These plaques are erected by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, the body that advises the Minister of the Environment on sites, events and people of national historic significance. Since its creation in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada has been a significant partner within the heritage community in Canada. Members of the HSMBC are appointed by the Governor-in-Council. There are representatives for each province and the three territories. As well, the National Archivist and an officer of the Museum of Civilization are members.
The following are the persons, events, and sites in Manitoba commemorated by the HSMBC to date:
William George Barker (1894-1930)
George Bryce (1844-1931)
515 Portage Avenue
Thomas Button (c1601-1634)
Thomas Alexander Crerar (1876-1975)
Main Street, Russell
John Wesley Dafoe (1866-1944)
1355 Mountain Avenue
Thomas Douglas (1771-1820)
300 Memorial Boulevard
John Skirving Ewart (1849-1933)
Robson Hall, University of Manitoba
Marie-Anne Gaboury (1782-1875)
Cyril Genik (1857-1925)
25 Forks Market Road
Charles William Gordon [Ralph Conner] (1860-1937)
54 West Gate
Cuthbert Grant (1796-1854)
Abraham Albert Heaps (1885-1954)
Samuel Hearne (1745-1792)
William Hespeler (1830-1921)
Fourth Street South
Ella Cora Hind (1861-1942)
300 Carlton Street
Sigtryggur Jónasson (1852-1942)
53 Reggie Leach Road East, Riverton
Israel Isaac Kahanovitch (1872-1945)
Henry Kelsey (c1667-1724)
Jean-Baptiste Lagimodiere (c1777-1855)
Jean Margaret Wemyss “Peggy” Laurence (1926-1987)
312 First Avenue
Pierre Gaultier de la Verendrye (1685-1749)
Arthur Meighen (1874-1960)
Alexander Morris (1826-1889)
Margaret Newton (1887-1971)
University of Manitoba
John Norquay (1841-1889)
Harold Anthony ‘Doc’ Oaks (1896-1968)
958 Ferry Road
Josef Oleskow (1860-1903)
100 Main Street South
Elizabeth Fulton Parker (1856-1944)
Yoho National Park
Thomas George “Tommy” Prince (1915-1977)
Awaiting installation as of 2019
Louis Riel (1844-1885)
330 River Road
Nöel-Joseph Ritchot (1825-1905)
Alexander Ross (1783-1856)
140 Meade Street North
Gabrielle Roy (1909-1983)
375 Deschambault Street
Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946)
116 Main Street
Clifford Sifton (1861-1929)
Thomas Simpson (1808-1840)
Frank Leith Skinner (1882-1967)
Vilhjalmur Stefansson (1879-1962)
James Kenneth “Ken” Watson (1904-1986)
James Shaver Woodsworth (1874-1942)
470 Stella Avenue
Assiniboine Park and Zoo
Awaiting installation as of 2019
Grand Valley Road
300 Commonwealth Way
Canadian Federation of University Women (designated 2011, plaque to be installed at Ralph Connor House)
Ducks Unlimited Canada (awaiting installation as of 2019)
Early Science in Canada’s North and the Hudson’s Bay Company (awaiting installation as of 2022)
First Legislature of Manitoba (plaque removed when building was demolished)
433 Main Street
130 Main Street
Hudson Bay Railway (awaiting installation as of 2019)
Red River Expedition of 1870 (awaiting installation as of 2019)
331 Smith Street
380 Graham Avenue
364 Smith Street
580 Victor Street (First Lutheran Church)
282 Hamilton Street
181 Higgins Avenue
Churchill Rocket Research Range (awaiting installation as of 2019)
457 Main Street
61 Carlton Street
456 Main Street
Elaschuk House (no plaque installed)
Empire Hotel / Cauchon Block (demolished 1982)
171 Main Street
Forts Rouge, Garry and Gibraltar
Upper Fort Garry (N49.88819 W97.13544)
375 Deschambault Street
494 Tache Avenue
256 Smith Street
Linear Mounds (no plaque)
Metropolitan Theatre (awaiting installation as of 2019)
281 Donald Street
180 Market Avenue
Crescent Road West
55 Saskatchewan Avenue West
54 West Gate
Red River Floodway (awaiting installation as of 2019)
Riding Mountain National Park
330 River Road
40 Osborne Street
174 Market Avenue
Sea Horse Gully Remains (no plaque)
219 Provencher Boulevard
431 Avenue Taché
1106 First Street NW
591 Pritchard Avenue
504 Main Street
123 Main Street
364 Smith Street
National historic sites are places of profound importance to Canada. They bear witness to our nation’s defining moments and illustrate its human creativity and cultural traditions. Each national historic site tells its own unique story, part of the greater story of Canada, contributing to a sense of time, identity, and place to our understanding of Canada as a whole.
