converted into a guesthouse in 1906 before being destroyed by fire in 1912. It escaped the 1983 fire and has been renovated into the St. Norberts Arts Centre.

In 2003, a plaque was erected at the site by the Manitoba Heritage Council. The renovated guesthouse was recognized with a Heritage Winnipeg Preservation Award in 1996 and the ruins themselves were likewise acknowledged in 2010. The guest house is a municipally-designated historic site.

Trappist Monastery

Trappist Monastery (May 1959)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, George Harris Fonds, Acc. 1979-141, P7447, Album 3, Page 2.

West view of the Trappist Monastery ruins

West view of the Trappist Monastery ruins (June 2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

East view of the Trappist Monastery ruins

East view of the Trappist Monastery ruins (June 2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Trappist guesthouse

Trappist guesthouse (no date)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough, 2018-0124

Trappist guesthouse

Trappist guesthouse (September 2017)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.75708, W97.15445
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Provincially Designated Historic Sites

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites


Trappist Monastery Ruins (rue du Monastere), Manitoba Historic Resources Branch.

Trappist Monastery Guesthouse (due du Monastere), Manitoba Historic Resources Branch.

We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 17 August 2019

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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

Please note that inclusion in this collection does not mean that a particular site has special status or protection. Some sites are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

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

Search Tips | Suggest a Site | FAQ | Acknowledgements

Send inquiries to the MHS Webmaster.

Back to top of page


To report an error on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

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

© 1998-2020 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.