Saint Boniface Cathedral is an important architectural feature of Saint Boniface, Manitoba, especially in the eyes of the Franco-Manitoban community.
In November, 1818, Father Joseph-Norbert Provencher built a small log chapel, which he dedicated to Saint Boniface, the English missionary monk and apostle, who spread the Catholic faith among the Germanic tribes in the 8th century. The first permanent mission west of the Great Lakes, serving the growing Red River Settlement, became the heart of Roman Catholic missionary activity extending to the Pacific and Arctic coasts.
In 1832 Bishop Provencher built the first stone cathedral “with twin turrets”, immortalized by John Greenleaf Whittier in the poem Red River Voyageur. Since 1832, there have been five cathedrals built at the present location. On August 15, 1906, Archbishop Langevin blessed the cornerstone of what became one of the most imposing churches in Western Canada. Designed by the Montreal architectural firm of Marchand and Haskell, this stunning example of French Romanesque architecture, was destroyed by fire on July 22, 1968.