National historic sites, located in all provinces and territories, can be found in almost any setting – from urban to rural locales, to wilderness environments. They may be sacred places, battlefields, archaeological sites, buildings or streetscapes. They can range in size from a single structure to linear canals spanning great distances. Many national historic sites are still used today for work and worship, commerce and industry, habitation and leisure.
In addition to sites, Canada also commemorates persons and events for their national historic significance. So far 2,000 places, persons and events have been commemorated by the Government of Canada. And the list keeps growing as Canada’s history unfolds.
Together, all of these commemorations make up what is known as the system of National Historic Sites of Canada. In each generation the system has evolved with the nation’s changing view of itself. Today there is a greater interest in social history reflecting the achievements and experiences of everyday Canadians.
Parks Canada monitors the system through a system plan and is now making special efforts to encourage participation and increase the representation of Aboriginal, women and enthnocultural communities’ history.
The National Historic Sites System Plan covers the entire range of Canadian human history under five broad themes:
- Peopling the Land
- Governing Canada
- Developing Economies
- Building Social and Community Life
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Parks Canada supports the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC), the body that advises the Minister of the Environment on national historic significance. Since its creation in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada has been a significant partner within the heritage community in Canada. Members of the HSMBC are appointed by the Governor in Council. There is one representative for each of the provinces and three territories. As well, the National Archivist and an officer of the Museum of Civilization are members.
Because of the great deal of work involved in carrying out its mandate, the Board has struck a number of committees with specific areas of responsibility. Overall control is exercised by: the Executive Committee made up of the Chairperson of the Board and the Chairpersons of the other committees.
The Criteria Committee determines criteria and guidelines for evaluating the national historic importance of places, people and events.
The Cultural Communities Committee brings to the Board recommendations for commemoration of the contributions of Canada’s diverse cultural groups and Aboriginal Peoples.
The Inscriptions Committee is responsible for ensuring the appropriateness and accuracy of all plaque texts.
The Thematic Studies and System Plan Committee is responsible for reviewing the National Historic Sites System Plan and for bringing before the Board themes in Canadian history which it considers nationally significant.
The Built Environment Committee is charged with assessing the national significance of buildings, including historic districts and streetscapes, and it may recommend the selection, preservation, and interpretation of in situ resources.
The Status of Designations Committee is responsible for clarifying names, the features and boundaries of national historic sites and the intent of existing designations.
The Director General, National Historic Sites Directorate, Parks Canada Agency, acts as the Secretary of the Board. Under the Secretary’s guidance, Parks Canada conducts historical and archaeological research in support of the Board, provides a secretariat which handles administrative matters, and implements the Minister’s decisions upon the advice of the Board.
The HSMBC’s agenda is in large part driven by public concerns as it responds to requests that places, people or events be declared of national historic significance. Consideration of designations of national historic significance are made on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with the Board’s evaluation criteria and guidelines within the context of the wide spectrum of Canada’s human history.
Each year, the Board receives well over 200 requests, of which 50 to 70 will generate research papers from the Historical Services Branch or the Archaeological Services Branch of the National Historic Sites Directorate of the Parks Canada Agency. The reports assist the Board in its deliberations. Alternatively, the applicant may elect to prepare the research paper with the assistance of the Agency.
