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La Chapelle de Notre-Dame-du-Bons-Secours

80, rue Pierre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3V, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/05/10

Main Elevations of La Chapelle de Notre-Dame-du-Bons-Secours, Winnipeg, 2005.; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage & Tourism 2005
Main Elevation
View of statue of the Virgin Mary in La Chapelle de Notre-Dame-du-Bons-Secours, Winnipeg, 2005.; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage & Tourism 2005
View of Statue
No Image

Other Name(s)

La Chapelle de Notre-Dame-du-Bons-Secours
St. Norbert Chapel
The Chapel of Our Lady of Good Help

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1875/01/01 to 1875/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/08/31

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

La Chapelle de Notre-Dame-du-Bons-Secours, a simple open-air chapel constructed in 1875, is situated at an important intersection in Winnipeg's historic community of St. Norbert. Located across the street from the parish church, the chapel encourages pedestrian accessibility by its simple massing, humble detailing and open form. The provincial designation applies to the chapel and the small site upon which it sits.

Heritage Value

La Chapelle de Notre-Dame-du-Bons-Secours, built for Father Noel-Joseph Ritchot, is vitally connected to the tumultuous events that led to the Red River Rebellion of 1869-70 and Manitoba's formation as the fifth province in Canada. The open-air chapel, a type of amenity now rarely found in Manitoba, is an expression of Ritchot's gratitude to the Blessed Virgin Mary for her protection during those troubled times. The Chapelle de Notre-Dame-du-Bons-Secours has remained a historical and spiritual landmark since its construction a few metres east of its current location.

Source: Manitoba Heritage Council Minute, May 7, 1988

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the site's heritage character include:
- the chapel's location on the west side of avenue de l'Eglise, across the street from the parish church in St. Norbert, on a pie-shaped site composed of mature trees and open expanses of grass

Key elements that define the chapel's modest style include:
- the simple box-like massing with a gable roof, horizontal wood siding, rear sacristy denoted by a lower roof and open east wall protected by highly decorative iron gates
- the windows, including two tall, narrow round-headed openings in the north and south elevations, featuring 12 lights bordered by a pattern of brightly coloured glass, and the simple sacristy windows
- the details, including the east gable end with a blue-painted wooden Latin cross and letter `M', blue trim throughout, return eaves on the east and west elevations, decorative iron support brackets in the top corners of the east elevation, etc.

Key elements that define the chapel's ornate interior and historical and spiritual symbolism include:
- the formal rectangular plan with a centre aisle leading to the raised altar and small sacristy
- the coffered ceiling completely covered in biblical murals, copies of original 1885 paintings by Constantin Tauffenbach which are now stored in the adjacent church
- the altar with a raised niche featuring an 1875 statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding a small rod weighted on either end by gold balls, with the smaller sphere outweighing the larger, and with 11 stars behind Mary's head backlit through a rear window
- a sign to the north of the altar reading (in French and English) 'CHAPEL OF OUR LADY OF GOOD HELP, EX VOTO, Elevated by the most Rev. Joseph Noel Ritchot [sic] In honour of our blessed virgin mary for her very special protection granted during the political troubles of 1869-70'
- the details, including durable materials such as concrete and stucco, softened by wooden wainscotting on three walls, simple wooden pews, an intricately carved tabernacle, etc.




Recognition Authority

Province of Manitoba

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Politics and Political Processes

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer



Father Joseph-Noel Ritchot

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Main Floor, 213 Notre Dame Avenue Winnipeg MB R3B 1N3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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