Winnipeg is home to the largest French-speaking community west of the Great Lakes. This tour takes you across the river into St. Boniface, the city’s French Quarter, where the language, folklore, traditions and history of the first French-Canadian settlers live on. Spend the day discovering the joie de vivre (love of life) of this historic and dynamic community, just minutes from downtown Winnipeg.
Start your tour with a visit to the St. Boniface Cathedral, the former head of Catholic churches in western Canada and one of Manitoba’s most photographed sites. Learn the story of how the cathedral came to be, and enter the ruins to see how the old has been integrated with the new. See the history of the parish and its parishioners brought to life in a live theatre performance by the troupe Theatre in the Cemetery, performed on-site. Afterwards, walk over and visit the St. Boniface Museum, which is not only the former Grey Nuns’ convent, but the oldest remaining structure in Winnipeg and the largest oak log structure in North America.
A visit to the French Quarter would not be complete without a traditional French-Canadian lunch at the newly renovated Resto Gare, a restaurant renowned for its French cuisine and unique atmosphere.
In the afternoon, visit historic Fort Gibraltar, a full-scale trading post where costumed interpreters recreate and share with you their lives in the fur trade in 1815. Try your hand at hatchet throwing, bake bannock around a camp fire and experience what life was like for the Voyageurs and first Francophone settlers who braved the Canadian wilderness – and won!
Lots of surprises and plenty of joie de vivre await you on this captivating tour!