The Board convenes biannually, usually in June and November. Depending on prior commitments and the complexity of the subject under review, up to two years may elapse between the time of application and the Board’s consideration of the subject.
Any aspect of Canada’s human history may be considered for Ministerial designation of national historic significance. To be considered for designation, a place, a person or an event will have had a nationally significant impact on Canadian history, or will illustrate a nationally important aspect of Canadian human history.
Subjects that qualify for national historic significance will meet one or more of the following criteria:
1. A place may be designated of national historic significance by virtue of a direct association with a nationally significant aspect of Canadian history. An archaeological site, structure, building, group of buildings, district, or cultural landscape of potential national historic significance will:
a) illustrate an exceptional creative achievement in concept and design, technology and/or planning, or a significant stage in the development of Canada; or
b) illustrate or symbolize in whole or in part a cultural tradition, a way of life, or ideas important in the development of Canada; or
c) be most explicitly and meaningfully associated or identified with persons who are deemed of national historic importance; or
d) be most explicitly and meaningfully associated or identified with events that are deemed of national historic importance.
2. A person (or persons) may be designated of national historic significance if that person individually or as the representative of a group made an outstanding and lasting contribution to Canadian history.
3. An event may be designated of national historic significance if it represents a defining action, episode, movement, or experience in Canadian history.
Considerations for designation of national historic significance are made on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with the above criteria and in the context of the wide spectrum of Canada’s human history.
An exceptional achievement or outstanding contribution clearly stands above other achievements or contributions in terms of importance and/or excellence of quality. A representative example may warrant a designation of national historic significance because it eminently typifies a nationally important aspect of Canadian history.
An explicit and meaningful association is direct and understandable, and is relevant to the reasons associated with the national significance of the associated person or event.
Uniqueness or rarity are not, in themselves, evidence of national historic significance, but may be considered in connection with the above criteria for national historic significance.
Firsts, per se, are not considered for national historic significance.
In general, only one commemoration will be made for each place, person, or event of national historic significance.
Buildings, ensembles of buildings, and sites completed by 1975 may be considered for designation of national historic significance.
A place must be in a condition that respects the integrity of its design, materials, workmanship, function and/or setting to be considered for designation of national historic significance, insofar as any of these elements are essential to understand its significance.
The boundaries of a place must be clearly defined for it to be considered for designation as a national historic site.
Large-scale movable heritage properties that would not normally be considered suitable for museum display may be considered for designation of national historic significance.
Persons deceased for at least twenty-five years may be considered for designation of national historic significance, with the exception of Prime Ministers, who are eligible for commemoration immediately upon death.
Events that occurred at least 40 years ago may be considered for designation of national historic significance. Historic events that continue into the more recent past will be evaluated on the basis of what occurred at least 40 years ago.
When the Board has considered a submission, it makes a recommendation for commemoration to the Minister. The usual form of commemoration is the erection of a bronze plaque.
Parks Canada owns and operates 150 national historic sites. The majority of Canada’s national historic sites are not owned by the federal government but by other levels of government, organizations and individuals. These sites, known as The Family of National Historic Sites are provided with support from Parks Canada. This includes:
- Consultation and expert research (submission report to HSMBC) prepared prior to designation
- A plaque and consultation on its text
- Listing in the Directory of Designations of National Historic Significance and access to related information.
- Listing in the Canadian Register of Historic Places and access to related information.
- Information on Parks Canada’s best practices such as Standards and Guidelines; Guiding Principles and Operating Policies; Guide to the Preparation of Commemorative Integrity Statements; Guide to Management Planning; Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada; Information on the Requirements of the National Historic Sites of Canada Cost-Sharing Program
- Eligibility for financial incentives as available
- Parks Canada may provide owners with additional access to professional and technical support when resources are available.
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Provincially Designated Historic Sites
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Municipally Designated Historic Sites
Memorable Manitobans: Manitoba Representatives on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
We thank Sandra Hollender (Parks Canada Agency) and Rick Wishart for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 27 April 2022
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.
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.
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