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Historical Vignette


With open arms and open doors


By Vania Gagnon


Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum resides in the former Grey Nuns’ convent, the oldest building in Winnipeg.


Montreal), built between 1846 and 1851, was the first con- vent constructed in northwestern Canada. It also immediately became the centre from which the


A


Grey Nuns’ charitable work was organized and it provided many services in the growing community at Red River and beyond. Te Grey Nuns were said to “refuse no one” and their charitable work always revolved around compassion and loving those in need: the most vulnerable, the most physically, emotionally or mentally ill, the most disenfran- chised. Te convent acted as the day school, hospital, seniors’


24 • Fall 2015


nchored some hundred metres off the winding banks of the Red River in St. Boniface stands Winnipeg’s oldest building. Te former home of the Grey Nuns (or the Sisters of Charity of


St. Boniface. Roman Catholic cathedral - Red River Settle- ment. Drawn by W. Napier - 1858.


home, orphanage and dispatch centre for home care visits. It’s hard to imagine all these services being offered by one small team of four. Te erection of the building, a 40-by-100-foot, post-on- sill, oak construction, consisting of three full stories of 4,000


The Hub


All photos courtesy of the St. Boniface Museum unless otherwise noted.


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