Historic Sites of Manitoba: Wolseley Expedition Plaque (Bonnycastle Park, Winnipeg)

This plaque in Bonnycastle Park, unveiled in 1995 by the Manitoba Heritage Council, commemorates the 1870 Wolseley Expedition. Led by Colonel Garnet Wolseley of the British Army, the force consisted of about 800 workers and voyageurs, 417 British regulars, and 783 Ontario and Quebec militiamen. Denied access to American railways, Colonel Wolseley’s contingent took two full months to complete the arduous journey from Thunder Bay to the Winnipeg River. On 24 August 1870, he took command of Upper Fort Garry, which had been vacated recently by Louis Riel and his followers.

The presence of Wolseley’s volunteers heightened the already strained political, cultural, and religious tensions in Red River society. Many militiamen remained in Manitoba and were followed by other Protestant Ontarians. Their numbers changed the balance of the French and English-speaking population and led to a Manitoba which reflected many of Ontario’s social and political structures.

Wolseley Expedition Plaque

Wolseley Expedition Plaque (2009)
Source: City of Winnipeg

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.88648, W97.13416
denoted by symbol on the map above


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.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 20 February 2021

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