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Louis Riel House

330 River Road, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2000/03/24

View of the main entrance to Louis Riel House, 1999.; Parks Canada Agency/ Agence Parcs Canada, 1999.
General view
Interior view of Louis Riel House, showing an interpretation of the house in mourning in 1886, 1999.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1999.
Interior view
South east exterior elevation of Louis Riel House, 1999.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1999.
Façade

Other Name(s)

n/a

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1880/01/01 to 1881/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/06/11

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Louis Riel House, a distinguished structure in the community of St. Vital, is an L-shaped plan house with pitched roofs, restored as closely as possible to its 1886 appearance of vernacular Métis design. Built of Red River frame construction, it features balanced, symmetrical elevations, and has a clean unornamented character. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Louis Riel House is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
The Louis Riel House is associated with the descendents of Gaboury-Lagimodiere, Riel Boucher, a very prominent Métis family in the Red River settlement area. The Louis Riel House is a rare surviving example representing Métis settlement of land in Canada, particularly of the ‘river lot’ system adopted on the Red River in Manitoba.

Architectural Value
The Louis Riel House is a good restored example of an 1880s era vernacular Métis structure. The house’s basic massing, form, structural and architectural design correspond typically to 19th-century French Métis residential forms and specifically to Red River frame Métis houses. The building features balanced, symmetrical elevations and has an unornamented character. The Red River frame is one of the only surviving elements of the building.

Environmental Value
The Louis Riel House is compatible with its residential neighbourhood and enhances the area with its large, open site. Well known both within the City of Winnipeg and within the broader Métis community, the Riel House is a regional landmark.

Sources: Fiona Mackintosh, Riel House, Riel House National Historic Site, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report, 99-057; Riel House, Riel House National Historic Site, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Heritage Character Statement, 99-057.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Louis Riel House should be respected.

Its restored example of an 1880s era vernacular Métis structure, for example:
-the basic massing of the rectangular building with an L-shaped plan formed by the rectangular, one-and-a-half storey main house and the small one-storey annex;
-the pitched roofs of the main building and the annex, covered with wood shingles;
-the symmetrical appearance of the building achieved through the arrangement of windows and doors;
-the Red River frame construction;
-the fieldstone foundation; and,
-the functional nature of interior spaces and finishes.

The manner in which the Louis Riel House is compatible with its residential neighbourhood and is a regional landmark as evidenced by:
-its domestic appearance, which makes it compatible with its suburban neighbourhood;
-its prominence within the St. Vital community as one of the larger homes on River Road; and,
-its well known historical associations in the region and its role as a Museum and National Historic Site of Canada which is a destination for visitors.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

2000/03/24

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1979/01/01 to 1980/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Residence
Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer

n/a

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

8850

Status

Published

Related Places

General view

Riel House National Historic Site of Canada

Riel House is a small one-and-a-half-storey, squared log house set on a river lot on the east side of the Red River. Located in a residential district at 330 River Road in St.…

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