Historic Sites of Manitoba: Coronation Park / Coronation Park Cenotaph (St. Mary’s Road, Winnipeg)
Formerly the Norwood ball grounds, by the 1930s this St. Boniface (now a suburb of Winnipeg) site was commonly, though informally, used as a local dump. In April 1937, there was sufficient public interest to convert the site into a park. With approval from the municipal council, a group of citizens known as the Coronation Park Committee was established to facilitate the project. Work began immediately on “Coronation Park,” with debris hauled away by labourers and five, four-horse teams. The eight-acre grounds were then leveled and landscaped.
The property, bounded by St. Mary’s Road, Eugenie Street, and Tache Avenue, was still under development when it was officially opened on Coronation Day, 12 May 1937. The event was planned to coincide with the coronation of King George VI, with local festivities initiated within hours of the crowning ceremony. Some 2,000 residents and 1,000 school children participated, with dignitaries including Minister of Mines and Natural Resources J. S. McDiarmid, Mayor G. C. MacLean, aldermen of St. Boniface Council, Norwood Collegiate Principal W. G. Rathwell, and G. Gillespie, Chairman of the Norwood and St. Boniface Unemployed Association. Activities included the singing of songs, flag raising, and planting of three trees. Beautification of the grounds continued through the following year, with the committee officially turning control of the park over to St. Boniface Parks Board on 12 December 1938.
In September 1944, the Coronation Park Committee was given approval to proceed with the development of a war memorial at the site. Plans were drawn up for a cenotaph to commemorate the fallen soldiers of the First World War and Second World War, with work upon this site initiated by spring of 1946. It was officially unveiled and dedicated on 6 July 1947 by Memorial Committee John Gault and dedicated by the General of the St. Boniface Diocese. The unveiling ceremony was attended by local dignitaries, citizens, and veterans representing the Canadian Legion branches of French veterans, Belgian veterans, and Norwood veterans. Commemoration for the Korean War was added later.
A monument adjacent to the cenotaph was erected by the Norwood-St. Boniface Legion Branch No. 43. A small parcel of land in the park’s northeast corner was re-allocated by the Parks Board for the construction of public library.
Photos & Maps
““Coronation Park” plan of residents of Norwood district,” Winnipeg Tribune, 22 April 1937, page 21.
“Coronation Park scheme in Norwood is approved,” Winnipeg Tribune, 27 April 1937, page 22.
“Ceremony to be help at ‘Coronation Park,’ Tache and St. Mary’s,” Winnipeg Tribune, 11 May 1937, page 3.
“Plant trees in new Coronation Park,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 May 1937, page 8.
“Coronation Park, Norwood, opened,” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 May 1937, page 6.
“Turn Park over to St. Boniface,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 December 1937, page 8.
“Norwood and St. Boniface hold Decoration Day parade,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 June 1946, page 7.
“Tenders [Coronation Park Committee],” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 July 1937, page 18.
“St. Boniface to erect War Memorial,” Winnipeg Tribune, 26 September 1944, page 11.
“St. Boniface Kiwanis to welcome Governor,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 June 1947, page 3.
“War memorial to be dedicated,” Winnipeg Tribune, 19 June 1947, page 15.
“Peace Tower unveiling to be held July 6,” Winnipeg Tribune, 23 June 1947, page 11.
“St. Boniface honors war dead,” Winnipeg Tribune, 7 July 1947, pages 1, 11.
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.
Page revised: 21 December 2018
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