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St. Boniface City Hall National Historic Site of Canada

219 Provencher Boulevard, St. Boniface, Manitoba, R3B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1984/11/23

General view of St. Boniface City Hall, showing its Classical-revival style with formally symmetrical façade, 2005.; St. Boniface City Hall, Lil Zebra, 2005.
General view
Main entrance of St. Boniface City Hall, 1986.; Parks CanadaAgency /Agence Parcs Canada, 1986.
Front elevation
General view of St. Boniface City Hall, showing its red brick exterior facing materials contrasted with rusticated masonry basement and  buff limestone trim, 2010.; St. Boniface City Hall, AdolfGalland, May 2010.
General view

Other Name(s)

St. Boniface City Hall National Historic Site of Canada
St. Boniface City Hall
Hôtel de ville de St. Boniface
St. Boniface Community Development and Recreation Services Office
Bureau des services de loisirs et de développement communautaire de St. Boniface

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1905/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/12/20

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Situated at a prominent intersection in St.Boniface, the French-speaking mission that became an urban district of metropolitan Winnipeg, the St.Boniface City Hall is a classically styled, three- storey, red brick structure with central domed tower, built in the early twentieth century. The formal recognition is confined to the civic building itself.

Heritage Value

The St.Boniface City Hall was designated a national historic site in 1984 because:
-it provided accommodation for the increasing number of services administered by the St.Boniface civic government; and because
-this imposing classically detailed city hall is an outstanding example of its building type in Western Canada.


Constructed by the William Grace Company of Winnipeg in 1905, the new city hall was carefully planned to identify St.Boniface as separate from its neighbouring municipalities in attracting population and investment. The large size and formal Classical-revival style was thought to convey the dominance, stability and optimism as a visual symbol of the small city. Yielding to public pressure after its construction, the architect replaced its original tower with the existing one in 1911. An addition was made to the rear of the building when it underwent restoration in 1988, at which time clocks were installed in the tower. When St. Boniface ceased to be a separate city on amalgamation with Winnipeg in 1972, this city hall was adapted as space for the centralized civic administration.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, minute, November 1986.

Character-Defining Elements

Aspects of this site which contribute to its heritage values include:
-Its prominent siting on the main street of the community of old St. Boniface, set back from the street on a large treed lot within the civic precinct;
-Its monumental massing and rectangular footprint as of 1984;
-Its red brick exterior facing materials contrasted with rusticated masonry basement and buff limestone trim;
-Its Classical-revival style with formally symmetrical façade comprised of projecting pedimented central and end pavilions, heavy dentilled cornice, regularly spaced windows, the first two stories of transomed windows with limestone heads and sills, the third floor of smaller round-headed windows with stylized keystones;
-its emphasis on the central entry with original double doors within a limestone portico with flanking columns and imposing limestone stairway, double-height round-headed window above, surmounted by a square domed lantern;
-original interior features and materials and layout, particular in the major public spaces such as the former Council Chambers, the double-return staircase, interior columns, stained British Columbia fir woodwork and pressed tin ceilings.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1984/11/23

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1911/01/01 to 1911/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Government and Institutions
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Government
Office or office building

Historic

Government
Town or City Hall

Architect / Designer

Victor Horwood

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

135

Status

Published

Related Places

Primary Elevation

St. Boniface City Hall

St. Boniface City Hall, a three-storey red brick structure built in 1905-06, occupies a prominent Winnipeg site in close proximity to other municipal facilities. The City of…

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