I know what you’re thinking, St. Norbert is not a small Manitoba town with a cool statue to check out. And you are right. St. Norbert is just outside the city of Winnipeg and is still technically part of it. It has no town statue but it does have 2 historic provincial parks minutes from each other, the number one farmers market in Manitoba and it is sometimes referred to as “Winnipeg’s other forks”.
St. Norbert Provincial Heritage Park
History is preserved and presented here with 19th century homes on display. A tactile telling of the story of the Métis settlement and the immigration of the Québec. During the summer there are guided tours inside the historic homesteads or you can spend an hour walking around and reading the various signs to learn the history of the area and its people.
Take a walk along the riverside trails, where the La Salle River flows into the Red River. Trail is roughly 1km and has signs along the way to explain the area history. The park is not large but aside from its historical importance it has lots of great views and places to relax and enjoy the day.
Trappist Monastery Provincial Heritage Park
Our Lady of the Prairies was a Trappist Monastery from 1892 to 1978 when the monks moved to a new home to avoid the encroaching civilization. In 1986 there was a fire that left the monastery in ruins. Years later work was done to stabilize the are and turn it into a historic park.
The monks had a guest house near the monastery which was transformed into the St. Norbert Arts Centre in 1991. The entire area is the very definition of peace and tranquility. Wander the area, enjoy the gardens, enjoy the arts, find peace.
The St. Norbert Arts Centre is open to artists of all kinds and hosts a number of events throughout the year. It can also be booked for weddings and other special occasions.
Two very cool historic parks minutes from each other and close enough to see both on the same ride. And then top it all off with a visit to the St. Norbert Farmers Market for more than just some fresh veg.
I need to make a note for future visits to be in summer so I can really benefit from them the most. Tour inside the historic homes and enjoy the colour in the gardens.