Discover La Barrière Park
La Barrière Park is not located in the Waverley West ward, but is a nature lover’s paradise located just minutes away and waiting to be discovered by the growing population of South Winnipeg! I have been exploring this park for the past 20 years and it still holds many surprises for myself and my family! This 323 acre (84 hectares) park hugs the banks of the La Salle River, just outside the southern edge of the City of Winnipeg. Located at 4403 Waverley Street, the park is open from 7:00 am – 10:00 pm and is one of four City owned parks that are located outside City limits. The park is located minutes from the community of Waverley West, and from the University of Manitoba. Travel 6 km south of the intersection of Waverley Street and the Perimeter Highway into the RM of Ritchot till your cross the La Salle River bridge and turn right into the park. If you want to see the floodway travel a little further south along Waverley and you can peer into the 47 km long ditch!
- Sports fields are available for those who play baseball, nets for Frisbee golf, and many open areas to fly kites.
- Walking along the wooded path, you’ll suddenly come upon an arched footbridge crossing the La Salle River.
- There are walking trails, picnic areas and lots of space to spread out under the trees and space to toss a fishing rod into the quiet waters of the La Salle.
- Bring your canoe or kayak and paddle along the banks of the La Salle and see snapping turtles, kingfishers, dragonflies and maybe an owl, eagle or family of deer!
- Picnic areas can be booked for large events by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
- 2018: Two new concrete cricket pitches constructed in partnership with the Manitoba Cricket Association. On weekends the park comes alive with passionate cricket players!
- 2019: New fire pit, picnic tables and a new washroom
- 2020-2021: Plans are underway in partnership with Paddle Manitoba to construct a kayak / canoe launch in the coming year
The park is located outside the City and does not fall under the responsibility of one Councillor, but over the past 5 years, Councillor Lukes, Mayes and Chambers have made La Barrière Park a re-investment priority.
History of Park Name
La Barrière Park is named after a very historic event which led to the creation of the Province of Manitoba. Thank you to Heritage St Norbert for this information located on their website:
- On the 19th of October, 1869, a meeting was held at the St. Norbert parish that elected the Comité national des Métis with Louis Riel as the secretary. On October 20th, 1869, the Métis learned that Governor McDougall from Canada was heading to them with arms and men. The Métis were already nervous about their land as they had had confrontations with surveyors in the past and were concerned about the upcoming land transfer. The Hudson’s Bay Company that owned and governed the Métis land was set to transfer it to the Canadian government and the Métis of the area were not well informed of the terms of the transfer and how it would affect them.
- On October 21st, 1869, Riel and a group of Comité members met in St. Norbert to discuss a plan to stop McDougall from entering the territory. A group of Métis militia built a three-foot-tall wood barrier blocking the Pembina Trail crossing (the actual location of the barrier was further north on the La Salle River, across from St Norbert Immersion School). In the afternoon of the 21st, in addition to the barrier, about forty armed men were patrolling the area. The barrier was successful and prevented the government officials from occupying the territory and proving that the Métis would resist being taken over. This was the start of the Red River Resistance which ended in the creation of the Manitoba Act that officially declared Manitoba a province.
- In 1906 a stone cross was erected by L’Union Nationale Métisse de St. Joseph near the La Salle river in honour of this event. The text of the monument reads, “Here Nov. 1st, 1869 the Métis “barred” the road to the envoys of the Canadian government on their way to Fort Garry to establish a new government. The intervention of the Métis forced the authorities to undertake negotiations which brought about the creation of Manitoba and enshrined the rights of the population of Red River.” The stone cross now sits at Place St. Norbert, beside the Le Marché St. Norbert Farmers’ Market.